Category: One World Religion

The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem

Al Mohler | President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary | Wednesday, January 20, 2016
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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. According to data from the Barna Research Group, 60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments. “No wonder people break the Ten Commandments all the time. They don’t know what they are,” said George Barna, president of the firm. The bottom line? “Increasingly, America is biblically illiterate.” [see Barna Group’s web site]
Multiple surveys reveal the problem in stark terms. According to 82 percent of Americans, “God helps those who help themselves,” is a Bible verse. Those identified as born-again Christians did better–by one percent. A majority of adults think the Bible teaches that the most important purpose in life is taking care of one’s family.
Some of the statistics are enough to perplex even those aware of the problem. A Barna poll indicated that at least 12 percent of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. Another survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife. A considerable number of respondents to one poll indicated that the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham. We are in big trouble.
Secularized Americans should not be expected to be knowledgeable about the Bible. As the nation’s civic conversation is stripped of all biblical references and content, Americans increasingly live in a Scripture-free public space. Confusion and ignorance of the Bible’s content should be assumed in post-Christian America.
The larger scandal is biblical ignorance among Christians. Choose whichever statistic or survey you like, the general pattern is the same. America’s Christians know less and less about the Bible. It shows.
How can a generation be biblically shaped in its understanding of human sexuality when it believes Sodom and Gomorrah to be a married couple? No wonder Christians show a growing tendency to compromise on the issue of homosexuality. Many who identify themselves as Christians are similarly confused about the Gospel itself. An individual who believes that “God helps those who help themselves” will find salvation by grace and justification by faith to be alien concepts.
Christians who lack biblical knowledge are the products of churches that marginalize biblical knowledge. Bible teaching now often accounts for only a diminishing fraction of the local congregation’s time and attention. The move to small group ministry has certainly increased opportunities for fellowship, but many of these groups never get beyond superficial Bible study.
Youth ministries are asked to fix problems, provide entertainment, and keep kids busy. How many local-church youth programs actually produce substantial Bible knowledge in young people?
Even the pulpit has been sidelined in many congregations. Preaching has taken a back seat to other concerns in corporate worship. The centrality of biblical preaching to the formation of disciples is lost, and Christian ignorance leads to Christian indolence and worse.
This really is our problem, and it is up to this generation of Christians to reverse course. Recovery starts at home. Parents are to be the first and most important educators of their own children, diligently teaching them the Word of God. [See Deuteronomy 6:4-9.] Parents cannot franchise their responsibility to the congregation, no matter how faithful and biblical its may be. God assigned parents this non-negotiable responsibility, and children must see their Christian parents as teachers and fellow students of God’s Word.
Churches must recover the centrality and urgency of biblical teaching and preaching, and refuse to sideline the teaching ministry of the preacher. Pastors and churches too busy–or too distracted–to make biblical knowledge a central aim of ministry will produce believers who simply do not know enough to be faithful disciples.
We will not believe more than we know, and we will not live higher than our beliefs. The many fronts of Christian compromise in this generation can be directly traced to biblical illiteracy in the pews and the absence of biblical preaching and teaching in our homes and churches.
This generation must get deadly serious about the problem of biblical illiteracy, or a frighteningly large number of Americans–Christians included–will go on thinking that Sodom and Gomorrah lived happily ever after

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7731

In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam And Laid a Foundation for a One World Religion

By Michael Snyder
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Remarks made by Pope Francis at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan have sparked a firestorm of criticism from those that do not believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Many have taken the Pope’s remarks as a major step in the direction of a one world religion, and the truth is that the Pope has made other such statements in the past.
In recent years, the theory that Christianity and Islam are just two distinct paths to God among many others has rapidly gained traction all over the planet. Some religious leaders have even gone so far as to try to merge Islamic and Christian practices, and the term “Chrislam” is now often used to describe this ecumenical movement. If all this sounds incredibly strange to you, just keep reading, because this is just the tip of the iceberg.
What Pope Francis had to say at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan has received very little coverage by the mainstream media, but it was exceedingly significant. The following is how he began his address:
I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness, my sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca. In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.
He did not choose those words by accident. In Islam, Allah is known as “the all merciful one.” If you doubt this, just do a Google search.
And this is not the first time Pope Francis has used such language. For instance, the following comes from remarks that he made during his very first ecumenical meeting as Pope:
I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: In it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.
The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions—I wish to repeat this: Promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions—it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue performs.
Pope Francis clearly believes that Christians and Muslims worship the exact same God. And so that helps to explain why he authorized “Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran” at the Vatican for the first time ever back in 2014.
Catholicism and Islam are the two largest religions on the entire planet, and so any one world religion would need to incorporate both of those belief systems. Sadly, this Pope seems to be quite eager to lay the groundwork for such a one world religion.
Pope Francis made another statement at St. Patrick’s Cathedral that has shocked believers all over the planet. Apparently this Pope seems to think that the cross was a “failure”…
The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.
After he made that statement, he didn’t continue to go on and explain that the cross was ultimately a great victory. He just ended his thought and moved on to other topics.
Needless to say, many are extremely upset by this. The following comes from Leo Zagami of Infowars.com…
These words have of course outraged most true Christians around the world who cannot imagine Christianity without the value of the cross, which symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus for mankind. It’s impossible for a Christian of any denomination to imagine the very essence of their faith being discussed in this way, let alone by the Pope. The fact that blood was shed on the cross by Jesus for the ultimate self-sacrifice that could help rid mankind of all sins is one of those essentials of the Faith that should never be questioned.
The mainstream media persists with their undying affection for Pope Francis, never commenting on this outrageous statement. But even though the Pope is saying things like this, his legend just seems to grow by the day. Even in the United States, throngs of faithful devotees are treating him like he is some sort of supernatural being…
Everywhere he goes, Pope Francis attracts worshipful crowds of people, straining and reaching to touch any part of him as if something spiritual and holy could be imparted to them by doing so. People weep, they cry, they hold up their sick children and beg him to touch them in the hopes they will be healed. And this is even true of members of Congress. Just check out the disgraceful behavior that some of them have displayed…
Representative Bob Brady, a devout Catholic and Democrat from Pennsylvania immediately made his way to the podium after Pope Francis finished speaking and grabbed the glass that was still filled with water. He then drank the water, gave some of the water to his wife Debra, and saved the rest for his grandchildren.
Representative Brady took photos as well, and had his staff send them out to the press. He also shared some of the water with members of his staff and assistant, also a devout Catholic. As for the saved water, he plans to sprinkle it on his grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
I don’t know about you, but major alarm bells start going off for me when I read stuff like this.
We are witnessing the initial stages of the rise of a one world religion, and much of the planet is ultimately going to embrace it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7494