The Bible, the world’s best-selling book, widely considered to be some of the finest literature ever written has inspired writers throughout the ages in such classics as Paradise Lost; East of Eden; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Pulp Fiction; the Divine Comedy, etc. There are more than a thousand biblical references in the works of Shakespeare alone.
Authors and poets like John Milton, Charles Dickens, Wordsworth, Mark Twain, Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson shaped their literature with allusions and metaphors taken from the pages of the Bible. The Bible’s influence also extends to the language we speak, the laws we enacted, the names we were given, the metaphors we use and the similes we employ for emphasis in our daily lives.
From a literary point of view, it is astonishing that despite having been written by so many different men from so many different backgrounds, the Bible does not contradict itself and does not contain errors as originally written. As novelist Frederick Buechner wrote, “In spite of all its extraordinary variety, the Bible is held together by having a single plot.”
The Bible has always occupied the central place in the Christian faith; from the time of the writing of the first books of the Old Testament in the days of Moses until modern times the Holy Scriptures have been regarded as the incomparable Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Yet today, more than at any previous period in our nation, there is a rising tide of unbelief and rejection of the authority of Scripture. While America still boasts of being a Christian nation, in the area of private religious practice Christianity is in a state of serious decline. Today, church attendance is at an all-time low, and the number of Americans who profess to be Christian is rapidly dropping. Young people in particular are dropping out of church at an astounding rate, and significant numbers are abandoning Christianity altogether, calling it irrelevant to real life.
Chuck Baldwin, an outspoken Christian minister and author, has long lamented Christianity’s failure to be relevant to modern life. Calling today’s mainstream church “the opiate of entertainment and feel-good-ism,” he writes that when it comes to influencing societal conditions, culture and the political philosophy of the nation, “America’s churches are the largest block of irrelevant, impotent and insignificant institutions in the entire country.”
Quoting the 19th-century revivalist Charles Finney, Baldwin writes: “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”
The bottom line is that Christianity’s popular “feel-good Gospel” is just not relevant to the real-world problems and stresses people are facing. The widely-promoted bumper sticker “Honk If You Love Jesus!” pretty well sums it up. Unconsciously, those who remain a part of today’s organized Christianity end up just “playing church,”claiming to be Christian while living like a non-believer.
Our churches are no longer ‘the pillar and ground of the truth’ as we read in I Timothy 3:15. They have become centers of social interaction, recreation, and feel-good indoctrination. Ministers are not as God commanded in II Timothy 4:2 where they are told to preach the word, to reprove, rebuke and exhort with doctrine. They have become as we read in verse 3-4, preachers who no longer endure sound doctrine but are after their own lusts, teachers with itching ears, turned away from the truth.
The overall spirit of America is one of rebellion against God.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6” 7-8
Source: Fewer Americans Than Ever See the Bible as the ‘Literal Word of God’ by Josue Michels, the Trumpet; Why Is Christianity Failing in America? Part One, cbcg.org; The Bible as Literature by Art Verschoor, Life Hope and Truth.com; Contemporary Problems in Biblical Interpretation, Chpt. 1, Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God? by Walvoord, Galaxy.com;