I am super thankful for technology. I love my iPhone, MacBook, and iPad and would really not like to do life without them. FaceTime is awesome, especially in connecting to my kids who live far away. Texting is an incredibly handy way to correspond. It is fast and easy. I regularly depend on the directions that Siri gives me and I know that I would likely be lost somewhere on a back country road without them. I love my Bible apps and my Bible study tools and I especially love how easy it is to take them with me when I travel. They are far lighter than carrying a concordance and a few commentaries in one’s luggage, that’s for sure. And yet, I always insist that we carry our Bibles to church. Here is why I do (and why I think you should do so too):
- A Bible is distinct. It stands out. It reminds us that we are in church and that God and His Word are our focus. Our devices are demanding, are commonplace, and are used for a plethora of other matters. As a result, they can easily remove our focus from God’s Word and the truths that are being taught as we listen to preaching.
- A Bible has fewer potential distractions. When my kids (and others around me) are using an app on their phone, it doesn’t take much observation to see that many times they are also checking the text that just pinged, taking a quick glance at Instagram, and so forth. In fact, it is almost impossible not to do so. If you disagree, test yourself. Put your phone down, and refuse to look at any text for an hour. Or simply “power down” and put it away for an hour, or a day, or even a week. For most of us, the withdrawal symptoms will be pretty nasty, so prepare yourself! All of that to say, when I open my Bible app, it can open the door for me to miss some of the truths that God may be wanting to say to me. I have found that church is far more effective when I open my Bible, put my phone on silent, and turn it upside down. I can then follow the text and hear the Word of God without any device distractions.
- A Bible provides a visible record of my notes and thoughts as I underline, highlight, and add thoughts in its margins. I see entire chapters and my attention is drawn immediately to the Book where the chapter is located and its location in the Bible as a whole. I know that an app can potentially do the same, but I also know that an app’s record is very different than that of a pen and paper. Being able to open a Bible and see an immediate record reminds me of truths that have spoken to me in the past and how they have impacted and spoken into my life. Seeing a few verses at a time on a small screen doesn’t usually have the same effect.
To be absolutely clear, I do love the Bible apps on my devices. I study from them and refer to them even in my devotions (which I still have from a Bible rather than an app – for the same reasons listed above). And although I would rather a person read the Bible on their app than not read one at all, I firmly believe that a Bible is still a better option.
And that is why I insist that my family carries their Bible to church, and why I think you should do so as well.
What do you think? Are my reasons valid? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading,
Your sincere friend,