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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

What Do You Think About BibleFresh Venture?

In Britain the Evangelical Alliance (EA) has become very ecumenical and endorses a number of ecumenical organisations such as Spring Harvest (one of the fastest growing ecumenical festivals in the last 2 or 3 decades). I could say a lot about how EA has gone down the dogs with its endorsements of  ecumenical, Alpha,  Purpose Driven and Emerging Church (to name just a few) and its support, giving a platform for Bill McLaren.

Just to let you know that EA has now encouraged and got behind the new BIBLEFRESH 2010 Venture to encourage a greater interest in the Bible on the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible. This venture seems to be taking off in a big way.

The venture sounds like a great idea (at face value)!

It would be good to influence believers to read the Living Word of God. My blog always encourages us to get back to the Bible. However, I have had a good look at the "Biblefresh" website and seen a number of things which concern me. Let me ask us the question: what is their real incentive in this project? Please read on ....
Their emphasis is fourfold:
1) read the bible together as a church
2) invest in training the whole church to understand and apply the bible
3) Raise Money to translate the bible for Burkina Faso
4) Help people EXPERIENCE the bible in new and creative ways

Apparently a survey was taken to find the current bible reading activities of believers. Their findings showed that the Bible is not being read (let alone studied) anywhere near as much as it should be. Even Christian leaders were not reading the bible enough. They say that because of this worrying trend (which in fact blogs like mine had been stating for years) they wanted to encourage people to read their bibles, again. Which again appears excellent.

They asked themselves the question "why don't believers read their bibles?". Instead of coming up with the right answer ie the church has become too worldly, with its emphasis on "entertainment" and a lack of real Godliness, they came up with the wrong answer "the bible is boring" "the bible is too hard to understand" etc.

Instead of encouraging Christians on how to study the Bible such as on my article within this link

How To Study The Bible and Why. Learning How To Avoid Deception

they offer alternative ways of doing it for a culture that wants an "easy" way of doing things. As per "seeker sensitive" culture they want to encourage people to read the bible in a marketing oriented way. They are using the same type of approach that they used for making prayer more exciting.

My argument is that for the person dedicated to Christ, who has died to this world "no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me" taking time to read and study the Bible and pray, should be their greatest joy in their life as they are communing with the Living God when they do these things. If your heart's desire is truly for God, it is NOT boring and is (in fact) your spiritual food and lifeline to God.

What is their real incentive? It will probably be inevitable that "the message" or something similar will be pushed or more false "easy to read" bibles, comics will be advertised for further heresy and profiteering.  

Notice that the 4th objective is EXPERIENCING the bible. Is that a further step in the emergent "experiential" Christianity? Also, where is the emphasis (within that fourfold list) for individuals learning how and why to spend time ALONE with God. Reading and studying the Bible (as a church) is good, but should be in conjunction with private reading and studying. The problem with most Bible Studies is that it can be blinkered, ie focussed on only the scripture verses that the leader presents and can IGNORE vast chunks of other scriptures that may prove the leaders interpretation as faulty.

Having said these things, I ask, can we (in some way or other) taken on this project within our churches? Maybe we can take the type of approach that some churches took in response to Alpha ie an alternative "Christianity Explored" (see note below). Maybe we could encourage believers to read and study the Bible but not follow the EA approach but use our own? If used in the right way to encourage people to read and study the UNADULTERATED and undiluted Bible, then it is good, without gimmicks!!!

Note (per above)
Alpha's idea of introducing people to Christianity is good, but the way they did this was faulty. See my article regarding Alpha, which shows that their approach is unbiblical with new age (or even occultic) overtones. Therefore, independent churches chose an alternative way of doing it (because it WAS a good idea). They use "Christianity Explored". They did this because they realised there was something not right about Alpha.
Okay, that is all for now. I will hand this over to you for your observations. To help you please look at their most applicable webpages:

I WILL write more on this after I have had time to consider what I have seen and after the results of your feedback. Please contribute.

2 comments:

D said...

I just read through your article on the Alpha course, and it was really helpful. My wife and I were involved with it a number of years ago, and there was always a sense that something was "off" about the whole thing, although I don't know that we were ever able to reall articulate why... The points that you outlined regarding the distinction between preaching "sins" (individual acts of wrong-doing) vs. preaching about the sin nature I think hits the nail on the head. (and interestingly, I think that exact same critique would apply to a whole HOST of other ministries and evangelical approaches that make this same critical error...)

I am really looking forward to perusing your other articles and benefitting from the research you have done.

In Christ, D

John Chingford said...

Hi D

Thanks for those encouraging words.

Just noticed you have just recently started your own blog. I have left you a comment there too. I look forward to observing how you get on. I will be happy to endorse your blog (after a while) if your list of articles proves we are both reading from the same page.

However, I encourage my readers to visit that site anyway (not yet as an endorsement) to give your support and encouragement.

You can find it on http://www.wakeinbabylon.blogspot.com/
God bless