Article from: Reuters From correspondents in London July 12, 2009 07:31am

KNOWLEDGE of the Bible is in decline in Britain, with fewer than one in 20 people able to name all Ten Commandments and youngsters viewing the Christian holy book as “old fashioned”, a survey said today.

Forty per cent did not know that the tradition of exchanging Christmas presents originated from the story of the Wise Men bringing gifts for the infant Jesus, while 60 per cent could not name anything about the Good Samaritan, the Durham University study found.

Youngsters were particularly disillusioned, telling researchers that the Bible was “old fashioned”, “irrelevant” and for “Dot Cottons” – a reference to the church-going EastEnders’ character, the National Biblical Literacy Survey 2009 showed.

“It is the first recognition of something which we all knew in our gut. We knew it was there but we weren’t exactly willing to face up to it,” said Rev Brian D. Brown, a visiting fellow at St.John’s College in Durham University.

One respondent to the survey said David and Goliath was the name of a ship while another thought Daniel, who survived being thrown into the lions’ den, was “The Lion King“.

Rev Brown said the survey showed the need to push for greater religious education among young people as knowledge of the Bible among the under-45 age group was in decline.

“We have got to recognise that it (the Bible) is the foundation of our society, upon which our whole culture has been based,” he said.

“To understand it and to live in it you do need an understanding of the Bible.”

Atheists, however, were not unduly worried about the decline in the Bible’s popularity.

“It shows really that religion is becoming less important to people,” said Pepper Harow, campaigns officer at the British Humanist Association.

“The fact that people have little knowledge of the Bible perhaps suggests that it’s becoming less and less relevant to people in the 21st century,” she said.

Despite the lack of enthusiasm about the Bible among the 900 respondents, three-quarters said they owned one and almost a third said it was significant in their lives.

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 My comments:

 Though we tend to hear these results from survey’s quite often we should take a good look at ourselves when we do!

 The world is obviouosly getting little from us to convince them they are sinners and, like all of us — they also need to know the saving grace of God.

It is time to return to preaching and teaching the word of God in anyway possible and in every place possible. No matter where I go in the world, there is a glut of singing and dancing and frolocking about in and outside of churches. Sadly though, there is a famine when it comes to Bible reading, preaching or teaching from God’s word.

 No wonder lost folks don’t believe the Bible anymore! They just think “doing church” is pretty good entertainment and a cool place to go. So “cool” man, that you don’t feel uncool telling your friends you “do church” on Sundays. Now, if doing church gets the lost along, that’s great. But if they are offered a foreign Jesus who will accept them as they are and live in their hearts because He loves them, they are being deluded! This kind of preaching cannot be backed up with scripture and that is why the Bible is being discarded. One passage alone refutes this modern day erronous, doing church, deceitfulness and that is:

 Acts 3:19-20 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to your before.”

 No repentance — no refreshment from the Lord. You can’t go out of a “doing church” meeting with Jesus in your heart unless you’ve left the old sinner that came in to that meeting behind. That old sinner has to die, be buried away in immersion and the new man raised in faith in the working of God; it is not about merely accepting Jesus into your heart, Romans 6:2-4 and Colossians 2:11-12.

Where are the preachers, teachers and prophets today who are not compromising and tickling ears with this gospel of compromise? They are very few and far between I can assure you.

Just maybe they are all locked away in prison for calling nations and individuals to repentance? Maybe they have all been killed for the sake of the gospel? Nah, I must be dreaming of the days of the Book of Acts.

 Ah, well, I am sure they will be welcomed back one day among the dancing, singing, Bible-starved believers out there who are deluded about a Jesus who lives in their hearts while they live as they always have. I guess I will just have to keep travelling in the highways, byways, towns and cities across the world looking for those Bible-toting preachers so I can point converted sinners who want to be disciples in their direction. If you know of any Bible-toting preachers out there, let me know as it sure will save me a lot of time.

 Blessings

Bob Chapman

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