Friday, April 7, 2017

Christians WILL NOT Defeat Anti-God Bias with Biblical Illiteracy

Christianity is under assault on many fronts in our modern society. 

A liberal bias in the media perpetuates people of faith as “ignorant bigots.” Professors in liberal universities have claimed as their mandate a responsibility to stamp faith out of the minds of their students. A politically correct culture is elevating the “separation of Church and State” to the “separation of Church and Life.” Governmental agencies, hostile to the Christian faith, are using the courts to impose regulations that try to remove religious freedom from Christian-owned businesses. 

The role of Christian Apologetics in defense of faith – supported by a solid foundation of understanding in God’s Word – seems to be obvious.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing
raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are
taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;

Recent scandals in Christianity haven’t helped the image of the faith. The very public (and very memorable) fall of several televangelists – such as Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts, and Jimmy Swaggart – have seriously undermined the public’s perception of Christians. The acknowledgement of pedophilia in the Catholic Church – culminating with an apology from the Pope to affected families – cast Christianity in a very negative light. 

Despite the moral failures and external forces listed above, the faith has prevailed.  Marginally, and in spite of itself.

While Christian Apologetics may be the obvious answer to the problem, the problem - cultural bias and liberal extremism towards God - may not be as obvious as originally believed. 

Neither the external forces nor the occasional scandal explain the yearly decline in believers professing faith in Christ. Based on the statistics below, the same strategies used to create defenders of Christianity – who are knowledgeable in God’s Word, strong in their faith, and united in biblical fellowship – may solve the problem of cultural ignorance before a strong defense is needed.

Researchers at The Barna Group, a resource and research company considered to be a leading organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture, released results from several of their studies conducted in 2016. 

The results of these studies are terrifying, and explain several of the problems plaguing the Christian faith in our modern culture.

  • Fewer than half of all adults can name the four Gospels.
  • Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of Christ’s disciples.
  • 82% of Americans believe that, “God helps those who help themselves,” is a Bible verse.
  • 60% of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments.
  • 50% of high school students thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
  • Many Americans believe that the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
  • 12% of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because
you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from
being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the
law of your God, I also will forget your children.

When the Book of Hosea was written almost 2,740 years ago, the prophet was speaking against the widespread habit of engaging in religious ceremony, without a genuine commitment of the heart to serve God. It seems that history’s unlearned lessons reappear to teach mankind what it missed the first time. 

When parents aren’t actively and intellectually engaging children in the truth of God’s Word, and churches sacrifice Bible study to entertain congregants, the result will be alarmingly predictable.

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and
does not blow the trumpet and the people are not
warned, and a sword comes and takes a person
from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but
his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.

We, as Christians, have the potential to do better than this, and reverse this alarming trend. More than potential, we have an obligation in light of an observable, critical need. We simply have no choice.

The majority of professing Christians, while culturally aligned with religion in their public lives, are not biblically aligned with actual faith in their private practices. This is creating a diluted, hollowed version of Christianity that's collapsing under the weight of its own mediocrity.

We, as educated Christians in Body of Christ, owe it to the generations of professing believers that follow to create a cultural environment that allows the free expression of their faith. 

The problem is rampant biblical illiteracy, destroying the integrity of the Christian faith from within. 

The answer is reading the Bible, and possessing a level of understanding in God's Word that ensures an unshakable Christian faith, with the strength to sustain its faithful believers well into the future. That responsibility starts now, and it must begin with us.


Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.


  1. Great article and SO true. I see and hear the lack of Biblical knowledge daily.

    The learning must begin sometime soon, so I hope your message gets out sooner rather than later.

    1. Thank you. Once we (Christians) stop exclusively blaming external influences for the decline of our faith - and start acknowledging and correcting our contribution to the decline - we can not only stop the trend, we can reverse it. Have a blessed night and stay well.