I was reviewing my 6 week class I developed called Connecting the Dots of the Bible. I’m about to teach it in a couple weeks. In reading over the notes of one of the first slides of the first week, I was again reminded how this all got started. It was the slide on the purpose of the class - the one with the statistics about how people today aren’t reading the Bible. Actually Bible reading is in a rapid nosedive. Each year the statistics come out and each year they drop, and each year I get emotional.
The large majority of American Christians are biblically illiterate. Alright, so why does it matter? Because this lack of biblical literacy leads to a lack of biblical doctrine. People have all kinds of mixed-up views on heaven, hell, salvation, the Holy Spirit, Satan, angels, Jesus, God,… Just watch TV and follow social media and you start picking up all the skewed unbiblical beliefs people have.
I followed a Facebook thread of people’s comments saying we are under a New Covenant and no longer under the Old Covenant. (Yes we are under a new, but it fulfills the old. Moral law still stands.)
Months ago someone told me the only words she had to read and follow in the Bible were Jesus’ words!
People on Facebook talk about “good karma and vibes.”
Another Christian told me she didn’t care what the Bible had to say on a certain subject because it no longer applied.
I heard a comment on a TV show the other night about suicide which I can’t seem to shake from my mind.
People say when someone dies they are an “angel” in heaven.
At a party some people who serve at their church talked about they think there is something to reincarnation.
All kinds of self-help information on how to fix ourselves - we can't. Only He can.
In reply to something I said, someone said, "Ppppppfffff. That is in the Old Testament." Saying that as if we can disregard the Old Testament.
I saw a Facebook thread where people commented they would pray for the person's situation - not to turn from their sin, but to continue in it.
People seem to embrace a loving God, but want to ignore the holy and just part of His character.
People want a Savior, but not so much a Lord.
There are many Christian sites and social media sites which have encouraging words (good), but largely ignore the holiness of God (bad.) God is holy and loving. The messages are partly true – enough to give people that warm fuzzy feeling, but don't quite take it the full course. And some memes and posts which are shared and appear Christian and have the right amount of "Christianese" verbiage in them; in reality have poor doctrine. (Example "God makes all things work out for good." Only for those who love Him and follow Him.)
Then there are those who authoritatively say the Bible text is unreliable… that the Bible is no longer relevant… that there are parts of God’s Word we can ignore.
We seem to be at an all-time high (all-time low?) of poor doctrine.
I understand. I can relate. It wasn’t that long ago that I was a Christian who didn’t read the Bible and I had some off-base beliefs too. I thought I knew what I was talking about and believed.
But I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I knew it.
Why does biblical doctrine matter?
What you believe in affects your thought process, your actions, your motivations, your decision-making, your relationships, and your worldview - your entire life.
And your entire eternity.
My feelings about Bible literacy is why this webpage exists.
I used to be a member of a large church here that occasionally offered evening and weekend classes. I took many classes with them and was really surprised by what I didn't know about the Bible. As I learned and researched and read the Bible I felt God leading me to teach. I taught many classes at this church. The class I taught the most was called Bible Basics. This was a long 8 week class. I started with what the church had and I began revising it, reorganizing it, and adding to it - trying to find new ways to make it interesting and engaging. I saw what the students weren’t grasping and would try to come up with a more effective way to teach the information. The curriculum was constantly evolving. According to the student’s feedback; they loved it!
I've found over the years that many Christians don't know the fundamentals of the Bible.
How we know the text is reliable
How the Bible is organized
What is the difference between various versions
The historical periods of the Bible
Key words in the Bible
How we know the content of the Bible is reliable
The time period between the testaments when a lot happened for the time to be prepared for our Savior to be born
How the whole Bible connects together...
It may sound boring, but students find it really interesting. People get very excited when they take this class!
What always surprises me when I teach this class is how little people really know about God's love plan for us. Oh, they know the big stories of the Old Testament and they know the gospel message. But they don't see how each historical time period flows into the next and how it is one big redemptive plan from Genesis 1 to the Revelation "Amen."
I started sensing it was time to leave this church. I was resistant to go and so for a couple years I wrestled with God over this. Finally my husband and I agreed it was time and we landed at a little church. There are a lot of really good churches in the area I live, but I knew as soon as I entered our new church that it was home for us.
However, I had a difficult interim period. I had the means to teach at the large church and now I wasn’t leading a women's group or teaching. I went through a ‘what am I supposed to be doing with my life phase?’ I remember one morning, crying and praying, “God, I thought teaching was what You wanted me to do?” And He answered me to keep working on it.
I spent at least a year reworking the Bible Basics curriculum into a shorter class called Connecting the Dots of the Bible. I bought a projector and screen so I was mobile to take it to groups in their homes or at their churches.
Finally I felt ready to take Connecting the Dots of the Bible to the world. Or at least to the area I live in. (ha ha) I was sure of the curriculum. I was sure that what I had would encourage people to read the Bible. I knew I was in God's will - doing what He wanted me to do. I knew God was calling me to share what I have learned over all of these years.
But no one was knocking down my door to schedule a class. No one knew what I had. I joked with my family and told my friends that if I should suddenly die, download all of my files and give it to someone!
A woman who took my class, kept telling me, "You have to get a webpage to share this!" Originally it was just going to be a site that told about my various classes. It took months before I started. We are talking a huge technology curve for me! This friend really encouraged me. But to really reach people I was told I should blog. I was resistant. 'I don't want to write. I want to teach.' Now I’m not much of a writer (I am a much better teacher!) and what on earth was I going to write about? I spent a couple weeks writing and deleting posts. They were just awful. “But God I’m not a writer!” And then He told me to write about what I teach about. And so that is what I’m trying to do (although I’ve thrown in some posts about what I’ve learned in my own journey as God puts those subjects on my heart.)
And www.passiontoknowmore.com came about.
But why have I invested so much time and effort into this?
There seems to be a lack of sound biblical doctrine and a lack of foundational biblical knowledge in the world today. I believe if people read their Bibles that would change.
I believe the Bible is God’s Word.
I believe the primary way God will speak to each of us is through His Word.
I believe as we read and study the Bible, God’s Word will transform us.
And I believe that transformation in our hearts, minds, and souls is the only way to effect real change in the world.
I want you to pick up your Bible and read it.
I want to encourage you.
I want you to gain an eternal perspective.
Reading Scripture is life-transforming.
One life at a time, I’m doing my part to change the world. Smile.