Decline in Bible reading – what’s the tonic?

Decline in Bible reading – what’s the tonic?

We are in the midst of a troubling crisis of faith in America. As church attendance continues to decline, fewer people are picking up their Bibles and staying rooted in God’s Word. 

Last week the American Bible Society released the results of its State of the Bible 2022 survey. It revealed an unprecedented drop in Bible reading among Americans over the last year, decreasing from 50% to 39% of self-described Bible users. 

In the survey, Bible users are defined as those using the Bible at least three to four times each year on their own outside of a church setting–not an extraordinary amount of time by any means. For Americans who use the Bible, at least 73% percent were introduced to it as children. Of those who don’t use the Bible, 55% come from homes with little or no Bible engagement.

Just 10% of U.S. adults use the Bible daily and 5% read the Bible once a week. This means the vast majority are not relying on the Word of God on a daily basis. 

These results are sobering since the Bible is God’s Word to mankind, giving us the Gospel, direction, wisdom and more. The Bible must influence our everyday decisions and change the way we live our lives. Without God’s Word as our guide, we are forced to rely on our flawed and sinful nature. 

Further, it is vital that our worldview comes from the Bible rather than our pagan culture. Society tells us that the purpose of life is to discover and express our most authentic inner selves. The Bible, however, tells us to lean on God and His wisdom rather than on our own understanding and submit to Him in all things (Proverbs 3:5-6). Unless we continuously read and remind ourselves of God’s Word, we will surely fall victim to the lies of the devil being promoted by our culture. 

One positive take-away of the American Bible Society’s survey is that when children are exposed to the Bible, they are likely to grow up to be Bible users. Thus, the tonic to America’s spiritual illness is to raise the next generation with God’s Word. Parents should regularly read the Bible to and with their children.

Parents must be countercultural as they raise their children and instill in them a biblical worldview. Simply living as everyone else does will lead our children to moral decay as they are formed by the anti-Christian culture. We must honor God’s Word first and foremost through our own example and secondly through intentional at-home education. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” says Proverbs 22:6.

Please pray for a Christian revival and a return to biblical principles in Wisconsin and our country at large. A free and prosperous nation is only possible with a moral people, and the only reliable morality comes from God’s Word.

Children need help, not harm.

The “Help Not Harm Act” was formally introduced in the legislature this week, and we believe the bill is essential for children suffering from gender dysphoria in Wisconsin. The bill is authored by Senator André Jacque and Representative Scott Allen. They are joined by two other senators and nine other representatives as co-authors and co-sponsors.

The bill helps children who are confused about their biological sex by protecting them from harmful drugs and surgeries. It prohibits physicians and healthcare providers from facilitating any gender transition procedure to minors and also prohibits these providers from referring a minor to any other healthcare provider for a gender transition procedure.

A small but growing number of children are struggling to embrace their biological sex and believe that they were born in the wrong body. What these children need is real help, not affirmation of the lies they believe about themselves. However, in recent years, politicized medical organizations have pushed for invasive, harmful forms of “treatment” that can include off-label use of puberty blockers, administration of cross-sex hormones above naturally occurring levels, and even surgery.

Research shows the vast majority of these children will eventually come to reconcile with their biological sex. Given this reality, drastic and harmful interventions with lifelong consequences are even more concerning. By offering them life-altering treatments instead of talk therapy or other means of working through their distress, we are harming rather than helping them. There are numerous stories of people who later regret these interventions but are tragically stuck living with the consequences. Why would we encourage harmful interventions with lifelong, negative consequences for children?

These treatments have been proven to cause long-term, irreversible harm to minors. According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, cross-sex hormone risks for biological females include irreversible infertility, severe liver dysfunction, and coronary artery disease including heart attacks, hypertension and more. The cross-sex hormone risks for biological males include irreversible infertility, blood clots, and coronary artery disease including heart attacks, Type 2 diabetes and more. These treatments violate the first duty of medicine: do not harm. Puberty blockers also come with long-term negative consequences.

We also know that surgeries and drugs do not heal a hurting heart. Research shows people pursuing transition frequently have underlying or co-occurring mental health issues. In fact, “[s] 2014 study found 62.7% of patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria had at least one co-occurring disorder, and 33% were found to have major depressive disorders, which are linked to suicide ideation.” Once again, children suffering with this disorder need help, not harm.

Time and experience have taught us that young people do not have the mental faculties to make such substantial decisions. This “Help Not Harm Act” ensures that children can access real help rather than permanent harm from surgeries and drugs.

Please contact your state representative and state senator and urge them to pass this bill. Contact information for your elected officials is HERE. (Just put your address in the area at the top right.) Too many healthcare providers are acting recklessly, violating God’s design, and prioritizing ideology over the well-being of children. We must fulfill our duty and protect these children.