The Barna Research group listed “six” megathemes in 2010. The first one is that of an ever ”increasing biblical illiteracy.”
Important you ask? You bet your sweet bippy it is! Not only in the US, but around the world. In fact, I think it’s been exported. What we’re seeing here in Brazil, like in the US, is that when a person doesn’t know what they believe, they are apt to believe anything!
When the majority of adults do not associate Easter with the resurrection of Christ, something is wrong. When many look at the Holy Spirit as a mere symbol of God’s power, something is wrong.
Just how bad is it?
Consider these results from various surveys…
- Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels
- Many professing Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples
- 60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments
- 82 percent of Americans believe “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse
- 12 percent of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife
- A survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife
- A considerable number of respondents to one poll indicated that the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham (This old saint has been around a while, but not that long!)
As George Barna himself says, “Increasingly, America is biblically illiterate.” I would add to this, the world has become increasingly biblically illiterate.
The devastating effects are seen in the lives of individuals, families, churches, communities, and by extension… to the entire world.
What’s the problem?
While the Bible is still highly revered, it is no longer being read. We know that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:14, NKJV). I can attest to this. My greatest moments of stepping out in faith are those when I am most in the Bible. Unfortunately, I can also attest to the opposite. Moments of fear and doubt occur when I neglect the Word.
Discernment of what is evil comes from knowing the truth. The condition of our country, and the world, can be traced back to biblical illiteracy. Isaiah 5:20 (NKJV) tells us, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Our discernment has become so emaciated and wimpy from lack of studying the Word that we can no longer tell the difference between what is right or wrong?
What can we do?
Simple! Get into the Word! Take it seriously. We must study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15, NKJV). Granted… this might require a little discipline, but both the short, and long-term effects will be well worth the effort.
The blessed effects will be seen in the lives of individuals, families, churches, communities, and by extension… to the entire world.
I would love to start a discussion on this theme over the course of the next few days. What do you think? Do you have a Bible reading program that you would recommend? My desire is to get people off of “dead-center.” So please, chime in. Add to our discussion and let us hear your concerns about this issue of biblical illiteracy as it relates to where you live. This is not a competition! We are in this together!!!
Discussion Question: Do you think the issue of biblical illiteracy is a problem where you live? If so, what do you think can be done about it?
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Reprint: From and article previously posted on www.hopeforbrazil.com.