All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Something has happened in America that seems unthinkable to me. When I was a girl in school biblical principles had a strong influence on lessons and in society. It’s not that everyone was religious, but there was a respect for the Bible and biblical principles were evident in our culture from lunch hour Bible study, history class and TV programs at the time.
I know that our President has declared that America is no longer a Christian nation. I agree with our Founding Fathers that no religion should be legally sanctioned by our government. However, I believe a nation’s wellbeing depends on objective knowledge of God’s truth. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson acknowledged Biblical values in a healthy society. Since that time the Bible has been downgraded from being taught to being virtually banned in public. The Bible has become a relic of history, a negative cultural icon used to illustrate the narrow-mindedness of our nation’s founders.
As much as I hate to believe it, public school and venues aren’t the only places in which the Bible’s status is being diluted. It’s even happening in the Christian Church itself. The church that should stand firm and have a positive effect on society, has allowed itself to be affected by today’s culture. Which brings me to my primary concern which is: As goes the culture, very often goes the church.
I’ve been told I shouldn’t be too surprised that America is drifting away from God’s truth. After all history shows that nations tend to do that. But, I never thought I’d see the day when the Bible would be marginalized not only in American culture, but even marginalized in the church. Pushed to the edge in public education and out of the decision-making processes of our government decision makers. Those who honor the Bible are tolerated as long as our biblical principles don’t spill over into public activity.
Professing Christians represent a strong majority of the nation’s population, yet the Bible they depend on as the sole source of information about their faith is being made irrelevant. How does that work? I can only guess that many Christians are being drawn into the values of an increasingly secular culture which is imposing its negative influence on their values and diluting allegiance to the Bible.
I’ve even witnessed Christians that are ashamed to be identified as believers because they seem to be confused. They seem to think that belief requires blind faith, while disbelief comes from intellectual analysis and they don’t want to lose intellectual credibility in the eyes of others. Intimidated by atheists.
Finally, I’ve attended churches across America that seem to marginalize the Bible because of ongoing pressure for attendance and dollars. I said it. It’s true, when it comes to attracting people, more and more, churches find themselves competing with America’s entertainment culture.
Pastors today are often judged more on their ability to make a congregation laugh and enjoy the assembly than on the biblical content of their sermon. Not that there’s anything wrong with laughing in church. My concern is that we stray to these gimmicks that leave little time for actual teaching and preaching the Word and the truth contained only in the Bible. The only way to counteract such chaos is to restore the Bible to its rightful place in our churches so members will restore it to the center of their lives and reflect its principles in our culture. Churches must play a pivotal role in whether the Bible is pushed to the margins or elevated to the center of our culture. What adults see prioritized in their church will influence the priorities they pass on to the next generation.
Pray that God will restore our wonder in the astounding fact that the Creator of heaven and earth loves us so dearly that He gave us His loving and guiding Word, which gives us knowledge of His amazing sacrifice and draws us toward Him and His redeeming love. If enough Christians restore the Bible our nation and its culture may yet be transformed.