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1. George Barna notes, “In the 1970’s “seeker churches’ made a strong theoretical argument for the importance of encouraging people to feel no obligation to toe a Bible to church. Their goal was to make visitors feel welcome and comfortable by alleviating the need to locate a Bible, by diminishing the stressful expectation that they will have to use that Bible during the church service, and by softening the negative image that may be associated with a Bible-toting congregation. Two decades later, it is clear that this experiment had a more sinister consequence; people don’t even know where their Bibles are anymore! In many churches, the core membership-not just the visitors for whom the tactic was originally embraced-began to lose its familiarity with the Bible. There has been a trade off; changing the rules to help some has impaired the spiritual health of others. Sadly, the shift away from promoting the personal responsibility to bring along a Bible has sent a signal to many people that the Bible is not important. As the church has abandoned the Bible, knowledge of scriptural content has declined, personal Bible reading has declined, the image of the Bible as sacred literature has declined, and the ability of people to comprehend biblical principles has declined. In fact, when it comes time to discuss what the church ought to be, biblical exhortations do not even enter the discussion” (The Second Coming of the Church, 26, 27).

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