September 8, 2013
Obesity is at an epidemic level in America. According to various reliable sources there is also another epidemic in America … spiritual starvation via Bible illiteracy.
While news of Bible illiteracy may surprise some, (especially those Christians who actually read their Bible), news of an epidemic level of obesity in America really shouldn’t surprise any of us. After all, the proof is in the pudding. Meaning that for many of us all we have to do is to step on our bathroom scale, or to take a good look at the patrons in our local mall, restaurants, or the congregation in our home church — and we’ll have proof enough that obesity is widespread in our nation.
When it comes to Bible illiteracy and spiritual starvation … the proof is just as obvious. For instance, consider the moral decay of our nation. Truly we are living in the day when evil is being called good and good evil. (Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! —Isaiah 5:20 [NASB])
According to a new poll Americans love the Bible but don’t read it much. That’s disturbing enough, but for me personally, what’s more alarming is that the majority of today’s Christians also neglect to read their Bible. Following is an interesting article I read on-line at www.askville.amazon.com. “Biblical Engagement” is a reply that was posted in 2009, in response to the question, “What percentage of Christians read the Bible on a daily basis?”
“The lack of biblical literacy in America is at epidemic levels,” says Ron Rhodes, president of reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. And when he talks about the lack of Bible reading among Americans, he is not talking about the population in general – he is talking about people who call themselves born-again Christians.
In an interview with Assist News Service, Rhodes quotes a recent poll, which indicates that 35 percent of born-again Christians do not read the Bible at all. In addition, Rhodes indicates that among those who say they read the Bible, the vast majority only read it during the one hour they attend church each Sunday morning. Rhodes says such statistics make it more than obvious why many Christians are easy prey for spiritual deception. The level of biblical illiteracy among Christians may be one reason why many believers hesitate to stand for Godly values on the public scene. (Assist News Service / Agape Press, 25/26 December)
“Recent studies by The Barna Group and the Gallup Organization conclude that any reasonable understanding of biblical facts and truths is seriously lacking among Americans. Today, basic Christian truths are virtually unknown to a majority in this nation.
“American Christians are biblically illiterate. Although most of them contend that the Bible contains truth and is worth knowing, and most of them argue that they know all of the relevant truths and principles, our research shows otherwise. And the trend line is frightening: the younger a person is, the less they understand about the Christian faith.” —Barna
“Bibles everywhere don’t seem to be making much of a difference. About the same number of people who attend church weekly read the Bible during the week (45 percent).” —Barna
“Women’s Bibles, men’s Bibles, student Bibles, even software Bibles or the Bible on-line have not increased the numbers of people reading what remains as the bestselling book of all time.” —Barna
“According to a recent Gallup poll, about six in ten Americans (59 percent) say they read the Bible at least on occasion, with the most likely readers being women, non-whites, older people, Republicans, and political conservatives. Readership of the Bible has declined from the 1980s overall, from 73 percent to 59 percent today. The percentage of frequent readers, that is, those who read the Bible at least once a week, has decreased slightly over the last decade, from 40 percent in 1990 to 37 percent today. About one American in seven reports an involvement that goes beyond reading the Bible. Fourteen percent currently belong to a Bible study group. In terms of frequency of readership, 16 percent of Americans say that they read the Bible every day, 21 percent say they read it weekly, 12 percent say they read the Bible monthly, 10 percent say less than monthly and 41 percent say that they rarely or never read the Bible.” Sources: http://www.centerforbibleengagement.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23<emid=7
Before ending this story I have one more thing to say to those who are suffering from spiritual starvation. You don’t have to starve. The Bible, God’s living Word, offers you an all-you-can-eat buffet of spiritual, life-saving nourishment. So stop starving. Start feeding your spirit.
Jesus Christ said, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”—Matthew 4:4