Suppose an observer came to visit your church’s Sunday school classrooms—specifically first grade through high school. Would they see Bibles in the hands of every student during the lesson time? If so, how long will those Bibles be open? Will the students be actively engaged in looking up texts, reading, and answering questions from the text? (Yes, even first graders can do this, with help, from a short text.) Will they be challenged about how to rightly interpret and apply it? In other words, would the observer see a teacher diligently teaching in a way that expects and encourages his or her students to seriously interact with the Bible—the actual, physical Bible?
Now, someone might object and say, “But they are children! They’re too young for this. They will learn best through videos, skits, and other activities. We need to keep the Bible teaching fun and energetic!” Yes, there may be a place in the classroom for all of the above. BUT, these kinds of teaching aids must never replace or minimize or obscure actual, serious study of the Bible itself.
Here is a timely word from Albert Mohler:
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…
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?
…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 it 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…
We are honored and look forward with great anticipation to have Dr. Mohler speaking at our upcoming conference, “From Childhood You have Known,” in Louisville, October 18-19. Through the years, I have appreciated Dr. Mohler’s unwavering call to churches, parents, and Christian schools to promote serious, vigorous, in-depth biblical teaching. If you haven’t already done so, there’s still time to join us. We’d love to see you there.