Overhead scripture projection is dangerous to spiritual health!


I was just born again and hungry for the word of God. One day I heard a sermon, and it aroused my interest. I went to the preacher and asked him if he could give me some scripture references to a portion of his subject matter. He said to me, “Go into my library and on the second shelf to the right of my desk you will find a Bible concordance and in it you will find all the information you need.” In other words, “Study to show yourself approved!” Though I was shocked by his response, I understood his intent, and today I am grateful for his forthrightness. It forced me to read and study the word of God, rather than rely upon him and his knowledge.

Recently, I have noticed in most congregations in the countries I am fortunate to preach in, that when I refer to a particular Bible passage to be studied or read, folks either look to the right or the left of the pulpit. At first I was somewhat bewildered by it, but then I caught on – they were reading the Bible passages from the overhead screens behind me. Few opened their Bibles to read along with me as I preached verse-by-verse.

I will be as blunt as I have ever been in any article I have written; this is downright lazy and extremely detrimental to a believer’s spiritual health!

Recently, at the Bible College where I teach, I asked the 20 or so students in my class if any of them had read the entire Bible. One student raised her hand. I then asked if anyone had read the entire New Testament. Three students raised their hands. This class was composed of young adults, middle-aged adults and elderly adults. Shameful stuff!

Today, I find few people bring a Bible to assemblies and fewer open them during the message. How can a believer grow in faith if they are not familiar with the word of God? How can believers disciple others into God’s kingdom if they cannot refer to passages in God’s word? How can believers find solace during personal troubles if their faith is not in their knowledge of and familiarity with the word of God? How can disciples preach or teach the word of God publicly if they don’t know how to find passages, either by memory of the chapter and verse or its location on a page in their Bible? Thirty minutes of overhead projection of scripture on Sunday robs disciples of the most essential daily ingredient they need – spiritual development based on the use of the living, active word of God on the printed page.

Let’s remove scripture from overhead screens and force disciples back to bringing their swords (in case you have forgotten, the word of God is the Sword of Spirit, Eph 6:17) so they can once again learn how to swing them in the spiritual battles, which confront Christ’s disciples every day. Reading God’s promises on a screen doesn’t help hardly anyone remember where it is in the Bible when it is needed; and boy is familiarity with the written word of God needed today!


Bob Chapman


4 Responses to “Overhead scripture projection is dangerous to spiritual health!”

  1. Jeseca Sohan-Robert Says:

    Dear Pastor,
    You are so absolutely correct! I have listened to sermons being preached from the Bible tailored to please men because only half the verse is used, and many times, one or two verses that suit the tickling of the ears, ignoring the strong rebuke and admonishment that comes before or after. And yet they speak of relating all scripture to context! I’ve been going to a church that seems so “right” and everyone acts so humble, but the people do not seem to know even basic scripture (sometimes even the pastor). God help us all come to the knowledge of the full truth of the gospel and may it be preached with integrity throughout the world.

  2. ezra ong Says:

    You are in the 20th century not back in the 60s.. You are surrounded with computers … Gone with the paper stuff…. Everything is computerized .. If U are against computer and technology so much you should not even have a wed site ……

  3. Guy Cobham Says:

    Please young genius, we are not in the 20th century, but the 21st century. Also we have web sites not “wed” sites.

    • extremelives Says:

      Hi Guy,
      I hope one day when you are serving the Lord in some place where overheads etc are not available, that you may well have finally memorized a few passages or found the location of those passages in your Bible in order to be able to share the good news and convert a few souls outside of your dependence on the “doing church” environment you maybe too familar with right now.

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