To those who've deconverted from Christianity: when I'm riding to work on the subway, I invariably will see 2-3 people reading what is clearly a long-owned, dog-eared copyof the Bible and/or a weekly devotional guide of some sort. As someone who's never made it through the book (I've tried, but getting through even Genesis is a really hard slog) I've always wondered what they're doing and why. Are they looking for passages that will address a specific concern they have at that point? Or continually re-reading the same sections to reinforce some broad set of guidelines (the Bibles I see frequently are highlighted or have notes in the margins). From what I've read so far, the "rules for living" seem really obtuse, so it's not clear why I'd be reviewing the material at a time I could be reading the newspaper. Any insight?
Because they can (rightly) be fired for reading it AT work.
Naaaah. ...if they're on the clock, sure, but not on break.
I have a young man on my Saturday morning bus who is always reading very attentively. I honestly believe he is gay and trying to resolve his sexuality with scripture. I don't like to be accused of stereotyping, because I know stereotypes do not reflect reality, but some people have very obvious traits of sexuality and gender that clearly indicate they are not typically 'straight' or 'gender-conformed'.
I had a gay man working for me once who reverted to his Catholic faith because of immense family pressure. He was instructed to just read scripture when he had 'impure thoughts'; if you are taught that your sexuality is 'impure' and you live a sexually repressed life, then that means reading a LOT of scripture. It serves as nothing more than a distraction for them, but I assume many of them hope to receive some revelation that will make them 'normal'. It's sad, really.
Is that really how they tell you to cope with it? Benedict's Balls, I'm glad I left The Church! I can't read more than a few pages of that rot before I go cross-eyed. I would have covered hundreds of two page passages by now though.
Many Christians believe that God speaks to them through the Holy Spirit using the Bible as a vehicle. They will read, expecting that the Spirit will "quicken" a passage to them. That is, they'll experience some sort of epiphany while reading the Bible and they'll take a personal meaning from it that may or may not have something to do with what the text was actually about.
People read the bible for different reasons. Guilt, to make themselves feel better, & forgetfulness over the wide variety of confusing texts. The bible isn't linear, it's all over the place with rules, texts that go on forever describing sons and fathers, and quite a lot of talk about penis.
But another reason why I think it's read is out of fear. They don't want to go to hell. It's a great motivator.
I think people read the Bible on the way to work because they have too. Face it, if anyone in MY line of work read the Bible during working hours, there would be Hell to pay!