Read the Bible and keep God alive

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2012

God is dead and we have killed him.

Most people are familiar with the first part of this statement but not so much the latter. When this was first written and uttered by Friedrich Nietzsche he had a different meaning than I am using it now. He meant it technology and reason have killed off the belief in God (a quick laymans’ here).

When I say this I mean that we have removed God from our daily routine except on Sunday and Wednesday. We no longer discuss the Bible regularly or read it regularly as Christians in general. Take a look at some of these statistics, as cited by Christianity Today on its website:

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“We are not surprised by a 2004 Gallup finding that a mere 37 percent of teenagers can find the quotation from the Sermon on the Mount when given four choices. And we are not surprised that only 44 percent of born-again teenagers could do the same.

“A 2005 study by the Barna Group asked American Christians to rate their spiritual maturity based on activities such as worship, service, and evangelism. Christians offered the harshest evaluation of their Bible knowledge, with 25 percent calling themselves not too mature or not at all mature.”

“Time magazine observed in a 2007 cover story that only half of U.S. adults could name one of the four Gospels. Fewer than half could identify Genesis as the Bible’s first book. Jay Leno and Stephen Colbert have made sport of Americans’ inability to name the Ten Commandments—even among members of Congress who have pushed to have them posted publicly.”

As a Christian people we have failed to pass on basic knowledge of the Bible to our children. We have advocated reading and teaching the Bible to them and hope that an hour a week will do. This is a recipe for a decline in the number of Christians in the US and the vibrancy of that Christianity. Lack of knowledge in the Bible will lead is to follow false and misleading doctrines and not the truth of the Bible.

As C.S. Lewis wrote, you cannot pass on knowledge that you yourself do not possess. We can’t pass on the redemptive message of the Bible if we ourselves do not know it. If we are doubters and uneducated we will by and large pass this on to the next generation. With current trends holding Christianity will continue to fade as a part of our country and culture, not because of any fault of its own, but because of our laziness, lack of devotion, and our distractions.

If this disease is not stopped this is a mortal blow to Christianity in this country. I have challenged myself to read a chapter a day in the Bible. I would like to challenge others to at least read four chapters a week in the Bible. I also challenge people to then find a place to discuss the Bible, be it online or in person it does not matter.

Bart Wallace