Interviews By Gregg Stone
Jonathan Neely, Abilene, TX –
When every institution of learning in Western society intentionally targets Christian values in order to erase them, the cultural changes are inevitable, substantial and permanent. The evangelical movement cannot remain strong if its constituents are not Biblically literate. The Word of God is the foundation of Christianity in a general sense, but it is more than just that. It is the living Word of God that holds the key to a personal relationship with God. The only real option for church leadership is to follow the original prescription found in the Bible for changing the culture. We as leaders must first live the Word, and we must teach the Word of God with love instead of from a perspective of fear. The answer is to lead people to “delight in the law of the Lord.” Human beings are much more inclined to respond to things in which they delight.
Richard D. McKinney, Phelps, KY –
Illiteracy is when someone can’t read; Biblical illiteracy is when someone won’t read. When someone won’t read the Bible, personal opinions replace Biblical truths, and when our opinions become our “Bible” we will walk away from the authority and influence of Scripture. While Biblical illiteracy is becoming the norm of society, the church must stay strong and committed to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. We need to think up new ways to get people back into the Word. Folks are on the Internet and social media constantly, so why not use those outlets to teach Bible studies? I feel that to combat Biblical illiteracy we must give folks every opportunity to be exposed to the Word.
Keith Duvall, Grand Prairie, TX –
As pastors and teachers, it is tempting to make every message inspirational with a fresh, unique perspective. These messages are powerful, anointed and necessary, but they tend to focus on a singular topic or story. Listening to many of these messages may not give a saint the framework to study the Word. A systematic teaching of the Word should be included in every saint’s spiritual diet as well. Ask yourself whether a saint could sit in your church for a period of years and gain an understanding of the Bible. Lastly, if children are involved in a Bible quizzing program, they will almost certainly fall in love with the Word of God for a lifetime. It’s the best gift a parent could ever give a child.
Nate Lawrence, College Station, TX –
Bible literacy is eternally important! A culture of self, created in our day, has caused a negative downstream in several ways. We no longer feel we need the direction of spiritual advisors/ ministers to lead us to the truths of God’s Word; however, it’s God’s Word that will judge us in the end, and we will be held accountable for it. When Jewish history began its journey to written word, first beginning with Moses on Mount Sinai, it was then read every seven years. We would do well to read the Bible through each year to remind us of its great truths. As pastors/ministers, we need to teach the Word, live the Word, and assist in programs to read, study and memorize God’s Word. We also need to create a Bible teaching environment within our community.
Will McLeod, Raymond, MS –
The 21st century church has traded sound doctrinal teaching for a culture of good oratory, pseudo-relevant motivational preaching and orchestrated contemporary worship services. Neither the church nor any individual Christians can sustain themselves simply on rhetoric and praise worship. It is essential that Apostolics have solid doctrinal comprehension and be able to articulate in a proficient manner those core foundational beliefs and apply them in a practical manner to the believer’s life. It is imperative we study the Word of God for ourselves, as well as teach the scriptures to our children. We are losing far too many young people because they simply inherit the doctrine from their parents but never learn the doctrine for themselves. It is an absolute must that we go back to making Apostolic indoctrination our first priority.
David Brown, Rock Island, IL –
A practical and developing knowledge of God’s Word is foundational for anyone seeking to have a relationship with the Lord. It is becoming more essential than ever before that the authority and inerrancy of Scripture be communicated clearly from the pulpit and in the classroom. We can no longer assume that church members and attenders are solid on this basic tenant of the faith. Rather than studying it out for ourselves as the Word admonishes us to do, we find it easier to Google and echo what we hear and see without even considering the source and consequences. Every saint and minister must take upon themselves a personal responsibility to read, study and meditate upon the Scriptures daily. Our churches must become truth-centered from the pew to the pulpit.
Kris Keyes, Safford, AZ –
One of the problems I have noticed amongst Apostolics is a lack of scriptural understanding. We are seeing the fruit of the poison tree of apathy when it comes to Bible understanding. God dealt with me about this sometime back. First, I began a young men’s class to train budding ministers in my church, and I have begun a pastor’s class teaching on the foundations of our faith. It is required for anyone who comes to our church, whether new converts, transfers, returning backsliders, etc. If they want to be in ministry in any way, they must go through these classes. Training, teaching, prayer and an environment of loving truth is the solution. Make it imperative that those that come to the Lord and those that have been serving Him get a constant reminder of foundational doctrines.
George Szabolcsi, Belleville, IL –
The root cause of Biblical illiteracy is the failure of the Christian family to live out their faith in the home each day. The answer is to better equip our parents with biblical knowledge on how to train up their children! Please note that nowhere in the Bible does God command the Church to educate the children about God’s Word. The Word of God plainly expects the parents to take a more active and diligent role in the biblical education of their children. Where are the godly fathers today who take the lead to be the Christian priests of the home? It is the father’s responsibility to create an environment in which everything his children see around them teaches them about God!