An Open Letter from an Abused Member

Hello! Greetings and salutations. It’s good to finally be able to speak to you one on one. I have been speaking to many of you up to three times a week by the words that are found within my pages. Oh! Where are my manners? My name is, or at least I am commonly called this, Pew Bible. You know me from Sunday morning Bible Class and usually you see me during each of the sermons. Some of you see me again on Wednesday night Bible study.

I was purchased by the elders of the local congregation of which you are a member. They felt that it would be good to have a few copies of my Pew Bible brethren on hand in case someone needed a Bible. Mostly cases where the members happened to come straight to worship after work and forgot their own, or maybe for a newcomer to the services of the church of Christ that may not own their own Bible. However, it has happened to be the case in far too many places that some of you have decided, for various reasons, to use me instead of your own Bible. The reasons (?) will vary. One may say “It is just too much hassle to carry my big study Bible from home.” Or, “Why do I need to carry a Bible when the Pew Bibles say the same thing mine does.” These are often the things I hear once I am flung into the back of the pew, on the pew itself, and, to my horrors, flung onto the floor and sometimes used as a footrest!

Since my pages contain the oracles of God, would it not make sense that each of you would use your own Bible to study and bring with you to Bible Class and Worship services? After all, how do you expect to wield the Sword of the Spirit without knowing where to find it? What soldier would enter a battle with a weapon that was unfamiliar to him?

Sometimes I am the only Bible some people ever see. Oh sure, they may come to every service of the church and follow along with the Bible class teacher and the preacher; but I am all they ever see of the Word of God. How truly sad.

Far too many of my Pew Bible brethren are scattered to the four winds in classrooms all over the land. I can be found lying around in most any classroom in any church building wherever you go. What happened to the “Bible toting, Bible quoting” folks I have heard some of the old Bibles tell me about. Have they become so antiquated that they scarcely exist? Are Christians so advanced that we no longer need to carry our own Bibles? After all, these are people who did so much to make the church of Christ grow over the past 100 years or so in America, long before I became a staple.

Sadly, many who fill the classrooms all over this great land never carry their own Bibles to church anymore. They have relegated the well-worn Bibles of old to the coffee table and book shelf. (I sometimes wonder if some can even find their Bibles.) Sometimes even the teachers don’t even carry their own Bible to teach a class! The first time I saw this I was amazed. He is lucky I couldn’t speak to him then, I tell you! This is an epidemic that should be addressed. Oh, I guess that’s what I’m doing.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that some mean elders or preacher were to take all the pew Bibles out of the classrooms and the backs of pews, where would you be then? What would we do? Cancel church? Cancel Bible Class? Search for the culprit? Send out an A.P.B? What if the teacher did not have a Bible? Oh the horrors! Maybe you would just get mad at the ones who took your (?) Bible. Better yet, please bring your own Bibles to Bible class and worship and give us a break.

I hear tell of some Bibles that have full time owners that they are so well loved by their owners that they even travel with them on vacations and weekend trips. They are eventually so worn out from extensive use that they have to be recovered. Utterly amazing! I would have never believed this but I have a first cousin who has experienced this very thing himself. Now that’s some abuse I am willing to take!

What will you do now? Please let me be used for the intended purpose I was created. My existence would be greatly enhanced if you allow this. Did you know that many of my brethren are sent overseas every year, and sometimes even within your own country, to those who have never owned a Bible of any kind and they wear us out by use. Now, wouldn’t this be a better use than saving you “all the trouble” of having to carry your own Bible. You may look for me one day and discover I am gone. What will you do then? Please don’t abuse me anymore. You have a Bible at home that would love for you to carry him with you every time you go to study about God. Have a good Lord’s Day!

Your over used Pew Bible


Hardy Building Ward Street Church of Christ
3832 Hwy 62/412 (Mailing address: P.O. Box 224)
Hardy, AR 72542