Why the SCOTUS decision means we must start memorizing our Bibles in earnest, NOW
The decision has already opened the floodgates of irrational hatred against Christians and anything related to Christianity, including Bibles and biblical material. People carrying or displaying Bibles, or holding Bible studies, are being challenged in schools, hotels, even private homes. The forces of this present darkness want to remove anything related to Jesus from public life, and eventually even from private life. Just ask anyone in China or North Korea. It will happen here, too.
Soon it will be either forbidden (like at work) or even outright made illegal to own a Bible. And yet we are living in a generation that despite having the greatest access to Bibles in any time in history, is the most biblically illiterate. Nowadays people don't read their Bibles and don't know what is in it. Soon it may be that they can't read them.
|OOPS! I accidentally dropped your bible in the mud! Scene from movie|
Secrets of Jonathan Sperry where a teenaged boy is bullied for carrying his bible
How are we, or the next generation, going to witness to the truth if we don't know it and have been denied access to it?
I'd listed many verses which exhort us to know His word, have it hidden in our hearts and minds. Not only is the Word necessary for transforming us and in restraining us from sinning against Jesus, it is necessary to know so we can witness effectively.
I'd urged starting a Bible Drill in your church, homeschool group or afterschool club. I'd urged personal study directly of the bible and memorizing it diligently.
I'm the first to say that I'm lousy at memorizing bible verses. I barely remember my own life verses and favorites-
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).
and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5, KJV)
I'd mentioned on Facebook about my #fail in memorizing verses. I do not want to be a hypocrite though, in exhorting for one thing on the blog and not doing it myself. I'm always conscious of doing myself what I call others to do. So a kind FB friend offered a valuable tip: she said she uses ScriptureTyper to memorize verses.
I do check out things before I offer them to you. I went to the ScriptureTyper site and created a free account and loaded 18 verses I want to memorize, and started. In addition to being totally free, it is pretty easy to use (I can't speak to the download onto Kindle, Android, iPad or iPhone because I don't own any of those). It is a good way to memorize verses and I like it very much. If you go to Amazon.com there are 65 reviews of it and they are uniformly good. Most of those are 5-star.
What you do is, simply load the verses you want to memorize onto My Verses page. Don't know which verses you want to begin with? The site offers dozens of groupings such as verses on "Trust", "Wisdom", "Jesus" etc. They also offer a group of "Top 100 Verses." It is a three-step method for memorizing, and once a verse is memorized the site keeps track for you of when you need to review a mastered verse in order to keep it fresh.
I like the advantage it gives busy moms and dads. You can use the App in car riders line, at the doctor's office, at the ball field. Just take 5 minutes and practice one verse while you're having those moments of time. I plan to use it during my lunch time. I eat at my desk where my computer is. At that time I usually pray and do a short devotional anyway. Folding verse memorization in for 5 minutes will be easy.
The saint who suggested the ScriptureTyper system testified to its ease and effectiveness of use. I do as well. Even given the limited time I've spent with it, I can see how this system can meld in easily to my lifestyle. I am never far from a device.
Another saint testified to a different system that does not use technology. It can be used in the family setting with children of any or all ages at once. It is Scripture Memory System at SimplyCharlotteMason.com. This memorization system uses a file folder and index cards, and is designed for best use with other people, such as parents with children, because it involves choral recitation.
'The instructions and video at the site outline an easy-to-use system to help family members develop the habit of memorizing and remembering Scripture. By spending just five or ten minutes a day, you and your children can learn and retain hundreds of verses.'
|Screen shot from Scripture Memory System instructional video|
Either way, technology or index cards, alone or with family, the necessity of memorizing scripture has never been more important. During the first century church, the saints literally had no New Testament at their disposal. It wasn't written yet. They had to wait for circular letters to be sent, read them in the assembly, and then pass them on. During the Dark Ages, scripture in the hands of the people was explicitly denied by the false Roman Catholic church. The Protestant Reformers gave their lives in many cases to write the holy scriptures in the people's language and bring it to the masses. History records the travails of some of these men- John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, Martin Luther, William Tyndale...men who brought the Bible to the people, at the expense of their lives in some cases.
The time is coming and may be now here, where Christians in America will have to make a stand for the Word of God. The time may be at the doorstep where possessing it in hard copy may mean we'll be marginalized, bullied, persecuted, or killed. We have a hard copy now only because the aforementioned men stood for the Word of God. Will we make the same stand? William Tyndale did.
From Fox's Book of Martyrs, the original language is so descriptive I'm quoting from it instead of the modern version-
Then Master Tyndale, as he was learned and well practiced in God's matters, spared not to show unto them simply and plainly his judgment, and when they at any time did vary from Tyndale in opinions, he would show them in the Book, and lay plainly before them the open and manifest places of the Scriptures, to confute their errors, and confirm his sayings. And thus continued they for a certain season, reasoning and contending together divers times, until at length they waxed weary, and bare a secret grudge in their hearts against him.Tyndale did not show them with his opinion or personal judgment, but from the scriptures. Isn't that always the way, when you refute and confound the objectors with scripture, they become angry and bear a secret grudge.
As this grew on, the priests of the country, clustering together, began to grudge and storm against Tyndale, railing against him in alehouses and other places, affirming that his sayings were heresy; and accused him secretly to the chancellor, and others of the bishop's officers. ...
The bishops and prelates never rested before they had brought the king to their consent; by reason whereof, a proclamation in all haste was devised and set forth under public authority, that the Testament of Tyndale's translation was inhibited-which was about A.D. 1537. And not content herewith, they proceeded further, how to entangle him in their nets, and to bereave him of his life; which how they brought to pass, now it remaineth to be declared.
|William Tyndale is burned at the stake in Belgium in 1536,|
from Foxe's Book of Martyrs
At last, after much reasoning, when no reason would serve, although he deserved no death, he was condemned by virtue of the emperor's decree, made in the assembly at Augsburg. Brought forth to the place of execution, he was tied to the stake, strangled by the hangman, and afterwards consumed with fire, at the town of Vilvorde, A.D. 1536; crying at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice, "Lord! open the king of England's eyes."
Such was the power of his doctrine, and the sincerity of his life, that during the time of his imprisonment (which endured a year and a half), he converted, it is said, his keeper, the keeper's daughter, and others of his household.
As touching his translation of the New Testament, because his enemies did so much carp at it, pretending it to be full of heresies, he wrote to John Frith, as followeth, "I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus, that I never altered one syllable of God's Word against my conscience, nor would do this day, if all that is in earth, whether it be honor, pleasure, or riches, might be given me."
|Geneva Bible, from Wikipedia|
Wikipedia of the Geneva Bible: It was the primary Bible of 16th century Protestantism and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John Knox, John Donne, and John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress. ... Because the language of the Geneva Bible was more forceful and vigorous, most readers preferred this version strongly over the Great Bible. In the words of Cleland Boyd McAfee, "it drove the Great Bible off the field by sheer power of excellence".The King James version came in 1611. All thanks to a long line of men the Holy Spirit raised up who valued the Word and kept it primary in their lives, at the expense of their lives.
The Holy Spirit energizes each saint who absorbs the word. The Spirit of the sword of God which is the word of God is already implanted in us. Be ye transformed renewing of your mind! (Romans 12:2)
Timeline of English Bible History: 1400 AD onward
Fox's Book of Martyrs (text online for free)