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The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem


While America’s evangelical Christians are rightly concerned about the secular worldview’s rejection of biblical Christianity, we ought to give some urgent attention to a problem much closer to home–biblical illiteracy in the church. This scandalous problem is our own, and it’s up to us to fix it.

 

Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli put the problem squarely: “Americans revere the Bible–but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” How bad is it? Researchers tell us that it’s worse than most could imagine.

 

Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels. Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.albertmohler.com

Ask anyone what the golden rule is and most would probably be able to answer with love your neighbor as yourself. Of course that is the second commandment and it hinges upon the first that we must LOVE THE LORD OUR GOD with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Many think that the Lord helps those who help themselves. Although this phrase is not found in the bible but instead it was the English political theorist Algernon Sidney who originated the now familiar wording, "God helps those who help themselves" later published by Benjamin Franklin in his Poor Richards Almanac.

A good deal of societal ills can be laid squarely at the church’s doorstep for its failings in teaching sound biblical doctrine and truths. I feel that the church has excelled at teaching a particular denominational doctrine but has failed the congregations but not giving them a hunger and a thirst for truth and righteousness.

We can not expect the world to change if we are unwilling to embrace the richness of God’s word and apply to our own lives, and then get about God’s commandment to go and teach all nations the truths of God’s word, making them disciples of a biblical world view.

See on Scoop.itEagle Views

I Make No Apologies for Believing in Jesus


Jesus was the greatest apologist who ever lived. Probe’s Patrick Zukeran examines some of His apologetic methods.
 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: bible.org

Accepting the Lord’s testimony of himself would seem unreasonable to some people but since Jesus made every effort to affirm his identity as God’s son, and proceeded to offer irrefutable evidence of his claims, it is not unreasonable to take him at his word since he proved that his word could be trusted.

Christians are often characterized by unbelievers as stupid, blind, unthinking, irrational people but actually the reverse is true. Jesus does not ask us to abandon reason or logic, in fact he challenges our thinking and reasoning with His truth.

Jesus confronts our rationales with persuasive arguments if you bother to engage in such pursuits. Jesus knew that being made in the image of God we were capable of rational and intellectual thought thus he commanded us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.

Being a Christian does not mean you abandon reason and logic, on the contrary Jesus encourages and welcomes intellectual pursuits. How else are you going to be able to love him with all your mind if you are supposed to ignore reason and rational thought?

 

Try him and see if he is who he says he is. Pilot did, Caiaphas did, the religious leaders of his day did, and they all were proven to be wrong since Jesus did exactly what he said he was going to do. Die and be resurrected and then ascend into heaven from whence he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

See on Scoop.itEagle Views

Dear Media: Stop Trying To Teach Christianity


Christianity obviously doesn’t mean what you think it means. So stop making yourself out to be televangelists.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: thefederalist.com

Isn’t it interesting that the same folk who decry Christianity in the public arena are the same ones telling Christians what it means to be a Christian? Rewriting scripture to deceive believers into believe what is not so has been a tactic of Satan since the days in the garden. Did God really say what you say he said? Isn’t that the argument being put forth almost daily to today’s believers? The bible doesn’t say what you say it says it says what we tell you it says. Whom are you going to trust, the author of the scriptures Jesus Christ, through the in-working of the Holy Spirit, or folks who have never accept Christ as Lord of their lives?

Choose today whom you will obey, as for me and my house I am going to obey the God of the bible and not the god of this age.

See on Scoop.itEagle Views


erase_mistake

Psalm 103:12 (BBE)
12  As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our sins from us.

Philippians 3:13-14 (AMP)
13  I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14  I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

Tradition has it that many on New Year’s day make resolutions, plans and goals that they have for the upcoming year. By making resolutions we admit that in the past we have not lived up to our expectations and desire to make a change for the upcoming year. We reflect on what we wanted to do the past year, and make a promise to ourselves and others that we will attempt to do better this coming year. Many make a resolution to diet or exercise, some may plan on being a better parent or spouse, some may plan to make a career change or seek higher education, some may wish to make major lifestyle changes or relocate to another place, whatever the goal, resolutions by nature, indicate that we are not 100% satisfied with were we are in life.

Paul made this sentiment clear when writing to the Philippians in chapter three. He was resolved to learn more about Christ and to become more like him even to the point of sharing in the sufferings of Christ being conformed to Christ even in death. Paul, although he was accomplished in society did not regard his social standing as anything to boast about but rather tossed that aside as garbage when he came to Christ. He valued a relationship with Christ to be of more value then any earthly gain or status. Paul wanted to be associated with Christ to such a degree that he would actually suffer and die like Christ because of his faith in Christ.

Paul’s resolution stands in stark contrast to today’s resolutions because the focus of Paul was on the here-after and not the here-and-now. Paul chose to aim for and attempt to imitate one who was greater than he. He wanted to be like Christ. Paul admitted that he had fallen far short of his lofty goals repeatedly, and yet he held onto the hope that there was going to be a new day, another opportunity to try again to reach his goal. He had set his heart on which way he wanted to go, and although he had been knocked off course numerous times, he brushed off the failures and continued onward and upward.

One of the greatest gifts of Christ is the gift of forgiveness, Jesus came to erase our pasts and give us a new future, a new hope, another chance to do better. Although many observe a new beginning once a year, Christ gives us a brand new start every morning. His faithfulness is renewed each day, his forgiveness wipes out our failures of the past and we are given a clean slate to try yet again. He erases our mistakes and casts them into the sea of forgetfulness and does not hold them up to us as a constant reminder nor torment us with all our weaknesses and shortcomings. Jesus loves us enough to wipe away all our failures giving us a new start each and every day.

So then why not take today and thank God for giving you another opportunity to get it right and then, like Paul, take aim at the higher calling and press toward the goal of being more like Christ today. Take it one day at a time and do not fret if you come up short because the Lord has a new day in store for you as the morning sun rises.

Psalm 118:24 (GW)
24  This is the day the LORD has made. Let’s rejoice and be glad today!

Happy new day!


christmas peace decoration

One of the most favorite sayings and happy thoughts that are spoken frequently by people during the Christmas or “holiday” season is the phrase “Peace on Earth good will to men”. There are bumper stickers, signs, shirts, holiday cards, trinkets etc. that seek to capitalize and get out this optimistic and positive message. Even liberal secularists who reject biblical Christianity love to quote this phrase and claim it as their own. Sadly, this phrase is TOTALLY taken out of the biblical context and is perceived from a subjective godless utopian world perspective. This theme is repeated often from secular and even godless sources appearing everywhere, they like to toss around that God is love and that he preached peace on earth and that we all should simply get along.

Is that really the message the angels brought forth that first Christmas day? Let’s take a closer look shall we?

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:13 and 14 ESV)

I do need to note that only the King James bible quotes Luke 2:14 without the qualifying ‘with whom He is pleased’ or ‘upon whom his favor rests.’ This is an important concept that needs to be addressed. The wicked, then as now, do not find themselves in a peaceful, loving relationship with the almighty God. They, like us before accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, are lost without hope in the world (Eph 2:12) and separated from God.

They (or us if we turn from Christ) will find themselves facing a righteous and holy God without a remedy for their sinfulness. Their unrighteousness will dam them to an eternity separated from all that is good and right without any hope of rescue, nor peace from suffering. God’s word makes it clear…his wrath will come pouring down upon the head of the wicked.

Jesus reiterated this theme when he called his disciples together before sending them out as ambassadors of the gospel. Here is what he said:

Matthew 10:34-36 (NIV)
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–
36  a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

The message of Jesus brings about a great divide, it causes divisions and enmity between members of a household in addition to members of society at large. Paul put it this way in his letter to the Hebrews:

Hebrews 4:12 (HCSB)
12  For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

Let us not forget that Jesus came unto His own but His own received him not. Why?  The problem is not with the messenger nor the message the problem lies within us. We have no peace because we chose to live according to our own desires and wants and fail to accept the truth of God’s word. We ignore the gospel of peace and therefore continue to live without peace, and hope in this world.

John 3:16-21 (NIV)
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Yes peace came into the world that first Christmas night, but only for those who accept the gift of God, sent to us from heaven in the form of a child wrapped in swaddling  clothes and lying in a manger. If we reject this peace of God we will forever be lost without hope, walking around in continued darkness, unable to ever grasp the peace that passes all understanding which can only be found through Christ Jesus. That is what the angels said that first Christmas night… Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to all those upon whom is favor rests.

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