At the start of each Sunday morning service, the congregation stands, hold their Bible in their hands, and say together “This is God’s Word to me. I am who it says I am, and I will do what it tells me to do”. I have a couple of thoughts about this. First of all, when I look around, I see many people of all ages holding their Bibles, and secondly there is a clear identification with the need for it’s truth in our lives.
We live in a modern age, where most of our children, youth and senior adults, own and use a smartphone or tablet of some kind. Many, if not all, of these same folks when at this church, use a paper Bible, and not any kind of electronic device they will most certainly own. So why bring a Bible in traditional book form to church? I know most will use their tablet to read and study Scripture during the week, so there is no aversion to the use of modern media itself. More thoughts.
It is a witness when you carry your Bible to Church, and speaks volumes that an iPad will not, and cannot show. Your iPad is not a witness that you are headed for church, just that you have an iPad.
A Bible can be leafed through, underlined, margined etc much faster than any tablet. Oh I know it can be done, but my own opinion is that a well used, dog eared, personally marked Bible is a testimony to the person who owns it. On that same theme, without being morbid, I have my Dad’s Bible, and count it a privilege and treasure of his Christian life. It was handed down. You can’t do that with an electronic device of any kind (if it lasts that long, that is!).
It is personal. It is solely used for the purpose of reading God’s Word, unlike the tablet etc, where the Bible is nestled between games and facebook. And anyway, when you are in church, you know 100% when someone is reading the real Bible, but it is too easy to ‘zone out’ for a while and check your status on Facebook on your phone. Don’t tell me the temptation is not there.
So, the electronic media generation is great, but for me, first place must come to my real, personal, unique Bible in church. I don’t know what the future holds, but right now, give me paper over electronics. Having said all that, let me finish with this thought. If you have to make a choice, and you will only (it is an act of will, not finance) use a tablet or iPad, then please don’t feel bad. It is not wrong. In the final analysis, it is better to read the Bible in any form, than not at all. All that is different is the act of open witness and testimony. But then if you don’t carry a Bible in any form, you don’t have that question to answer. It becomes another simple question, ‘why not’?