It is common in western culture to consider the beginning of the New Year as a new start. Many of us make resolutions of things we will be doing in the new year. For many of us, many of those resolutions are routinely broken. Failure by the end of the first week much less the first month is common. Those of us who name the name of Jesus Christ, who are His followers, want more. We want much more than what we have done in the past. We want to change.
“This new year I will read through the Bible.” Sound familiar? Over and over again we have made that commitment and by the time we get to Leviticus, we begin to wonder about that commitment. All those rules and regulations. Do I really need to know these? What do they mean to me today? Because of that result, we stop reading through the Bible.
This is a problem as the book, yes even in Leviticus, is filled with things that show us who the God we worship is. Yes, we are under grace and many of those rules do not apply to us today. But they do show us His heart. The Bible informs us about ideas and concepts that lead us to, what is called, a Biblical world view. But as believers in Christ, we are lacking in that department.
The Pew Research Center stated in October of last year that “Americans now say they attend religious services a few times a year or less (54%) than say they attend at least monthly (45%).” (Pew Research Center 2019) This report went further to point to a very simple conclusion, “the nation’s overall rate of religious attendance is declining not because Christians are attending church less often, but rather because there are now fewer Christians as a share of the population.” (Pew Research Center 2019) Why?
For those of us who are believers, we have our work cut out for us. As Jesus said in John 4:35, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” (John 4:35, NASB95) But what is happening with our personal evangelism efforts? Worldview problems. Because we do not know what is in our Bibles, we do not take seriously the charge Jesus left to us in Mark 16:15. Jesus clearly states “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15, NASB95)
In his book, America at the Crossroads: Explosive Trends Shaping America’s Future and What You Can Do About It, George Barna concluded that “One of the most alarming trends is the severe drop in the proportion of born-again Christian sharing the gospel with the nonbelievers…in just the last ten years, the share of believers expressing the gospel to non-Christians has plummeted from more than half (55 percent) to barely one-third (35 percent).” (Barna 2016, Kindle Location 396)
No Biblical Worldview
Why? If we do not know what is in the Bible, then those of us naming the name of Jesus will have a tough time being more like Him. To have views that align with the Bible becomes an issue. The Holy Spirit guides us, but sanctification is a participatory exercise and many of us no longer participate. We need revival! We need to learn what it says in the Bible. “With less than 10 percent of the adult born again population currently possessing a biblical worldview, there is plenty of room for growth!” (Barna 2016, Kindle Location 642)
For This New Year
With that in mind, let’s cycle back to the beginning of my short discussion, it is a New Year, time for a new start. I am concerned about reversing the trend. We must become more knowledgeable about what the Bible actually teaches. The Bible is politically incorrect. I have learned that it is not safe for work anymore. If you learn what it says and take it seriously, then it is also unsafe. Unsafe from the perspective that your current life will change. You will become more and more like Jesus. You will start to consider what the Bible actually says in your day to day decision making.
This is why there are many in the world today that do not want us to know what is in the Bible. Following the Bible, and allowing it to shape our worldview is dangerous to their worldview.
The Lord allowed me to teach the Bible over the past decade while at the same time, I was an executive in the business world. As a result, I witnessed the downward spiral in real time at work. I saw and experienced the pressure that exists in the workplace. Pressure to conform to the world’s way of thinking. Business gurus have come up with different methods to improve productivity that are nothing more than eastern mysticism repackaged. In fact, I have been in meetings where it was actually encouraged.
Bravery to move further is required. Like Daniel, we are in a culture trying to press us into its mold and the time has passed to say, “no further.”
The UnSafe Bible will provide a perspective that is not heard in many churches today. A Biblical perspective that comes with looking at the Bible chapter by chapter and verse by verse. You will be changed. I know I have been.
Barna, George. 2016. American At The Crossroads: Explosive Trends Shaping America’s Future and What You Can Do About It. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Pew Research Center. 2019. “In US Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” Pew Research center. October 17. Accessed January 2, 2020. https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation