Biblical Illiteracy

21 Jan

What is the biggest problem facing America today?

I honestly believe it’s not gay marriage, partisan politics, abortion, global warming, or the like.

Those things are symptoms.  They are not the root of the problem.

Why is it that Christian values have slipped? Why is it that there are so many trying to silence the Word of God from being preached or trying to discredit it at every turn?

I believe it is biblical illiteracy.

Somewhere along the line, we quit preaching the Bible.  We started wanting to entertain. We started wanting to sacrifice encouraging people to cling to the Word in order to just make sure we had people in the seats. We started compromising.  Teaching people about Jesus became less important than boasting the bigger numbers.

Oh, we tried to spiritually justify it. We said that we were just trying to reach people “where they live.” And don’t misunderstand. That’s an honorable thing.  We must  make the Bible relevant. We must let them know what Rob Bell infamously (and wrongly) called a “2000 year old book of letters” has to do with their everyday struggle.

And I believe that was the original intent in becoming “user friendly”.

But then we lost sight of what really mattered. Our responsibility is to “rightly divide the word of truth” and to go and  be witnesses to how Jesus can change a life.  This does not just apply to preachers but to everyone.

But therein lies the problem.

Because of our desire to be “user friendly”, we took things too far and now we barely preach the Word. We have raised up a generation who doesn’t know how to find things in scripture, doubts its validity or worse, attributes attitudes to scripture that are actually not there at all.

BuzzFeed put out a video recently entitled “I’m A Christian but..”  Some of the things they said blew my mind and brought me to grief.

“I’m a Christian but I have no problem with homosexuality.”

“I’m a Christian but I do not have an issue with abortion.”

Now, once again, please do not misunderstand.  Being supportive of a gay lifestyle or being pro choice does not negate salvation.  A person can be saved and still actively support these things.

But that doesn’t make it right. These things are clearly against scripture.

Am I judging?  That’s usually the question I get. And no, not really.  I have no right to judge an individuals salvation but if they claim to be saved, then I have every right to hold them accountable using scripture as my guideline. To say that calling sin out is being judgmental is once again a gross misinterpretation of scripture.

Once again… biblical illiteracy.

And we can take it too far the other direction.  Those who bomb abortion clinics or stage hateful protests or worse against the homosexual community in the name of Jesus and the Bible clearly don’t understand either. For the record, I have friends who are homosexual and I have friends who have had abortions. In both cases, I have tried to love as Jesus loves, to show grace and mercy and to make sure they know that I care about them personally.  And as a human, I always try to remember that I am a sinner as well.

To have deeper Christians, to change the landscape of the church, to change the political climate of our country, we must turn to the Word. We must interpret it correctly. We must stand uncompromising. We must do so with compassion and love but never in a way that perverts the Word of God for the sake of Sunday morning numbers.

And more specifically, it starts with each Christian. It starts with them getting deeper in the Word on their own. Seeking out times to study. Involving themselves in a  small group. Buying a devotional book.

By the way, when was the last time you opened your Bible? Why not start now?

Our country needs it!

 

biblical illiteracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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