Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tackling Bible Illiteracy – Part 1

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”

Starting in February, we shall be beginning an “all-church” study, which includes every small and medium-sized group within the congregation, to address the issue of Bible illiteracy. At a special Leader training session this last week, we were presented some startling statistics from a survey taken by the Barna Group. Slightly less than half of the “born-again” adults (46%) believe that moral truth is absolute and unaffected by the circumstances. 81% of professing Christians claim to highly-moderately know the Bible, yet only 19% claimed to read the Bible daily, 26% state that they read the Bible a few times a week, 14% declare that they only read the Bible once-and-a-while, and 25% admitted that they never read the Bible. 59% of the Christian polled say that they think about or meditate on the Bible. Seven out of ten of all adults surveyed say that God is the all-powerful Creator of the universe, who still rules it today; that includes the 93% of “born again” adults who hold that conviction.
Their website states that ongoing research by the Barna Group on these maters consistently demonstrates the powerful impact a person’s worldview has on their life. A Christian worldview serves as a person’s decision-making filter, enabling then to make sense of the complex and huge amount of information, experiences, relationships and opportunities they face in life. By helping to clarify what a person believes to be important, true and desirable, a Biblical worldview has a dramatic influence on a person’s choices in any given situation. Such studies underscore the necessity of Christian parents and other influencers being intentional in how they help develop the worldview of their children.  George Barna points out, “There are several troubling patterns to take notice. First, although most Americans consider themselves to be Christian and say they know the content of the Bible, less than one out of ten Americans demonstrate such knowledge through their actions. Second, the generational pattern suggests that parents are not focused on guiding their children to have a biblical worldview. One of the challenges for parents, though, is that you cannot give what you do not have, and most parents do not possess such a perspective on life.

Matthew 15:8 “These people honor me with their lips,     but their hearts are far from me.
Without reading the Bible and knowing the Lord, our concepts of God are often way too limited. Here are some of our wrong conceptions of God. (1) The God of my problems – where we only go to God when we are in trouble or have problems. (2) The Policeman coming after us, to get us and straighten us out. (3) The God who is in control of the whole universe but is limited in His personal interest in me – like He created and spun the earth, then left. (4) The Santa Claus God, who listens to our wish list. (5) The God of the feel-good worship – there to emotionally pump you up – worshiping worship. (6) The Theological God – described, but not known. (7) The perfectionist God that we try to live up to, but knit-picks everything that we do. And (8) The “sweet” God – like an old grandfather who gives us candy. We learn in the Bible that God is the All-powerful Creator of everything. God is holy, just and sovereign. God is All-seeing, All-knowing and Ever-present. God is love and full of mercy and grace, and has a plan of redemption for the world in Jesus Christ.

Let’s continue this important discussion on Bible Literacy tomorrow.
Have a blessed Sunday.
In Christ, Brian 

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