“The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E. What’s that spell? Bible!”
For decades, these lyrics have been on the lips of boys and girls in Sunday School classes here and around the world. If taken to heart, they contain a lasting truth that can withstand life’s greatest tests, as well as waves of skepticism young people will face from the entertainment industry, the academic world and elsewhere.
Yet research shows that many of the children who learned these lyrics, while they may still believe in the Bible, they don’t live like it. Even here in the “Bible Belt,” we feel the effects. A recent poll taken among Falls Creek campers reveals that, while “93 percent of students said they believed the Bible was accurate in all it teaches… only 18 percent” said they read their Bible daily.
In the same survey, “when asked to choose what helps them most in their walk with God, students ranked ‘reading the Bible’ fifth out of six choices. Some things that ranked ahead of Scripture reading were events (camps, retreats, etc.), Christian friends and attending church.”
Christian events, friends and worship services are, of course, good things. But research shows there is no substitute for daily Bible reading.
The Center for Bible Engagement found that reading the Bible four times a week was the “magic number.” If a person read their Bible fewer than four times weekly, they were more likely to engage in destructive behaviors, such as drunkenness or fornication.
If, however, a person read their Bible at least four times weekly, they were less likely to engage in these destructive behaviors and were more likely to engage in productive behavior, such as prayer and evangelism.
What’s at stake in regard to Bible engagement, then, is theological and behavioral. That is partly why it is so encouraging to see one new development in America. This month, the Museum of the Bible is set to open in our nation’s capital.
Founded by the Green family (of Hobby Lobby), the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. will be “the largest international museum in the world devoted solely to the presentation of the history, narrative and impact of the Bible.”
Containing one-of-a-kind biblical artifacts, the Museum will show the Bible’s unique role in history. Since 2009, Steve and Jackie Green “have been planning for the presentation of various archaeological finds pertaining to the Bible and the world’s most impressive display of materials relating to the Bible’s original writings, its preservation, and its distribution around the globe.”
I, for one, cannot wait to see the wonders of God’s Holy Word on display in this first-rate Museum. Yet, the Museum will be important not just for Bible-believing folks like me. For honest skeptics, the Museum will show the unquestionable significance of the Bible in our world. For seekers, the Museum will speak to minds and hearts.
Indeed, the Museum of the Bible is one way we must awaken an awe and newfound appreciation for the Word of God. If local churches and national efforts like the Museum are successful, we can expect the full power of God’s Word to be unleashed on a nation walking in darkness.
If we are unsuccessful, than the B-I-B-L-E children’s song will left in the dust bin of memories, and even worse, an entire generation will have missed completely the ultimate memo from God to all of mankind: the Bible.