I appreciated the comments after yesterday’s post: Journaling/Coloring on pages of the Bible? The comments were more about the problem of biblical illiteracy, among Christians. Yesterday I came across a post by a pastor entitled: 7 Reasons Pastoring a Church is Harder Today. Even though I am not a pastor, the points resonated with me as a Bible teacher. And I think the same points can apply to Christians sharing their faith today – it is harder than years ago. The culture has changed.
Point #7 really jumped out at me:
“We’re reaping the results of decades of poor discipleship. Discipleship wasn’t strong back then, either, but we’ve now laid on top of that weak foundation 30+ more years of poorly grounding believers. That means we’re often pastoring long-term believers who are really still babies in Christ.”
We don’t expect non-believers or new Christians or those coming from non-Christian cultures to know certain things. The concern here is that long-term Christians are still babies in Christ. We have got to challenge ourselves and each other to grow deeper in our knowledge of God.
We don’t want to idolize knowledge (that can happen!), but knowledge is important. We can’t live out what we do not know, and we can end up living in a distorted or faulty way if we don’t understand certain biblical truths.
Someone commented yesterday that: “It frightens me to realize they [biblically illiterate Christians] can be easily misled by false teachers and, at the very least, are not enjoying the full life God has provided for in His Word.”
In a recent study of Colossians, a very Christ-exalting epistle, I noted how often our knowledge of God is mentioned. There is no shame in admitting we are lacking in this area.
My spouse realized that although he has been a Christian for over 20 years, he had never read through the entire Bible. In 2016, he did, and found it a worthwhile endeavor that familiarized him with overlooked sections of the Scripture. Several years ago I realized that I had somehow never read certain Christian classics, so now I am working on reading them. I have read: The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (read it twice actually), and I am currently reading The Confessions by St. Augustine.
All this talk of biblical literacy and illiteracy really merits an explanation of what is meant by it. This is not about being able to win a Bible trivia game! One could be not-so-good at remembering small details, but nevertheless have a solid working knowledge of core beliefs of Christianity.
Here is a worthwhile post from another wordpress blogger: A View On “Biblical Literacy” – Read it! I was going to share an excerpt but it was hard to choose one thing. It does end with this:
“There is no end to Scriptural study. And that’s not a curse – it should be a cause for joy…Biblical literacy is more of a journey than a goal, but we’re depriving ourselves if we don’t pursue it.”