Category Archives: Breakpoint radio commentary

BreakPoint: Communism’s Failed Promise

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This week marked a century since one of the darkest chapters in human history began, and a truly evil worldview was put into practice.

One hundred years ago, Bolshevik revolutionaries stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd, the seat of the Provisional Government of Russia. They also seized post offices, train stations, and telegraphs in the dead of night. When the people of Russia’s capital city awoke, they were in what Rhodes Scholar David Satter described as “a different universe.”

That universe was a communist one. Vladimir Lenin’s so-called “October Revolution,” which took place in November on the Gregorian calendar, sought to establish the first-ever Marxist state. After a lengthy civil war, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics emerged, marking one of the greatest setbacks Western Civilization has suffered since the fall of Rome. Communism would eventually rule one-third of the planet, condemning one-and-a-half billion people to lives under brutal, totalitarian governments, and leaving behind a trail of over 100 million corpses.

So many people died because, as Satter explains in The Wall Street Journal, the communist worldview sees the state as supreme, replacing God, Himself. It’s infallible, it transcends morality, and it demands absolute loyalty from its citizens.

Karl Marx taught that only such a state, acting for its people, could break the chains of economic oppression and private property, creating a “new man.” This type of person, depicted in Soviet propaganda posters with bulging muscles and steely eyes, would work willingly for the common good, seek only to advance the interests of his comrades, and usher in a worker’s paradise.

The communist ideal was nothing short of a godless eschatology—a Heaven on earth.

What we got instead was hell on earth. Through political purges, forced population transfers, manmade famines, gulags, and a so-called “Great Leap Forward,” dictators like Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot presided over some of the worst mass murders in human history, all directly motivated by the desire to bring about that communist paradise.

It wasn’t until Christmas 1991 that the darkness which had fallen on Russia in 1917 began to lift. The Soviet sickle and hammer descended over the Kremlin for the last time, quietly announcing the end of what President Reagan had dubbed the “evil empire.”

But for millions of people the world over, this godless worldview remained and remains a political reality. China’s forced abortions, Cuba’s political repression, and North Korea’s persecution of Christians are just some of the atrocities that have continued in communist countries since the fall of the Soviet Union.

And here in the United States, communist ideology enjoys a kind of immortality in our universities, where many professors openly identify as Marxists, and students sport those ever-popular Che Guevara t-shirts.

One recent survey by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that half of millennials would rather live in a socialist or communist country than in a capitalist democracy. More than 20 percent have a favorable view of Marx, and thirteen percent think of Joseph Stalin as a “hero.”

The only good news is that 71 percent of those surveyed couldn’t identify the correct definition of communism. They don’t understand what they’re praising.

As we look back on the aftermath of that October revolution, we should commit ourselves to teaching our kids, our friends, and whoever else will listen where communism belongs: squarely in the dustbin of history.

Perhaps the best way to commemorate communism’s 100thbirthday is to pray that we can fully and finally bury this evil worldview in our lifetimes.

 

Communism’s Failed Promise: Heaven on Earth Without God

As Eric has urged, educate your family and friends on the failed utopian promises of communism, as well as the results of its worldview on humankind. And continue to pray that the scourge of communism will end on the earth.

 

 

Resources

100 Years of Communism—and 100 Million Dead

  • David Satter | Wall Street Journal | November 6, 2017
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The Point: What Constitution?

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It’s time for a civics refresh. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

A new study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center finds that Americans are woefully misinformed about basic constitutional provisions. More than half believe that illegal immigrants have absolutely no rights under the Constitution.

Three-quarters of Americans can’t name all three branches of government. And perhaps worst of all, over a third can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment, including freedom of speech, press, or religion.

This doesn’t bode well for public education, which began as a means of producing well-informed citizens. But Christians should be the first to insist on good civic education, because we stand to lose so much freedom.

In his book, “A Free People’s Suicide,” Os Guinness shows how modern views of freedom are incompatible with the views of the American founders, and argues that “the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans.”

He also sketches a plan for good civic education—a plan to implement if our Republic is to last.

 

 

Resources

Americans Are Poorly Informed About Basic Constitutional Provisions

  • Annenberg Public Policy Center | University of Pennsylvania | September 12, 2017

BreakPoint: Costly Views on “The View” Don’t Crack Under Cocktail Party Pressure

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You’re in the spotlight and you’ve just been asked about a controversial issue. What do you do?

Martin Luther, the Christian reformer who challenged the sale of indulgences five hundred years ago, is often credited with this stirring quotation:

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him.”

Okay, well maybe Martin Luther didn’t actually say that. Nor did Abraham Lincoln say, “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” But just because a quotation is mis-attributed doesn’t mean it’s an inaccurate summary of what the purported author believed. As a matter of fact, this passage not only closely mirrors something Luther wrote in a personal letter, but it’s consistent with the life he lived.

More importantly, this quote is true. The temptation is strong to faithfully proclaim every aspect of God’s Word except the one most controversial in our time.

We saw that recently when well-known pastor Carl Lentz appeared on ABC’s “The View.” Lentz spoke boldly and in no uncertain moral terms about the issue of racism. As well he should. Christians should condemn racism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.

But when asked directly about abortion, and whether or not he considers it a sin, Lentz couldn’t give a straight answer. Instead, he spoke of having a “conversation,” of finding out a person’s “story,” where they’re from and what they believe. “I mean, God’s the judge,” he concluded. “People have to live by their own convictions.”

Predictably, the progressive studio audience heard this as an affirmation of the so-called “right to choose,” and rewarded Lentz with thunderous applause.

This upset a lot of pro-lifers who felt that this highly visible pastor had squandered a chance to speak up for the unborn. Lentz quickly took to social media to defend his word, but the damage was done. A watching world had heard a famous Christian pastor buckle on a crucial issue of our time, right after taking principled stands on other issues—issues, and this is key, that wouldn’t cost him anything with the ladies or audience of “The View.”

Now Lentz is not unique. He’s just the latest victim of what my friend Michael Miller calls “cocktail party pressure,” the urge to tone down or disavow Christian beliefs found to be distasteful in our culture. Typically, these are the so-called “culture war” issues like life, marriage, or religious liberty.

Watching Lentz on “The View” reminded me of the doctor-assisted suicide vote in Colorado last year. I was heartbroken when pastors of Colorado churches told me they didn’t want to take up the issue from the pulpit, because it was “too political.” But many of these same pastors have no hesitation whatsoever when addressing issues that are also so-called political ones, like racism or refugees.

Contrast this with someone like Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation. Although not a pastor, Ryan is among the most articulate defenders of natural marriage even in the face of blistering ridicule. I’ll never forget the image of him on Piers Morgan’s show, banned from the stage, seated in a hostile crowd, graciously explaining the Christian view while the liberal hosts hurled abuse at him.

Folks, it’s so very easy to be courageous on issues where our Christian convictions are in agreement with talk show hosts and the larger cultural ethos. But we’re not just called to proclaim the truth when it’s easy. Faithfulness means standing up for what’s right precisely and especially when it’s unpopular—even when it will cost us, socially, financially, maybe even mortally.

And it’s all of us, including those of us not on television, who face this kind of pressure ourselves—the pressure to tone down or abandon what we believe. That’s why it’s crucial to decide ahead of time—before the talk show or the cocktail party—where we stand, and to always be ready to give an answer when we’re asked.

 

Costly Views on “The View”: Don’t Crack Under Cocktail Party Pressure

Check out the links in our Resources section for great materials that will help you be equipped to stand for truth, remembering the Apostle Peter’s words: “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. and do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. . . 1 Peter 3: 14-15 NASB

 

Resources

The Faith: Given Once for All

  • Charles Colson, Harold Fickett | Zondervan Publishing Company
How Now Shall We Live?

  • Charles Colson, Nancy Pearcey | Tyndale House Publishers | September 1999
 

A Life Worth Saving and there are many more like him

 

 

 

 
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His message is one more people need to hear. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Last month, Congress heard testimony from Frank Stephens, an actor, Special Olympian, and advocate for those with disabilities. Stephens has Down syndrome, but he had something to say in a country where an estimated 67 percent of those diagnosed with the disorder in utero are aborted:

“I am a man with Down syndrome,” he said, “and my life is worth living. I have a great life!”

His story echoes the vast majority of adults with Down syndrome, as well as their families. A study in the American Journal of Medical Genetics shows that 99 percent of individuals with Down syndrome are happy with their lives; 97 percent of parents of children with Downs expressed pride in their child, as well as 94 percent of siblings.

This information has the power to impact the decisions of parents who get hard diagnoses, and shape our society into one where people with disabilities aren’t considered better off dead.

But Stephens can’t get the word out on his own. We need to speak up, too.

Resources

‘I Am a Man With Down Syndrome and My Life Is Worth Living’

  • Conor Friedersdorf | The Atlantic | October 30, 2017
Down Syndrome Awareness Makes a Difference

  • Mark W. Leach | Public Discourse | October 7, 2011

BreakPoint: A Museum Fit for the Bible Telling the Story of the World’s Greatest Book

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The Bible is the greatest book ever written—and now, there’s a museum fit to tell its story!

At the end of his Gospel, the Apostle John said, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” You could probably say much the same thing about the Bible—that no single place could adequately convey its impact, history, and unforgettable narratives. But that isn’t stopping an ambitious and expert team from trying.

I’m excited to tell you about the grand opening on this November 17 of the massive, 430,000-square foot, state-of-the-art Museum of the Bible in our nation’s capital. A project of an interfaith, international team of scholars, the museum is an innovative, global, educational institution with the aim of inviting all people, of whatever faith or no faith at all, to engage with the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible.

The museum cost $500 million to build, and when you visit, you’ll see why. Museum of the Bible has breath-taking exhibits, hi-tech LED screens, and tons of ancient artifacts and precious manuscripts. You’ll be amazed. But why so much, and why now?

“It was surprising to us that a book this influential didn’t yet have a major museum focused on it,” Steve Green, Hobby Lobby president and Museum of the Bible founder, told Christianity Today. “The Bible has influenced nearly every aspect of our world, from the arts and culture to business and entertainment to health care, education, and government. We hope to create the kind of museum that would share this book we love with as many people as possible.”

And Museum of the Bible—situated just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol and two blocks from the National Mall—comes not a moment too soon. As we’ve been telling you a lot recently here on BreakPoint, biblical illiteracy is running rampant in the culture. New Testament scholar David Nienhuis states, “Christian leaders have been lamenting the loss of general biblical literacy in America. … Much to our embarrassment, however, it has become increasingly clear that the situation is really no better among confessing Christians, even those who claim to hold the Bible in high regard.”

Indeed. Gallup and Castelli call us “a nation of biblical illiterates.”

But is biblical literacy really important? I’ll let a couple of American Founders answer. John Adams, our second president, noted, “The Bible contains the most profound philosophy, the most perfect morality, and the most refined policy that ever was conceived upon earth.”

And here’s what physician, social reformer, and signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush said: “The Bible contains more truths than any other book in the world.”

Of course, many in our postmodern world don’t believe that and dismiss the Bible out of hand—but maybe that’s partly because they’ve never had the opportunity to engage with it. Museum of the Bible gives them that opportunity, not by cramming “religion” down someone’s throat, but by presenting the Bible as the best-selling, most debated, most influential book of all time. Back in the day, you weren’t considered educated if you didn’t know the Bible. It’s still true today, and Museum of the Bible will step in to fill that knowledge gap for Christians and non-Christians alike.

So kudos to Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., and for the thousands of people of many faiths who helped make it a reality. The Bible is the most influential, beloved, and profound book in the world, and I’m grateful for a gleaming new museum fit to tell its world-changing story today. I invite you to visit it, starting November 17, with your family and friends.

 

 

A Museum Fit for the Bible: Telling the Story of the World’s Greatest Book

Take the opportunity to invite family and friends to accompany you on a visit to Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. For information on admission and exhibits, go to the Museum of the Bible website, linked here.

Resources

Inside the Museum of the Bible

  • Martyn Wendell Jones| Christianity Today | October 20, 2017
Sneak peek: D.C.’s huge new Museum of the Bible includes lots of tech — but not a lot of Jesus

  • Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Washington Post | October 16, 2017

BP This Week: “We Don’t Have Answers; We Do Have Christ”

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John Stonestreet and Ed Stetzer mourn yet another mass shooting, this time of brothers and sisters in Christ in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Even if Christians don’t know what to say, they can offer support and hope—just like other churches in the area are doing.

John and Ed also talk about the misguided effort to kill the adoption tax credit, and the continuing fallout and revelations stemming from Harvey Weinstein scandal. How should we respond?

Images courtesy of tillsonburg at iStock by Getty Images and Google Maps. Illustration designed by Heidi Allums.

Resources

How Christians can respond to this latest church shooting

    • Ed Stetzer

 

    • CNN

 

  • November 6, 2017
  • Listen to the program here.

BreakPoint: The Story behind the Navy Hymn In Honor of Veterans Day 2017

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I’m John Stonestreet. On this day before Veterans Day, Eric Metaxas tells us the back story to one of the great hymns.

Eric Metaxas: It’s one of the most famous hymns in Christendom: “Eternal Father Strong to Save.” It’s often called “the Navy hymn” because it’s sung at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.  But how many of us know the story behind this moving hymn?

The hymn’s author was an Anglican churchman named William Whiting, who was born in England in 1825. As a child, Whiting dodged in and out of the waves as they crashed along England’s shoreline. But years later, on a journey by sea, Whiting learned the true and terrifying power of those waves. A powerful storm blew in, so violent that the crew lost control of the vessel. During these desperate hours, as the waves roared over the decks, Whiting’s faith in God helped him to stay calm. When the storm subsided, the ship, badly damaged, limped back to port.

The experience had a galvanizing effect on Whiting. As one hymn historian put it, “Whiting was changed by this experience. He respected the power of the ocean nearly as much as he respected the God who made it and controls it.”

The memory of this voyage allowed Whiting to provide comfort to one of the boys he taught at a training school in Winchester.

One day, a young man confided that he was about to embark on a journey to America—a voyage fraught with danger at that time. The boy was filled with dread at the thought of the ordeal to come. A sympathetic Whiting described his own frightening experience, and he and the other boys prayed for the terrified student. And then Whiting told him, “Before you depart, I will give you something to anchor your faith.”

Whiting, an experienced poet, put pen to paper, writing a poem reminding the boys of God’s power even over the mighty oceans. It begins:

“Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave.”
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Scholars believe Whiting was inspired in part by Psalm 107, which describes God’s deliverance from a great storm on the sea: In verses 28 and 29, we read: “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble [and] he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”

This thought is of course echoed in the New Testament, when Jesus and his disciples are caught in a sudden storm on the Sea of Galilee; Jesus “rebuked the wind and calmed the sea.” (Mark 4:39)

In 1861, Whiting’s poem was set to music by the Rev. John Dykes. The hymn became enormously popular; British, French, and American sailors all adopted it. Winston Churchill loved it, and the hymn was performed at the funerals of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Richard Nixon.

Over the years, those who love the hymn and the men and women it honors have written additional stanzas—verses that ask for God’s protection over Marines, Seabees, submariners, flyers, the Coast Guard and Navy SEALS. They ask God to remember the needs of wounded warriors, asking: “By power of thy breath restore, the ill and those with wounds of war.” Touchingly, one newer stanza asks God’s protection for the families of those who serve, asking, “Oh Father, hear us when we pray, for those we love so far away.”

Veterans Day is a reminder that we should be praying regularly for those who put themselves in harm’s way for our sake, for their families, and for those who suffer the after effects of combat.

And as we sing the Navy hymn, as many of us will on Sundays around Veterans’ Day, its words should also recall to our minds the fact that none of us will escape the storms and tempests of life. Its verses offer comfort and help us “anchor our faith,” as William Whiting put it, when the winds and waves of our own lives threaten to capsize us.

 

(This commentary originally aired November 11, 2015.)
 
 

The Story behind the Navy Hymn: In Honor of Veterans Day 2017
Read all the stanzas of “Eternal Father Strong to Save” and listen to the hymn performed by the Navy Sea Chanters by clicking on the links below. And especially today, please pray for our nation’s veterans.

Resources

Description of the Navy hymn “Eternal Father Strong to Save”
website

“Eternal Father Strong to Save”
Sung by the U.S. Navy Band’s Sea Chanters

BreakPoint: Prayer Shaming and the Church Shooting Choosing Policy over God

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Prayer, it seems, is no longer a politically acceptable response to tragedy. Instead, we’re being told to put our trust in something else.

As I record this, just days after the horrific massacre at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a massacre which claimed 26 lives and wounded 20 others, authorities continue to piece together the motives of the young male who perpetrated this act of terror. Apparently, it was a revenge shooting at the church his mother-in-law attended, though she was not there on that Sunday morning.

The victims ranged in age from a baby in utero to 77 years, and included more than one family that lost multiple members and the pastor’s 14 year-old daughter. Most of the victims were, according to reports, children.

As happens at every mass shooting, there are those committed to superimposing their own narratives on the tragic events. In fact, some, as happens at every mass shooting, have found a way to even implicate Christians.

This time that way is what Emma Green of the Atlantic Monthly dubbed, after the San Bernadino shooting, “prayer shaming.” This refers to comments in both social and conventional media that criticize those who say that their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

The epitome of “prayer shaming” was a front page story in the New York Daily News after the San Bernadino shooting, which read “God Isn’t Fixing This,” and called talk of prayer “meaningless platitudes.” As Rod Dreher rightly commented then, these kinds of statements “reveal a total lack of understanding of what religious people believe, and why.”

They also reveal the extent to which, as my “BreakPoint This Week” co-host Ed Stetzer often has put it, Christians have lost “home-field advantage” that we may have had in the culture.

Until last week, saying that you were praying for someone was seen an act of kindness, even if the other person didn’t believe in the efficacy of prayer. For example, the late atheist Christopher Hitchens thanked the people who were praying for him after he was diagnosed with the cancer that would ultimately take his life, and Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion,” criticized British theaters for refusing to run a Church of England ad about the Lord’s Prayer. He said, “If anybody is ‘offended’ by something so trivial as a prayer, they deserve to be offended.”

While I would never call prayer “trivial,” I can’t help but notice how two of the leading public atheists of recent memory were more gracious about prayer than many American activists who want us to “do something.”

Of course, what they assume in the process is that 1) we know what that “something to do” is, and 2), that this “something” will actually solve the problem.

And it’s precisely here that the technocratic worldview of many activists and critics is revealed for what it is. Their faith, while not in prayer, is in something else. Namely, that all human problems and challenges, such as climate change, gun violence, and even terrorism, are problems that can be solved if only we apply the right techniques, which these days are almost always political steps: i.e., passing the right laws or public policies.

In this worldview, the world and all of its complexities can be reduced to mathematical models, and can thus be controlled by our best ideas and efforts. All of our problems, the logic continues, can be, if not eliminated, at least ameliorated.

But it’s a worldview that consistently fails. In the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008, Wall Street honestly believed it had mathematically solved the problem of risk. But it hadn’t. And there’s no reason to believe that the “something” the critics of prayer are advocating will reduce, much less stop, the kind of carnage we continue to see across our nation.

As the psalmist put it, nations continue to rage and people continue to plot in vain, but it’s the Lord alone, that can “make us dwell in safety.” So Christian, keep praying.

 

 

Prayer Shaming and the Church Shooting: Choosing Policy over God

Join with the Body of Christ as we continue to pray for individuals and families, for our nation and our world. We place our trust in God, and put into practice what the psalmist wrote when he entreated the Lord, “Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry!” Psalm 88:2

Resources

Prayer Shaming: The View From Jesusland

  • Rod Dreher | The American Conservative | December 3, 2015
The Power of Prayer: And the Prayer of Power

  • R. A. Torrey | Zondervan Publishing Company
The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer

  • Andrew Murray | Bethany House Publishers

The Point: Give It Five

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Give it five minutes. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

You read an article online and you’re torqued. You type a comment, you’re about to hit send . . . Don’t. At least give it five minutes.

Same thing is true on Facebook, or at that school board meeting. Or over coffee with a co-worker who has a different view about life. Give it five.

That’s the advice of Baylor’s Alan Jacobs—a man who should know, because he’s stuck between two worlds. He’s an academic, and an evangelical Christian.

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Jacobs talks about the many academics who can’t imagine evangelical Christians who help the poor with no spiritual strings attached. Just like there are many evangelicals who can’t fathom liberal secular professors who are fair to students who don’t share their worldview.

These days, as Jacobs writes, people are known and accepted in large part for who they hate—the “culturally repugnant other.” But civil folks do exist. It’s possible for each side to get to know each other and to discuss differences civilly. But it takes effort.

And taking five minutes helps, too.

 

Resources

Can Evangelicals and Academics Talk to Each Other?

  • Alan Jacobs | Wall Street Journal | October 20, 2017

Breakpoint: Teaching the Bible in the schools, and Billy’s thoughts on reaching the students

( Billy’s thoughts – Before I post today’s Breakpoint radio commentary which I support,some thoughts of my own. Teaching the Bible in the schools is good but unless students meet the Savior who is Jesus teaching the facts about the Bible won’t mean anything. Though teaching the Bible might open them up to hearing about the God who loves them with an everlasting loving. So it is good to teach the Bible. Also I am part of a ministry called Campus Life which is part of Youth for Christ which is reaching non church youth. One week this middle school kid told me he had never heard of the first book in the book. That excites me. Because he is coming to Campus Life. Pray for the Bible being taught in the schools,along with ministries like Campus Life to be used to impact many students. )

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We told you about having your kids take their Bibles to school. But what about teaching the Bible there?

Last month I told you about a growing movement in the U.S. called “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” organized by our friends at Focus on the Family. It’s part of a growing national movement to encourage our kids to bring their Bibles back to public schools, and perhaps 500,000 young people participated this year! But that’s not all we can do, not by a long shot, despite what you may think.

As you probably know, prominent atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair brought a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Murray v. Curlett, that ended devotional Bible-reading in public schools in 1963. Schools then threw the baby out with the bath water and stopped teaching the Bible academically, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld. The results, speaking modestly, have been disastrous. In our schools, suicide, pregnancy rates, and violence have risen dramatically, while our scores in reading, writing, and math have plunged. Of course, while it’s not causation, the correlation is hard to miss.

Bible knowledge, a foundation of Western civilization, has also collapsed. According to Gallup, only a minority of American teens are “Bible literate.” It’s no wonder that over half of the graduating high school seniors in one poll thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife and that Billy Graham preached the Sermon on the Mount! Truly, Johnny can’t read … the Bible!

It’s simply impossible for kids to be fully educated without basic knowledge of the world’s greatest book. Without the Bible, students can’t really understand fully the English language, English literature, history, art, music or culture—and the experts agree. In a poll of high school English teachers, 98 percent said that students who don’t know the Bible are disadvantaged when reading English literature.

Another survey of English professors from Harvard, Yale, and other prestigious institutions found that 38 of 39 agreed that “an educated person, regardless of his or her faith, needs to know the Bible.” Indeed, there are more than 1,200 documented references to the Bible just in the 36 plays of Shakespeare.

That’s why the global campaign “Teach The Bible In Schools” is so important. Started in the United States in 2005 through the Bible Literacy Project, the nonprofit Essentials in Education created a textbook and constitutionally safe instructional resources to help school districts implement a Bible course in the public and private schools that follows federal law.

In the U.S., the course can either be a language arts elective or a social studies elective for grades 9-12. The textbook is called “The Bible and Its Influence,” and it’s being used in 640 schools with 140,000 students in 44 states.

Nine states have passed laws that encouraging teaching of the Bible academically in the public schools. And the latest state is Kentucky. But that’s just the beginning.

“The ‘Teach The Bible In Schools’ goal is two-fold,” says my friend Chuck Stetson, CEO of Essentials in Education. “We want to get the other 41 states to endorse Bible literacy as a supported academic course and to spread that legislative backing across the globe.”

This is indeed an international movement. Campaigns are underway in Australia, Great Britain, Finland, Brazil, India, and the Philippines. “The Bible and Its Influence” is already being used in Canada, Rwanda, Taiwan, South Korea, and even in China.

If your state does not yet support courses in biblical literacy, I strongly encourage you go to TeachTheBibleinSchools.org to see how you can be a part of this vital campaign. Or, of course, come to BreakPoint.org, and we’ll link you to it.

Folks, we’ve just marked the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which brought the Bible to the masses. And up ahead is National Bible Week. Now is the perfect time to make sure that Johnny can read, and understand, the Bible!

Why Johnny Can’t Read … the Bible: The “Teach the Bible in Schools” Campaign

Find out more about the campaign to get the Bible and its influence taught in the classroom. Go to TeachTheBibleinSchools.org.

 

Resources

The Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy in Our Churches

  • Ed Stetzer | Christianity Today | July 6, 2015
The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem

  • Albert Mohler | AlbertMohler.com | January 20, 2016
Bible Study in Public Schools Sought In New State Laws

  • Jackie Zubrzycki | Education Week | March 17, 2016
Kentucky allows public schools to teach Bible classes

  • Aida Chavez | Thehill.com | June 29, 2017