57 thoughts on “Counting Bibles”

    1. Oh man, don’t remind me of that song! πŸ™„ I’m still not even sure what waving the Bible actually meant, but if you didn’t do it, you got accused of having a “rotten heart.”

      1. Well, if you were at a certain Bible Institute, their theme song is “Holding Forth The Word of Life” and there’s a lot of Bible waving there.

  1. I’ve heard preachers instruct his congregation to do this and then tell them that they’re “sticking it in the Devil’s face.”

    I guess he knows somehow that the Devil is hovering over his congregation.

    1. these kids definitely look like they are doing a sword drill. Hand on the binding, one hand, no finger on the pages… CHARGE!

    2. So many bitter memories…
      The church I grew up in had Sword Drill as a class. I think it was to practice for a local competition. Being the pastor’s grandson, mom made it mandatory that I participate. Luckily, because of the resistance from the majority of the youth, it was abandoned.

    3. Oh the awful memories! If you didn’t get better at Sword Drills it was evidence that you weren’t growing as a Christian. In the church my family attended about 40 years ago we used to do this every Sunday evening service for about 10 minutes. The pastor never prepared a list of verses ahead of time, just called out a reference. I was first on my feet once when the verse was one of those OT law verses regarding marital relations! I was about 15, very shy and naive; no one ever talked about “that”. I started out boldly reading and then, as the light dawned, I was thoroughly embarrassed, stumbling through the end of the verse, and the place went dead quiet. 😯 Horrors!

      1. Oh, but Kate, that was so much fun when you were at the other end! The summer I turned 15, I taught Child Evangelism Bible Clubs all summer. One week another girl and I were teaching a club of mostly churched kids, and one group of 9- or 10-year-old boys liked to show up early and ask us to give them a sword drill before club started. The other teacher and I spent that week researching Song of Solomon looking for good ones, because it was so much fun to watch the little boys start giggling in embarrassment as they read, “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins” or something similar.

  2. Kid in the middle, slightly to the right. Sad face. He forgot his. Backslidden. Darker skinned than the others (tanned).

    1. L πŸ˜‰ ooks like he may be of “Roman” ancestry, If you get my drift so no surprise the little papist wouldn’t have a bible.

  3. Because we all know the truly spiritual kids take their Bibles home each night for devotions and don’t just leave it under the seat so that they’re prepared for a Bible Check… I once went to a school that conducted random Bible checks as a test grade. If you had your Bible, you got a 100. If you didn’t, you got a double-zero. I think some of the 100% club are now doing hard time in the state pen…

    1. The church I attended as a kid had their own set of Bibles. I always found it strange as an IFB, if I ever attended another church at the request of a friend, if people didn’t have a bible, let alone their own. It just seemed strange to not have a Bible. I understand my childhood church – everyone could come and get a Bible if they forgot their own, or owned a different version (this church used NIV, which was actually quite new at the time, I think).

      But I attended Hillsong a few times and most people didn’t carry a Bible and they didn’t have any complimentary loaners in the lobby either. And here I was with my flat back 66 chain thompson with wide margins (bigger than your torso). The lame thing was, I thought I was soooo spiritual because I had a big bible at hillsong.

      (Hillsong sucks btw – too much prosperity preaching – nice music sometimes though)

    1. There are multiple variations but the most common one I’ve seen is where the pastor/evangelist will say “If you have your Bible with you today would you please hold it up high?”

      And then he pauses for a moment and scans the audience to let everyone know he’s taking note of the non-Bible bringers.

      Then he announces the text.

      It’s a pretty frequent thing in some churches. Even more frequent in Christian schools and youth groups.

      1. I’ve almost always (in my circles) seen this with visiting speakers. Those who don’t raise Bibles in the beginning are expected to raise their hands during the invitation. The physician only comes to heal the sick, you know.

    2. The wild hair a preacher gets you-know-where in the half-instant he first thinks about the Bible during a sermon (usually during a KJV-only tangent), leading to the idea of “Well, let’s make sure ev’ryone’s lissenin'” or “I’ll bet that dude with a ponytail didn’t bring the *Word of Gawd* with him today,” or “I know Brother So-and-so’s car radio was set to 96.6 KROK FM, so I’mma catch him not clinging to the Word like I know he ain’t.”

      Something like that, I think.

    3. Thanks for explaining. Even when I was a fundy, I don’t recall that. But then, my home fundy church was, at that time, a pretty jolly, happy place. They didn’t embarrass people.

    4. Some churches would post the number of Bibles brought on their attendance board — the wooden board with the cardboard numbers that they would slide in and out with the number in attendance, collection amount, and “record attendance.” Bible count was really popular in rural churches in the 50’s. Some would even ask how many chapters that you read each week and put that number on the board too.

  4. Somehow you are not spiritual if you don’t have a Bible to follow along the TWO verses that the preacher will be preachin on. Which also happen to be printed in the bulletin and displayed on the overhead projector.

    Catholics are criticised for not bringing their Bibles to church, yet fundies don’t realize that
    1) The texts for the readings are printed in the Missal at every pew and;
    2) Every Sunday there are four Scripture readings from the OT, tne Psalms, the Epistles, and the Gospels, some – usually the Gospel reading – quite long.

    1. Ditto for Episcopalians. No one at my church brings a Bible because it’s all printed in the bulletin. And we have the same thing with the 4 Bible readings and they can be quite long. Guess fundies don’t like that b/c it would take forever to pick apart the minutiae of that much Scripture!!! πŸ™„

  5. Our non fundy new church has “pew Bibles.” It is so totally okay not to take your Bible to church. And many times I don’t want to because I leave it open and full of stuff in my special place at home. Another way not to have to “look on appearances.”

    1. When my husband isn’t preaching, he usually uses his Iphone to access the Bible. I’m always a little embarrassed, having been raised with the whole “avoid all appearance of evil” thing (after all, he could be on SFL!) as well as the expectation that all good Christians bring their own Bible to church.

      1. This is my husband as well. We just recently had a baby & it’s so much easier to carry a phone w/Bible app BUT…even in our nonfundy church he still gets looks! I told him he’s going to get his “deaconship” revoked! πŸ˜‰

  6. Ah yes, I remember the few occasions where I forgot my Bible, and the heart-stopping moment of dread when I would realize it, because if the preacher noticed I would most definitely get a public reprimand by name. I also remember my dad actually driving home really quick before the service to pick up the Bible one of us had forgotten.

    SO beyond ridiculous.

    1. I had several in the boot of my car for this purpose (alongside my less than jake cd which I claimed was my sisters if anyone saw it).

      I do remember running out of backup bibles at one stage (I had a few cheap $2 store ones, one with a blue cover, my pocket bible and some others in the car).

      Oh the shame when It was time to stand for the reading of God’s word. A preacher boy in the front row without a Bible.

      I was never a good IFB. I don’t even think I was saved when I attended the IFB church. Actually, I shouldn’t say that, because I vividly remember coming to Christ earlier after reading a gospel tract and I had no idea about anything IFB at that stage. But I didn’t get any assurance until recently.

  7. Vacation Bible School. This was most prevalentÒ€¦

    I also remember hearing this one guy say something in our youth group one time. Something along the lines of “Going to church without your Bible is like leaving home naked.” Yeah. That’s right. Forget your Bible and you may as well be streaking down the sidewalk .

  8. What a great way to call out the visitors and unbelievers! And then how about making those visiting kids whose parents don’t go to church so the kid doesn’t have a Bible! Gotta make sure the fundy kids have another way to single out those who don’t belong!

  9. Oh yeah, BTDT, another How can we embarrass someone at youth group moment. I will now make a confession. I was actually one of the kids who was pretty good at bible drills. I had one of those bibles with the little tabs the showed all the books of the bible. Once you found the book, the rest was easy.
    I’m so ashamed 😳

  10. Does anyone else remember the fear that would tremble through your bones when you realized you accidentally left your Bible at home?

    What is interesting is now most of the churches that I’ve gone to since Fundy land have pew Bibles something you rarely saw in fundy churches. I really like the pew Bible idea. I mean now I travel on the subway to church often leaving the house in a huge rush. I have my iPhone with the Bible on it that I do use, but if I don’t have to I often find myself reaching for the pew Bible, but then by fundy standards I am the backsliden one.

  11. On a couple occasions in chapel, Dr. Bob asked for those with their Bibles to stand and then look around at those that didn’t have them. Unfortunately, one of those times I had forgot to put my Bible in my backpack for the day and had to sit red-faced as said that it seemed to him that those sitting didn’t care about the word of God.

    Of course I was upset with myself for forgetting my Bible. Later it dawned on me that perhaps I shouldn’t have been upset with myself for a simple mistake, but upset with a man that felt the need to publicly point out and ridicule a few students in front of 4-5,000 people.

    Funny how your perspective changes when you finally cut ties with that group.

  12. Another typically AmeriChristian practice. How many believers around the world (from Pentecost on) have had their own copy of the Bible to carry around?

  13. I lived next to the church so I was able to run home if I forgot mine. The downside was that we could never skip church. Lucky for me.

  14. I choose not to bring my Bible every week, because I feel that it’s easier to really hear and understand when I’m not reading along. I’m a good listener. πŸ™‚

    Does anyone else feel that way?

    1. Hi Lisa Ann – yes I feel that way too. I also feel that if I read the Bible while the preaching is on it looks like I’m checking up on his/her preaching,

      1. in my last few months in a fundy church, having the Bible handy was a Godsend. It meant I could read it instead of listening.

        1. I tried that once. It resulted in the pastor stopping mid-rant to ask me why I wasn’t paying attention to him.

          I only wish I was kidding.

    2. Everyone is different, I think you have a great approach that works best for you. Sometimes I close my Bible and just listen as the Bible is read. About 12 years ago we started listening to the NIV on CD when going to bed. We kept hearing things that we never heard in fundyland or even when reading it. What we heard from the Bible eventually caused us to leave the IFB fold.

    1. Stuff Fundies Also Like: Bibles with worn pages from being in a backpack 8 hours a day. πŸ˜€ Yeah, I’m an electronic kind of guy myself. For five years it kept nosy pastors from snatching my Bible and inspecting the binding to see what version I was reading. 😑

    2. I had a Franklin electronic Bible into which I loaded a “Great Documents Of American History” add-on.

      So I sat in chapel many days ignoring the speaker and reading Thomas Paine.

    3. i got a preused nasb once…the cover was shedding little bits of black imitation leather throughout the building…the janitors were happy when i went electronic…

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