the weblog of Alan Knox

Is it lack of knowledge? Is it apathy? Is it something else?

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in blog links, discipleship | 11 comments

Is it lack of knowledge? Is it apathy? Is it something else?

Chris at “The Amplified Life” (I still love that blog name) has written a very good post called “Is More Knowledge the Answer?

In the post, Chris quotes a statistic that “65% of professing Christians never read the Bible.” After examining this statistic, he asks this question, “Is more knowledge of the Scriptures the answer that the Church needs?”

He answers his question with both “yes” and “no.” His answers are very good, so you should read them. In the comments, I also answered his question with “yes” and “no,” but for different reasons.

One point that I raised is that the Scriptures were not available to Christians in the early church the way they are available today. Those early Christians could not have read the Scriptures every day even if they wanted to. I’m certain they heard the Scriptures read and discussed when they gathered with others, but they could not hold a copy of a Bible and read it for themselves in their homes (for the most part). This was true because of availability and literacy until quite recently.

Here’s the problem though… if you examine the book of Acts and the other books of the New Testament, you will find that those early Christians looked much different than Christians generally look today… even though they did not have ready access to Scriptures.

So, reading the Bible is not the issue.

Is the issue apathy? Perhaps, but does that point to a deeper issue?

It’s obvious that many, many professing Christians do not seem to care about the things or God, or if they do care about God, they don’t care about other people. (At least, they don’t care in the same way we see the Christians in the NT caring for others.)

Why? What do you think the issue is?


11 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-4-2011

    Growing up in a small baptist church, I was told many things. I was told to go to church every Sunday because that was where I could worship God. I was told to memorize certain bible verses so I could repeat them to unbelievers during our summer missions trips. I was told that having a daily devotional book would make me a stronger better Christian. I was also told hundreds of things I should not do. I was never, not once, told to love people.
    I’m rambling, but my point is that I’m not convinced people are totally apathetic. I think they are lost. They are always being told what to do, a lot of them have forgotten how to think for themselves. They don’t read their bibles because their bibles will be read to them on Sunday morning. And even if they were to pick it up themselves, other than being able to find the key verses they were told to memorize, I’m not sure they would know how to find anything. I’m not sure…just rambling.

  2. 5-4-2011

    I’m thinking perhaps something, better yet, Someone is missing.

    The internal motivation and divine enablement of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Newness of Life, The New Heart, The love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that He has given to us, The law written on the heart, partaking of the divine nature, the circumcised heart, the One who leads us into all truth, the one who brings to our remembrance what Jesus said. This is what made all the difference in the lives of Christ’s first followers who did not have a single NT scripture.

    John’s writings seem to indicate love for others, having the love of God is a huge clue to knowing if someone is regenerate.

    Maybe people don’t love God, neighbor, brother and enemy because the love of God has not been poured into their hearts? Romans 5:5, 1 John 4:7-8

  3. 5-4-2011

    I think Stephanie is on the right track. It’s about discipleship. What the people you perceive as “leaders” teach you about being a Christian through their actions (good or bad) and teaching (good or bad) is what you know. It is hard to see outside of and beyond that.

    Dan

  4. 5-4-2011

    While it is true that most of the believers in the days of the Early Church did not have full copies of the New Testament like we do, we do have to acknowledge that they did have the “Old Testament”, which is what Jesus was always talking about whenever he mentions “the scriptures”…

    It also always convicts when I am reminded of the fact that guys like Paul went around preaching the Gospel of Jesus, that they actually used the Old Testament scriptures to prove that Jesus was the messiah, and to explain what His death and resurrection were all about!

    Yes, it’s true that we do not simply need more intellectual “knowledge”, and it is true that the Pharisees knew the scriptures backwards and forwards, yet it was of no use to them, because they would not accept Jesus as the messiah, but the Word of God is not simply a big compilation of “knowledge”… It is “alive”. It has power. It speaks to our hearts and convicts us. It builds us up in the Lord. It sharpens us and helps protect us from straying into error. When you actually just sit and read the Word, letting it speak for itself without chopping it up, it is absolutely amazing how different it is than just sitting and listening to someone pick out little snippets and proof texts…

    The fact that Christians today are so ignorant about what their Bibles actually say is most assuredly a large reason as to why there is so much confusion and falsehood in the Body of Christ today…

  5. 5-4-2011

    Alan,

    The answer is in 2 Cor.3.

    Apart from that, the Scripture they did have access to wasn’t what we have today.

  6. 5-4-2011

    One word: Jesus. That is what is needed. Many people today, even many Christians, do not know HIM.

  7. 5-4-2011

    I guess my opinion would be that in most instances many who believe the message are not founded on Christ with other brothers and sisters in a deep loving way and do not know how to live by Christ’s life organically together. We have very few brothers and sisters who are actually available who have an apostolic functioning that can help a group of brothers and sisters have a dynamic foundation on Christ together in community. So in part we do what we know – institutionalism, living by an outward set of rules individually versus by our indwelling Lord together in a shared life. At least this is what I have read, seen, and what little I have experienced of Christ in organic church life. I prefer not to judge the heart of someone who does not express Christ since in most instances the problem is the institutional church and the lack of brothers and sisters knowing how to fully participate in the life of Christ together. Some thoughts.

  8. 5-4-2011

    Thanks everyone. I’m sorry but I’ve been away from a computer and haven’t been able to interact with your comments.

    -Alan

  9. 5-4-2011

    Alan, I am thinking it’s not knowledge, not theology, and not right doctrine. It’s knowing Him. The early believers had to have grasped the reality of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. It was tangible. They walked in the spirit.

    It is too easy in our culture to walk in the “head” knowledge of Jesus. Knowledge is powerful, but without the fear of the Lord it is of no use. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom. It says in Acts 2:43 that “…fear came upon every soul;” or “…awe came upon every soul…” I think there is something to that “fear” or “awe”.

  10. 5-4-2011

    Wow-these responses are blessing my soul!!

  11. 5-5-2011

    Alan,

    Thanks for linking to this post. Everyone, I really like your answers. Jack, I agree, the reality of the Holy Spirit is huge in a person’s life.

    -Chris