‘Are Americans Ignorant of the Bible?’ (2015)

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One of many vain substitutes

(Hint: Yes.)

When I was a little boy, there were at least three Bibles in the house–not counting my own, given to me in 1958 at Sunday school–and I don’t know how many books of Bible stories. My Uncle Bernie was a Methodist Sunday school teacher, and my Aunt Betty was a teaching nun. Yes, the kids in our family knew who their Savior was. The family saw to that.

Now look at us.

Are Americans Ignorant of the Bible?

Throughout the Bible we are exhorted to teach our children God’s word, God’s ways. Today we send them off to public schools to learn about 40 different “genders” and being guilty ’cause you’re white.

Bible illiteracy has consequences.

Just look at our culture.

Are Americans Ignorant of the Bible?

One of the more popular substitutes for an understanding of the Bible–a ouija board.

Consider this statement:

“Shockingly, just 4 percent of children surveyed in 2001 were considered familiar with the Bible, compared to 70 percent in 1950.”

It comes from How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul), a 2011 book by Ted Baehr, the founder and publisher of movieguide.org and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, on page xxviii of the Introduction. Unfortunately, there’s so footnote, so I don’t know who did the survey or how they did it.

Near-total ignorance of the Bible would certainly explain most of the cultural trends afflicting us today, though.

This is what comes of farming out your children to strangers to be “educated.” And thinking you’ve seen to their religious education just by shipping them off to Sunday school for an hour a week–well, that doesn’t walk the dog, either.

I consider Ted Baehr a reliable source. And without a huge dose of Biblical illiteracy, I can’t even begin to explain our present cultural mish-mosh of sodomy and transgender-worship, Obamaism, the idolatry of Global Warming, Political Correctness, animal spirit guides, and all the rest.

It takes a family, not a village, to raise a child. It is up to the family–not only parents, but aunts and uncles and grandparents, too–to make a child familiar with the Bible, and to teach the child to resort to God’s Word as the ultimate authority. God is not a man, that He should lie. Without the family, there is no meaningful religious education.

Hey, our Western civilization is currently going round and round and round on its way down the drain. The Gospel can save it. Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, can save it.

But the catch is this: our civilization needs God, but God doesn’t need our civilization. He has seen them all come and go. Ours has no special dispensation. If we humble ourselves before Him, and hear Him, He will heal our land. If not…

Well, then we’ll wind up living in some other kind of civilization that maybe we won’t like so much.

Bible Study Without the Bible

If you’re going to do Bible study without a Bible, you might as well throw in a seance. You’ll have more fun.

I’m beginning to think pseudo-Christianity is a bigger problem in our world than atheism.

Yesterday someone told me about her adult son’s Bible study group. She attended it recently, and was rather put off to see that no one in the group had a Bible. When they wanted to cite or consult a verse of Scripture, they looked it up on their smart phones. That way you can get the verse you want in total isolation from the rest of the Bible, and you can get it to mean what you want it to mean.

They didn’t bring a Bible, but they are currently studying another book in lieu of the Bible–something called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I haven’t read it, never heard of it, so I looked it up on Barnes & Noble and read some of the Customer Reviews. My friend described this book as “no substance, no current issues, no reality–just soft Jesus-loves-me stuff.” Some of the B&N reviewers were not so kind.

She added, “This week’s chapter is about giving away all your money, living below poverty level, and helping others.” She asked, “If everyone is poor, who will help the poor?”

We’ve been here before. In fact, we were just here a couple of days ago with GOP Presidential hopeful John Kasich saying that if you don’t support Obamacare, you’re probably gonna go to Hell ( http://leeduigon.com/2015/10/07/john-kasich-theology-superstar/ ). He backs this up by taking Matthew Chapter 25 in isolation from the rest of the Bible, to come up with a theology of salvation through good works that the government forces you to do whether you like it or not.

But pseudo-Christianities abound. You’ve got Planned Parenthood’s “Clergy for Choice” groupies, who think Jesus wants you to cut up unborn babies while they’re still alive, and sell the parts. There’s President *Batteries Not Included, whose bizarre version of Christianity moves him to empower sodomites to go on anti-Christian witch hunts, to break the laws he took an oath to enforce, and to urge others to do the same. And you’ve got that whole Romans 13 crowd, who isolate that single chapter of the Bible to justify doing anything “the powers that be” tell you to do, no matter how abominable. They’d make good guards at a concentration camp.

All of this comes from ignoring the Bible and substituting for it the opinions of fallible, sinful men and women. Cherry-picking the Bible is as bad–maybe even worse–than ignoring it altogether.

Ignorance can be fixed a lot more easily than willful blindness.

Do you sometimes get the impression that the Church in America hasn’t quite done its job?

I’ll return to this topic another day.

Can Satan Be Tempted to Do Good?

Can the Devil be tempted to do good, instead of evil?

That’s a question, so I hear, which may be addressed by the new devil-friendly TV series, Lucifer Morningstar. I’m not looking to give them free publicity, so after these remarks I’ll shut up about it.

Before Hollywood screenwriters can grapple with this question, they ought to demonstrate that they know the difference between good and evil–something which is very much in doubt. Most of their output indicates that they have mistaken one for the other.

In an age of rampant Biblical illiteracy, Hollywood is more illiterate than most. Just look at their product. Not that everything they produce is pure toxic slime: but an awful lot of it is nothing else.

In his classic, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis wrote a whole book from the viewpoint of a devil. What do you want to bet none of the Lucifer Morningstar crowd ever read it?

There’s nothing a TV series will be able to do better than C.S. Lewis has already done it.