Watching the blogs this week, I’ve noticed two pronounced trends. The first trend focuses on Bible reading plans for 2017. In addition, bloggers have been writing about reasons Christians should get serious about reading the Bible this coming year.
Given the overall thrust of The Outspoken TULIP, it would probably make sense for me to jump on that bandwagon. But my personal Bible reading schedule didn’t exactly follow the calendar this year. I ended up starting Genesis 1:1 some time in November, after I spent over ten months studying 1 John through cross-references. I’m well into Exodus now, reading it like a novel and finding it hard to put down. On Saturdays I read whatever passage from Luke my pastor will preach on the next day, and I spend Sundays and Mondays studying Jude.
After nearly 46 years, I’ve come to believe that systematic Bible reading is essential, but that tying it to a calendar leads me into legalism. Both Bible reading and Bible study should be done with the singular purpose of hearing from the Lord. And no, not by taking a phrase, verse or passage out of context and personalizing it. Rather, as we go through Scripture systematically, we understand Who God is and what His priorities are. Racing a calendar is less important than learning what God’s Word says.
So I don’t want to offer 2017 reading plans in this blog. I do, however, want to encourage you to read and study the Word of God systematically. Whether you choose one of the many plans that other bloggers have been making available all week (for instance, Elizabeth Prata and Michelle Lesley list a variety of plans), what really matters is that you’re in the Word!
This week’s other popular trend focuses on listing a blogger’s Top Ten posts of 2016. Interesting way to boost views, I suppose, and heaven knows my poor little blog could certainly use more traffic. But my Top Ten posts discourage me because they’re almost exclusively about Beth Moore.
Not that I mind getting out the word that Beth Moore mishandles Scripture and promotes narcissism with a veneer of “Christianity.” Indeed, I think about her every time I write a Bible Study on Jude. I may write about her in future blog posts if circumstances call me to do so! She’s led many women astray, and her errors continually crop up.
That said, I always feel like a sleazy tabloid journalist when I blog about her. I know that plopping her name in a title is click-bait. Over the past several months, I’ve been convicted that click-bait prostitutes my blog. The thought troubles me. For that reason, I desperately hope I’ll find no need to blog about her, Rick Warren, Sarah Young or any other false teachers in 2017.
So I believe doing a Top Ten post would only attract people to essays that I least want to highlight. If you really want a retrospective of my 2016 posts, please read my studies of Ephesians 2:1-10 and Jude. I’d much prefer that you focus on God’s Word than linger on posts that could degenerate into fodder for evangelical gossip.
Thank you for reading The Outspoken TULIP throughout 2016, ladies. Please tell your family and friends to check out the articles that encourage you. Also, drop by The Outspoken TULIP Facebook page and start a conversation. I look forward to 2017 as a year of ministering to each other through God’s Word.