One fireman gradually becomes disenchanted with his job. He begins to see that his society is obsessed with frantic consumption and shallow entertainment. If all books are subversive, why is it that the secret book readers he comes across are the only people who can carry on intelligent and profound conversations? Eventually he flees his life and becomes part of a group that preserves books by memorizing them.
How many ways can we go with this? Far too many for one short post, so let's just keep it to a couple of obvious ones.
First, I checked to see how many places ban the Bible. The answer is complex because there are exceptions to the laws, but the Gideons, the group known for handing out free Bibles, says they are not allowed to operate in Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Comoros, Djibouti, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. In some of those places churches can order Bibles but not individuals. In some they can be printed but only in certain languages. In some places you can import but not publish. So the answer is not short and easy. Still, it proves that ready access to the Word of God should not be taken for granted.
Let's take a moment to caution everyone about articles on Facebook. Many people jump the gun before they read the fine print and assume things that are false. Evidently that happened with a proposed bill in California. Someone posted that the bill would ban the Bible. From my research, that does not seem to be the case. However, there have been instances where students in various parts of the country were told they could not read their Bibles at school. In some cases, the outrage brought an apology, but the Devil starts small until he weasels his way into our culture. Look at the things that are now accepted that at one time everyone disapproved of. When I was a child, I heard someone on television say that one day it would be a crime in this country to read your Bibles, but it would be legal in Russia. At the height of the Cold War that seemed preposterous. Now I am not so sure.
Let's also consider this: if it were to suddenly become illegal to own and read a Bible, if "firemen" did make their living burning the Word of God, how much difference would it make in your life? If you don't read it now, why should you even be upset about it? Seems a little hypocritical to me.
And if you were to run away to find a group of Bible readers who had memorized the Scriptures so they would not be lost forever, how much could you offer them? Yes, I know memorization is more difficult as you grow older—I forget words I have known for decades. But I know my address, my phone number, my passwords, my social security number, and the last four digits of three or four credit cards. Don't you? It all boils down to what is important to us, doesn't it? I have no right to become outraged with the premise of Bradbury's novel as it relates to the Bible, when the Bible doesn't mean enough to me to read it, to know it, or to live it.
One of these days, Fahrenheit 451 may indeed come to pass for Christians. Let's make sure there are enough people around who still care.
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts ,knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2Pet 1:19-21