Every year, in Navarra, Spain, I see people going on pilgrimages to the birth place of Saint Francisco Javier to pray to this dead saint and to visit his gift shop. Thousands show up to remember his birthday. They also wear KKK masks and march up the steep streets of the mountain town Ujue, Navarra to pay homage to a little graven image of Mary called the Virgin of Ujue. It is a popular local tradition. Then of course there is San Fermines, the great party in honor of Saint Fermin who brought Catholism to Pamplona. These same people who are going out of their way to pay homage to saints and statues also get drunk and miss the point that “God is looking for obedience, not sacrifice”.
I ask the same Basques getting drunk at San Fermines if they love God, and they laugh, “what does God have to do with it?” They are partaking in Catholic “Christian” festivities, but have no concern about having a heart that cares about God.
About 2,600 years ago God spoke to the Prophet Isaiah, recorded in chapter 29 verse 13:
“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of traditions taught by men.”
I think in this century, more than ever before, people need discipline to sit down and read or listen to the Bible. The prophet Hosea received this message from God “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6
Today, more than ever, people need to pick up the Bible and put down their video games, their car keys, and their laptops (including me) and start studying God’s word. I believe it is the Bible that is the only thing that really matters.