Biblical Illiteracy: What Is It And How Bad Is It
The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem
The Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy in Our Churches
Lifeway Research: Americans Are Fond Of The Bible But Don’t Read It
Biblical Illiteracy Isn’t Funny, It’s Scary
Excerpt from Biblical Illiteracy Isn’t Funny, It’s Scary:
Last week biblical illiteracy in the news media was put on display like never before. First, the Wall Street Journal misquoted Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that “Moses brought water from Iraq.” What the prime minister actually said was that Moses “brought water from a rock,” a reference to either Exodus 17 or Numbers 20. This mistake was frankly hilarious, especially if you were raised (as I was) in a part of the country where the standard pronunciation for Iraq (“Iye-RAK”) would leave little room for such confusion. The next goof—this time from NPR—was less entertaining than dumbfounding. A piece on Pope Francis at NPR’s “Two Way” blog described Easter as “the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or anywhere at all, but rather arose into heaven…” It takes effort to get the central fact of the New Testament this bizarrely wrong. “Purgatory”? What are they even talking about? If you don’t know that Easter “is the day Christians celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection,” as NPR’s corrected text reads—if you can’t get this most basic belief of the world’s largest religion right—then readers and listeners could justly ask what business you have reporting on religion, at all.
Excerpt from Lifeway Research: Americans Are Fond Of The Bible But Don’t Read It
Small wonder many church leaders worry about biblical illiteracy, said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “Most Americans don’t know first-hand the overall story of the Bible—because they rarely pick it up,” McConnell said. “Even among worship attendees less than half read the Bible daily. The only time most Americans hear from the Bible is when someone else is reading it.”
Excerpt from The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem
While America’s evangelical Christians are rightly concerned about the secular worldview’s rejection of biblical Christianity, we ought to give some urgent attention to a problem much closer to home–biblical illiteracy in the church. This scandalous problem is our own, and it’s up to us to fix it.
Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli put the problem squarely: “Americans revere the Bible–but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” How bad is it? Researchers tell us that it’s worse than most could imagine.
Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels. Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples. According to data from the Barna Research Group, 60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments. “No wonder people break the Ten Commandments all the time. They don’t know what they are,” said George Barna, president of the firm. The bottom line? “Increasingly, America is biblically illiterate.”
I think it was in the 70’s or 80’s George Barna did one of his polls and ask the question, What is your favorite verse from the Bible? The answer was John 3:16- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Then a decade or so went by and he did the same poll with the same question. The answer he got was, “I don’t know chapter and verse but ‘God helps those who help themselves’.” WOW!!! How times change.
We do have a huge problem today with Biblical Illiteracy and especially among those who call themselves Christian. They just don’t know what the Word of God says. They have become lazy and depend on the pastor or someone else to tell them what the Bible says and thus what God says. My question then is how can you have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, when you don’t spend time with Him every day and in His Word?
I have been a Christian, that is, I met Jesus personally, 50 years ago. I have a personal relationship with my Father God in and through Him. I spend time every day in His Word asking Sir Holy Spirit to guide me into all truth. Now even though I have been a child of God for 50 years, have read and studied the Bible ever since that doesn’t make me an expert but I strive for and think I know what Father has said in His Word. I have been a Sunday School and Bible teacher for years and even studied some in the original languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
When I taught the Word, I told the students that we all have doctrine. And that doctrine is what you believe and why you believe it. So as Christians, we have to KNOW what the Bible says and then explain why we believe it based on what it says. I tried very hard to emphasize when I taught for the students to NOT just believe me but to study the Word for themselves.
Today I hear people say something that sounds ‘good’ but it is NOT Biblical and this may come from many who say they are Christian. For example, I hear people say that grandma is now in heaven after someone passes. Well, do you know for sure that they went to heaven? Did you personally ever ask them or tell them what the Bible says about it? Did you know that they knew Jesus personally Who is the ONLY Way to heaven and to Father God? Some today without knowing it believes in the ‘doctrine’ of inclusivity that is that everyone goes to heaven when they die. They don’t want to think about the possibility that they may be in Hell. Another example I recently heard was that someone passed away and yes they were a Christian and went to heaven but a family member said they ‘had finally gotten their wings and were flying high now’. Or, that they were now an angel in heaven. Both are Biblically incorrect and misguided. When a person dies in Christ, we DON’T gain our wings. We won’t need wings to fly. We don’t become an angel and get a halo. If we did become an angel, then we would be subject to chose to sin and if we did then there is NO sacrifice for angels who sin. They choose to go to hell on the judgment day. I read this in a book I am reading now and this principle jumped out at me- “Because humans must rely on faith alone, the penitent can be absolved of their transgressions. But angels have knowledge of the divine, so forgiveness is not possible for us. Our sins are irreversible.” Nevins, D.H… Wormwood (p. 146). Black Wraith Books. Kindle Edition. This was an angel or actually a Nephilim, half angel and half human, and is in a book of fiction but I can see that the author has read and studied and knows what the Bible says.
I felt compelled to share these words with you and ask you the question- Do you KNOW what God says? Do you know what the Bible, God’s Word, says? Open it up and join me on this amazing journey of KNOWING Him in His Word. If you don’t KNOW Him as your personal Savior and Lord, then let’s talk. Let’s have a discussion. Questions and comments welcomed.