MNSAM Director's Devotion  

AMERICANS LOVE THEIR BIBLES….BUT they don’t read them much! According to a new study conducted by the American Bible Society, almost 9 of 10 U.S. households (87%) own a bible. In fact, the average household owns three Bibles. Yet with all these Bibles, more than half of all Americans (53%) have read little to none of the sacred Scriptures.

Another study by Life Way Research says that biblical illiteracy appears to be on the rise. This study concludes; “Most Americans don’t know first-hand the overall story of the Bible – because they rarely pick it up. Even among worship attendees, less than half read the bible daily.” The report breaks down how Americans read their bibles:

   9% - Have read all of it more than once

11% - Have read all of it

12% - Have read almost all of it

13% - Have read only a few sentences

15% - Have read at least half of it

30% - Have read several passages or stories

A recent Barna Report reveals 17% of Christian adults in the U.S. who attend church regularly and consider their faith important, are embracing belief systems that contradict the teachings of Scripture. Among the significant findings, Barna reports that self-identifying Christians are gravitating toward the following worldviews:             

                                                             

·      New spirituality - 28% of Christians polled say people of all faiths pray to the same god or spirit, regardless of the name they use to identify the spiritual being.   (Not what my Bible says!)

·      Secularism - 13% of Christians believe a person’s life is valuable only if society regards it as valuable. (Luke 12:6,7 refutes this thinking)

·      Postmodernism - Nearly a quarter of Christians contend that what is right and wrong depends on an individual’s beliefs.

·      Marxism - 14% say the government, not individuals, should control resources as needed to be sure everyone gets a share.   

                       

This research confirms what Barna has been tracking for years; showing an ongoing shift away from Christianity. Brooke Hempell, senior vice president of research for Barna, says in the report. “We have observed and reported on increasing pluralism, relativism and moral decline among Americans and even in the Church. It is striking how pervasive some of these beliefs are among people who are actively engaged in the Christian faith.”


These reports are sobering
. They show what happens when people become willfully ignorant of the Word of God for faith and practice. I reference the “Postmodernism” note above; it says that ‘nearly a quarter (25%) of Christians contend that what is right and wrong depends on an individual’s belief.” Now I ask you, what is the source of those ‘beliefs?’ What is influencing their ‘belief’ patterns? Is it the Word of God, academia, or society around them? For most people, it is not the Word of God! Paul writes of the growing apostasy (falling away) when he warns young Timothy:
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemer, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of those who do good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying it’ power.” 
(2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

This certainly describes the day in which we live.


Christians are to be people guided by the Word of God. That is the best ‘belief system’ for the days in which we live!  To solve the biblical illiteracy problem, we need to read our Bibles!  “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”                                                    


Pastor Bruce Talso

 
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MNSAM Committee  
Bruce Talso - Director
Wes Wold - Asst. Director
Darrel Amiot
Sherman Buschow
Troy Fields
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