ARMED WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES


Posted: July 18, 2002
 

 2002 Contender Ministries

According to a recent poll conducted by Gallup, nine in ten Americans have a Bible in their homes, but nearly half of them rarely or never read the Bible.  Of these Americans, I would be surprised if most of them didn't read the newspaper or another form of news every day.  Many of them undoubtedly debate current events with co-workers and friends as they stand around the water cooler.  Relying on their daily dose of media spin, politics and world events, they push their point of view and try to bring others to their side of the table.  As the news of today becomes more and more about issues of morality, too many of them are going out into the world armed with the New York Times while the Word of God collects dust on the sofa table.

I too have been guilty of devouring information on world news and events, while relying on an aging memory for my knowledge of the Bible.  I'm not saying being informed is bad.  More than ever we need to be informed and aware of the changing world around us.   If we don't know what's going on in our world, we'll never be able to share the gospel with those who do.  But how many of us, when we are confronted with having to explain our position on an issue of morality, find ourselves trying to remember the Bible stories we were taught as children.  Then, when the story of Noah's Ark doesn't lend any support to our position, we resort to the standard "the Bible says so" response.  There may even have been times when this response got you out of the argument.  More than likely, this is because the other party in the conversation assumes you are one of those brainwashed Christians who believes only what you are told to believe without knowing why, so the argument is pointless. 

This approach to our faith and this method of explaining ourselves is especially damaging in an age of moral relativism, and at a time when people of faith are being portrayed as  unenlightened and intolerant extremists.  When God told us in the Bible to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within us, he didn't mean we should go to church and memorize the "do's and don'ts" for future recitation.  He wanted us to know what we believe and be able to share it with others.  Being an example is only the first step.  Being able to share the reason for the hope that you have in Christ must follow, or you can be sure your beliefs will fall on deaf ears.  After all, you are only one of many voices and opinions they are hearing.  You read the other opinion in the paper this morning. 

As humanism penetrates more and more of our society, Christians have the added responsibility of knowing the Bible well enough to guard against the increasing number of ecumenical churches, those who haven't read II Corinthians 4:2 (you can read that one for practice).  Today, not only are we faced with false prophets, evolutionary indoctrination, and those who believe the only deity is themselves, but we must know how to answer a growing number of Christians that are willing to compromise their faith in Christ all in the name of tolerance and diversity. 

Knowing what's going on in your world provides a certain amount of security and comfort.  At least you won't be caught off guard when there is another terrorist attack or the stock market crashes.  But reading the Word of God gives us true hope.  It is our God speaking to us, directing us, and comforting us.  It is a divine gift from a Savior who knew we would need it.  It is an historically, archaeologically, and scientifically accurate book.  If you are willing to read it, it will change your worldview.  "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).  So many people need to read it and receive the salvation promised in its pages, and it's our job to share it with them.  You can't share it if you've never read it, nor can you know the hope and blessings it will bring you.  Read it.  Study it.  Get others to read it, and amazing things will happen.

 

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2002 Contender Ministries


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