Dr. David F. Ingrassia // 02.20.2017 // Charlotte Awake
We are sailing on a vast ocean of Bibles in the United States, but in terms of biblical literacy, we are making the transatlantic crossing in a tiny dinghy–and even at that, it leaks! I am not talking about biblical illiteracy of the nation–that should be no surprise. I am talking about biblical illiteracy in the church, and that should send out a MAYDAY distress call to the church across the country.
A recent Barna survey commissioned by the American Bible Society shows that there are on average 4.5 Bibles in American homes–and that does not include all the digital copies on smart phones! We have the Bibles in so many translations we must appear to the rest of the translation-starved Christian world as gluttonous feeders at the Scripture smorgasbord. Ironically, after growing strong by feasting on the Word since our national founding, we have fallen asleep at the table, holding our bellies, and no longer returning to the biblical banquet.
In pushing away the Word, we simultaneously push away an encounter with God. We may see the Bible as a book to pry open to discover pearls of wisdom for life’s success, or we may approach it as the best self-help book of all time, but we fail to make the most important connection of all: Scripture engagement is an encounter with God Himself through His Word.
At Charlotte Awake, we are on a mission to call the church to awaken from its heavy slumber. We are on a mission to call the church back to Jesus, its first love, and to invite it again to encounter the living God through His Word.
But the worst part about our somnolent state is that if we do not snap out of it now and sound the cry at what is one of the most important junctures in history, the ones that will pay the heaviest price will be our children, left drifting, untethered in this morally tempestuous culture without the compass of truth to guide them safely home.
What can we do now?
(1) Open the Book.
(2) Read the Book.
(3) Listen, God will talk with you.
(4) Do what He says.
Is it that simple? Yes. There is power in the Word of God simply because it is HIS. How else will we know what to do at this time? How can we shake away the spiritual slumbers? God will do it. God will show us. The very first step is today, open the Book.
We cannot, we must not, fail. Our time is very short. Across the generations we tap out an S.O.S. giving the coordinates of truth to these next generations of believers that will be left to proclaim the Gospel–the only power able to calm the storms. We tap… tap… the message with urgency dot… dot…dot… dash… dash… dash… dot… dot…dot…
TO THE COMING GENERATIONS… STOP
YOU WILL FIND THE COORDINATES FOR HOME IN THE BOOK… STOP
ENGAGE THE BOOK BECAUSE YOUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT BECAUSE…
WHEN YOU ENGAGE SCRIPTURE YOU ENCOUNTER GOD… STOP
WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER GOD, YOU CHANGE… STOP
YOUR CHANGE AFFECTS THE WHOLE CHURCH,
WHICH IN TURN AFFECTS THE WHOLE WORLD… STOP