Yearning for Knowledge, Truth, and the Bible

by Lee Buford on February 22, 2011

There has long been strong evidence of the erosion of biblical knowledge and literacy among Christians, especially relative to those of us in modern-day American churches. We live in a society where the vast majority of professing Christians know little about the Word and, as individuals and in our churches, in many cases, we have seemingly done little to promote a reversal of course.

Why? That’s the million-dollar question of course. And, at some level, we’d all have to admit that there’s been an evident movement afloat to build consumer-focused churches more intent on producing happiness than holiness. Not all such cases are the result of ill intentions or overtly sinful motives. Many have been the result of fearful leaders and the ever-present desire in all of us to avoid conflict at all costs. Assumptions have been made that people don’t want to really go too deep in certain books of the Bible, that services must be kept to a certain length, and that certain types of attire, music, and programs are what people really want.

But is that really the case, or are we assuming incorrectly? More importantly, are we short-changing or doubting the work of the Holy Spirit? I would argue it’s a combination of the two.

The good news is there seems to be a shift in that trend, a proactive effort to promote biblical knowledge and spiritual maturity among the brethren, and we ought to embrace this movement with our deepest passions. People are in dire need of truth, and they know it. They want to know more, and they want to know why they believe what they say they believe.

Churches and pastors are seeing this as well. My own church, Renewal Church, saw 100-plus people gather last Friday night for an event called Secret Church. They each signed up (willingly I might add) to spend six hours on a Friday night pouring through the Bible, cover to cover, in an attempt to better understand it. They wanted to know the truth, how it all fits together, and how God intended His Word to be used in our spiritual growth.

In addition, and by no coincidence in my opinion, I picked up the most recent copy of Bible Study Magazine (March/April 2011), which arrived in the mail this weekend. What was the first thing I read? I read about a similar story of believers who yearned to consume and digest more of the “meat” of scripture. Pastor and writer Max Lucado recalled the time he and the leadership of his church announced to their congregation that they were going to spend the next nine months going through the entire Bible, and he candidly admitted an uncertainty as to how it would be received. To his surprise, however, the response was quite the opposite:

“When we announced that we would spend nine months going through the whole Bible … people were thrilled. Our attendance went up 17 percent and baptisms 28 percent! What that told me is that people are hungry to be given the tools of how to understand the Bible.” 

The fact is, if you’re looking for motivation and encouragement, it’s out there. If you have a strong desire to learn more and truly know the Bible, you’re not alone. If you’re a pastor or church leader, you’re people want more of this. They need more of this. We all do, even if we don’t quite realize it yet.

It seems that if we trust God for the things we say we trust Him, then it’s time for us to go for it. It’s time to get serious, to dig deep, and move on from the milk to the meat. It’s time to put down the fear, the wrong assumptions, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s time to commit ourselves to the pursuit of holiness.

It’s time to pour ourselves into the Word and trust Him for the results. Are you in?

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