Christianity is increasingly disconnected from the Bible, and forces hostile to its teachings are growing stronger. Scholars have described the late 20th century as the post-Christian era, and some say we are entering an anti-Christian era.
No one would argue the Bible and its teaching is becoming less respected and referenced throughout the western world. Serious Bible reading is definitely on the wane and living by its values is no longer a goal for most people. The proportion of adults who read from the Bible during the course of a week has declined dramatically since the early ’90s.
Unbelief in Europe has been growing for decades, with northern Europe long known as the “North German Plain of Irreligion,” while pollster George Gallup and Michael Lindsay authored a book documenting the shallowness of American Christianity. Two of the underlying themes suggested by their findings are “the glaring lack of knowledge about the Bible, basic doctrines, and the traditions of one’s church… [and] the superficiality of faith, with many people not knowing what they believe, or why” (George Gallup Jr. and D. Michael Lindsay, Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Beliefs, 1999, p. 4).
They describe many Christians understanding the Bible as the inspired, but not necessarily as the actual, word of God, as one of the most dramatic shifts in religious beliefs since the 1960s. (ibid., pp. 35-36).
Three reasons have been documented for this change in outlook towards the Bible by mainstream Christians: own independent nature wanting to decide for ourselves, influence of the secular, godless society and, finally when people prosper they tend to forget God and His purpose for mankind. An easy life makes it easy to forget the Bible.
Christ said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread [material things] alone, but by every word of God’ ” (Luke 4:4). But self-reliant and materialistic man foolishly tries to live by bread alone.
Christ wants us to be His disciples, and a disciple is a student. Bible students need to read and study the Bible for themselves. The Bereans are upheld in Scripture as having the ideal attitude and approach: “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
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