What is the solution for Biblical illiteracy among believers? Our Biblical knowledge is far less than our parents generation and further less than our grandparentís generation, just as our children graduating from high school today are not as literate and educated in general as when we graduated or when our grandparents graduated. In fact, the most literate, educated and Biblically literate generation probably in
ís history were our forefathers who created this nation and signed the Declaration of Independence. We have been catapulted into a post modern generation that has isolated us from the Word of God, which has gone along with putting God out of schools and our society in general. With that loss of respect for the Word of God in general within our society, even the Believers who go to Church read and study the Word of God less than the past generation before them and mostly only know what someone tells them because they donít read the Bible for themselves at home. But listen to this statement of one generation of people. America
1 Chronicles 12:32 ďAnd of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.Ē They understood the times. A tragedy among Christians today is they have ceased to understand the times in which we live. We are like the spiritually blind Pharisees and religious leaders in Jesus day, but little wonder since the leaders of the Jewish Religion at that time were installed by
Rome and were really illegitimate. Likewise today may in the pulpit went to some cemetery they call seminary and were placed over congregations by men with no calling of God to the ministry, it was just a choice of occupation like any other. Whether we are 14 or 40, or older, we need to know what is happening in our culture and world around us. It is an indictment against the people of God that they do not understand the times they are in, do not understand what is happening in the world around them and do not understand the shortness of time until the end of the age and are not considering that all these things we see around us will soon change and this world as we know it will be turned upside down and destroyed.
Historians have divided the history of modern civilization into three periods, which they call the pre-modern, the modern and post-modern. The pre-modern began with the collapse of the
Roman Empire in the fourth century. In the beginning of the fourth century the people of God interpreted reality in terms of the Word of God. Their world view was dominated by the Word of God. It was a time of great thinkers. But gradually Christianity became distorted as the authority of the Roman Catholic Church which distorted the truth of the Bible to bring men under their control and domination so they could be rulers over men and control men and the wealth of the world, which caused the Middle Ages and the decline of civilization and education as most men became illiterate serfs.
This began the modern period. During the modern era there were two competing ideas or world views. There was the Reformation and the Renaissance. The Reformation placed God as supreme and therefore man with the power to glorify God in every human endeavor. The Renaissance gradually placed man at the center of the stage. Gradually it made man to displace God as the focus. The cry was, ďI think, therefore I am.Ē
Modern Secularism is a direct descendant of the Renaissance period. That was the beginning of the period when God was dethroned and man was enthroned. In the light of this, there was a group of men and women on the continent who wanted to get away from this modernist atmosphere and to develop a society in the new world where God and his Word dominated and would be supreme and God and His Word would occupy the center stage and they landed on Plymouth Rock in the New World.
But by the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the attitude came that man can do anything if he puts his mind to it and that began the post-modern era. The pursuit of truth has become meaningless in todayís world and our own society. The idea of morality or absolute morals is obsolete. The concept of authority, especially Divine authority is outmoded. Honesty is just for fools, with some 75% or more people admitting that they lie, of course for personal benefit or gain. Truth is now considered as relative and there is no truth for all men, but each makes his own truth. And by the late twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty first century that thinking is everywhere in our lives, even in churches. It is in all the TV shows and movies, it is in the books you read and magazines, in the teacherís books and academia, it is in the courts of law and in business and the boardrooms, and yes itís in the institution of the church today, though it should make any thinking person wonder how it could be so.
There are some practical ways to recognize this influence in your life whether you are in business, in school or a housewife at home. The symptoms of post-modern thinking that have invaded our culture are all around us. Here are some of these ways of the thinking, of this new worldview of post-modern thinking.
1. Every opinion is equally right, just different. We all have a right to our own opinion and mine is just as good as yours.
2. Those who assume authority have no right to do so. They say, who made you an authority over others.
3. Husbands as spiritual head of their home is something that belongs to the dark ages and not in the twenty first century.
4. Children under the authority of their parents ought to become illegal. There are becoming more and more ďchildrenís rightsĒ as the government takes away the rights of parents whether by laws that say a young girl can have an abortion without parental consent or even knowledge of the pregnancy, because it is her body to do with as she chooses or to tell parents that if you punish your child, we will take them away from you. Today the government has more control over our children than parents, whether in what they are taught at school or that they have to have certain shots to attend school, which is medical care.
5. The authority of the Word of God is just the churches way of keeping people under their control, itís no different than the church in the middle ages.
6. The absolutes of God are just your interpretation. Everyone has their own interpretation of right and wrong. †
7. If you try to stand up and say that God says there is right and wrong, they say yes, and the Bible is an arcane book, not relevant for today. You have to have a contemporary message and gospel.
The second way that the post-modern thinking has invaded our homes, our schools and our minds is this: style is far more important than substance. Outward appearance is far more important than inward commitment. That is why one of the fastest growing professions in our society today is spin doctors. The spin doctors try to tell you what you should think about what you just saw or heard. Every politician and major corporation has their own spin doctors to make you think what they want you to think. This is going on in politics, in business, in the news media and in the institutional church. They all have spin doctors to serve them as PR men to the public. Just consider some of the media, political and medical company spins on facts or events that you have heard about. More and more people have a profession of deceiving others and trying to brain-wash and manipulate how others think about them, their group, their product, their politics, their faith or whatever.
Today in many churches there is more talk about the style of music than the quality of teaching and preaching the Word of God. Post-modern thinking says that you create the impression that you want to create because impression is everything. Appearance is all that matters, not the truth, but just what people think, how you can make things appear to be, whether they are or not.
The third symptom of the post-modern world, is that words have no inherent meaning, with special thanks to Bill Clinton on that one. A word can mean one thing to me and something totally different, not even similar, to someone else. What do I mean by that? Dictionaries definitions of words no longer mean anything. Some people can hear you preach your heart out to give the truth and most will respond, ďWell, thatís just what you think. Thatís just your opinion or interpretation.Ē Another is how groups like the abortion activists have manipulated words so that people donít think of the unborn as a living baby, just a blob of meaningless tissue, trying to tell you that until it is alive and totally out of the womb, it is not a baby, just a fetus. It isnít murder or killing an unborn child, just terminating an unwanted pregnancy and many other things. Once gay had to do with your disposition and being cheerful and happy, now it has to do with being homosexual. No one is called gay anymore unless they are queers. No one else wants to be associated with the word because of its new meaning. That is true with many words today.
The fourth symptom of post-modern culture is they tell you that Western civilization is oppressive, but other cultures are superior. Therefore, logic is out and Eastern Mysticism is in. George Washington is out, the Dali Lama is in. Because Western Culture has been dominated by Judeo-Christian thought, therefore it is oppressive. Therefore Father God is out and Mother Earth is in. And Eastern Mysticism is much preferred, even Islam which is full of dictators is spoken of better than our democracy by many within our own country who donít appreciate their freedoms bought with the blood of their ancestors. The Muslims speak clear; it is their desire that all Americans become Muslim. Yet we fall over ourselves trying to please them. Christians are loosing their freedom of religion and Muslims are getting more and more power and freedom to practice theirs and force their religion upon others, as even now some cities allow Muslim children to wear headscarfís to school and allow Mosques to announce their call to prayer 5 times a day over loud speakers and all the non-Muslims have to listen to them proclaiming ďAllah is greatÖ Mohammed is Allah's prophetÖ come to prayer. There is no god but AllahĒ Yes this is happening in
Dearborn, Michigan today and they are working to do it in other cities and those who oppose it are called racist and discriminatory because it is no different that a Catholic Church ringing their church bells. They are working to change laws to enforce their own.
The fifth and last symptom of post-modernism is the biggest contrast between modernist and the post-modernist culture. It is the contrast between intellect and fear. That is probably the most blatant distinction that defines our culture today.
In modernism, logic, reason and intellect were valued. So Christians were able to appeal to the mind, to the logic, to the reason to the supernatural, and of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and everyone knew how to define the Gospel of Jesus Christ in terms of logic. But now, in post-modern culture, feelings, emotions, individual values dominate our environment. In modernism when people disagreed they considered the other personís view to be in error, a mistake. In post-modernism when people disagree they assume that all views are correct for someone. In modernism knowledge was vitally important. In post-modernism ones own opinions are of the uttermost importance. That is why all the news programs are asking people to call in and express their opinions and feelings about issues and why we have so many talk shows.
Given all these pressures on us in this post-modern culture, no wonder most have given up reading the Word of God, given up understanding the power that is in the Word of God and the treasure in the Word of God. There is no way on Godís earth, when you are bombarded by the post-modern cultural thinking 16 hours a day, day in and day out, and you come to church for an hour on Sunday hoping that that hour in church will neutralize the power that all that post-modern thinking and propaganda has had upon you simply will not work. It is simply an impossibility that in one hour or less, for some preachers only speak 20 to 30 minutes; to undo or overcome 112 hours of post-modern babble and indoctrination during the week.
Today, Satan has succeeded in neutralizing the power of the Word of God in our churches and society just like he succeeded in neutralizing the power of the Word of God in the Garden with Adam and Eve.
Back then, Satan brought doubt about what God said. ďDid God really say that?Ē Today he is again bringing doubts about what God said, even among those who claim to be Christians and know Christ, or at least about Him and who He is. Back then he managed to convince Eve and then Adam that what God said was not relevant to them. That what God said was inadequate for them and their needs. That what God said was not really for their good. That what God said was not really for their happiness.
Come on now, who doesnítí want to be happy. This is what he tells our culture and people today. He comes and says; do you want to be happy? Then donít read the Bible, itís just full of doís and donít that will put you in a box and take away your freedoms and joy and happiness and make your life boring and dull and unhappy. If you read the Bible you wonít have any fun and you wonít enjoy the best life has to offer you. You canít be happy and read this.
If your focus is on happiness, the only happiness you will bring about is the happiness of Satan. But if your focus is holiness, then God will give you happiness as a bonus and added benefit. Satanís deception has not changed in thousands of years. It is happening today before our own eyes.
Do you know how often Satan kept on with Adam and Eve? We donít know. But it was a continuous bombardment, just like today. Many Bible scholars, the believing kind, not the deaf and dumb devils who claim to be experts because of their degrees, believe that Adam and Eve had a number of children in the garden before the fall, but that is another subject. Satan was repeating, hath God really said, sixteen hours a day, every chance he got and finally Eve got weary, listened to him and gave in. And there are so many people in the
church of Jesus Christ that have become weary of the enemies bombardment and attack from every media, from academia and teachers that some just want to give up and not struggle. That is why so many Christian children go off to college as believers but donít stay that way and graduate as unbelievers. Why would anyone read the Bible when it tells you that sin is lawlessness and of the Devil and an affront to a holy sinless God. Why would you want to read that and why would you believe that. Why would you practice that when Satan can brainwash you into believing that sin is just a failing to live up to ones potential. That is what some preachers are saying today. Itís Hogwash!
Why would anyone want to read the Bible, believe the Bible, obey the Bible, when it says that immorality is rebellion against a holy God and hell is its reward. When they can buy into post-modern culture that tells them that its all a matter of taste, its all a matter of sexual preference, its all a matter of personal choice.
The Bible answers post-modern cultures deception. Proverbs 14:12 ďThere is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.Ē If you want life, read the Word of God, believe it, obey it. But if you want death, then keep on ignoring it. If you want life, feed upon the Word of God, feed upon its riches daily. But if you want death, albeit a slow death, then be indifferent of the Word of God. If you want to choose life, drink deeply from the Bible and let it satisfy you on a daily basis. But if you choose the world of death, then stay in post-modernism. If you want life, then allow the Word of God to change your behavior. Make no mistake about it. The Word of God has the Power of God in it. But if you want death, follow Satanís deception of doubting the Word of God and it will take you all the way to hell. If you want life, treasure the Word of God as your possession. But if your want death then devalue it and squander the Word of God. If you want life, let the Word of God strengthen you to stand and to stand against the current of culture. But if you choose death then go with the flow with all he other dead fish in the sea.
From the very beginning God gave us a choice. In the Garden, He gave our first parents a choice and they choose death. And through their sin we have all inherited the sin genes and that is why without Jesus Christ we cannot be delivered from that of which we were born. In the wilderness through Moses, God gave the Israelites a choice and most choose death and were buried in the desert, never making it to the promised land and they went to hell. Joshua said to them, ďchoose you this day,Ē (not tomorrow), to read, believe and obey the Word of God or choose guilt, pain and confusion in your life and eternal judgment in the life to come. I can promise that comes from the testimony of thousands. If you make a decision of your will, to read and study the Word of God and obey it, it will change you for good and it will bless you in ways you never thought possible.
It is because most of the preachers donít believe in the truthfulness and power of the Word of God, not having experienced that power to change their own lives that they then create doubt and confusion in the members of their churches. One of the problems of our post-modern culture is that we just want the quick fix, just give me the one, two, three formula, I donít want to have to deal with the whole Bible. We donít want to spend the time to read and allow the Word of God to change our lives.
Many things that you will read will not make you feel good about yourself. That is by design. We were told that when the Holy Spirit comes He will convict us of righteousness, sin and judgment. Then we are faced with making a decision, to confess and repent or to continue rebelling against God. But at least you know what you are doing and you know that you are rejecting Godís Word. Should Christians not want to be happy? Most confuse happiness with having a good time, something that is very temporal and comes to an end. If by happiness we mean inward joy, contentment and peace, then no outward circumstances affect them. God alone can give you that kind of inward happiness. That is why if you go after happiness you will not find it, but if you pursue Christ, you will get it as a bonus. Peace is also a byproduct of following and obeying God.
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