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.