2005-06-30

The Ten What?


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Finally a Southern Baptist minister who is willing to take care of the 2x4 in his own eye before attacking the world's splinters. In light of the Supreme Court's recent rulings on the 10 Comandments, Rev. Paul Brewster, Sr. looks at things and realizes that these standards went missing in action long before Judge Moore's battle in Alabama.

Brewster rightly argues:
The truth is that the Ten Commandments were first removed from the pulpits of our churches and thence from the hearts of our people. The image of Alabama state employees trundling the Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda to the backroom is just a visual reminder of what already had happened in this country at a much deeper level.


To expand on the point Brewster is making, the Ten Commandments, or rather the church's lack of knowledge of them are, once again, symbolic. They represent the rapidly growing lack of knowledge of God's Word in general. In my mind, without a doubt, the most troubling trend among Christians is the erosion of biblical knowledge and biblical authority.

It's not just that people don't study their bibles anymore, it's that they don't even see this as a big deal. At my church, I'd guess that half of our people show up on Sunday morning without their bible even though, in theory, our first hour is bible study. Scripture memorization was once a mainstay of child and youth education in the church. Today? Forget it.

It should then be no wonder that the authority of the bible, in the hearts and minds of Christians, is slipping. To be fair, this is probably less intentional and more a product of the fact that most people just don't give it much thought any more. But, as far as public perception goes, those who do view the bible as authoritative are seen as extremists.

So what's the problem? Today, key verses are normally printed in Sunday School materials, and scripture readings are often projected, or printed in some manner for worship service attendees. The problem is that we're neutralizing our greatest weapon at a time when clear, uncompromised guidance is needed most.

My guess is that over the past several years, people have picked up volumes in the Left Behind series, and The Purpose Driven Life more than they've opened the book that is at the root of those works. And over the next few years, more flavors of the month will rise up as well. This is not to slight the efforts of Jenkins, LaHaye or Warren, but they are men. But what if the next big craze comes at the hands of a less honorable man? Anywhere that the shifting trends of marketing and men supplant the unchanging foundation of God's word, we lose.

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