According to Barna research, (www.barna.org) half of Americans believe that the Bible is accurate in what it teaches. This number improves to 79% of Christians who believe that the Bible is accurate. This does not include that the miracles performed in the Bible are literal or that the Bible is 100% historically accurate, only that the principles taught in the Bible are accurate.
One of the best known verses regarding the Bible itself is 2 Timothy 3:16. “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Many look at the Bible as being a collection of books written by many diverse men over the span of centuries. This is absolutely correct. But what many people don’t recognize is the amazing continuity between the books of the Bible. The message is the same from book to book because God was behind the writing of it all. God used the individual personalities and writing styles of many different people but He inspired the message. Because of this every word can be accepted as not just the opinion of some well intentioned people but as the very words of God penned by those people.
If such a large number of people believe that the Bible is accurate, a bigger question remans – why don’t people live according to Biblical principles if they believe them to be accurate? It goes back to the idea of absolute standards. People believe that the principles may be correct but they don’t apply to this day and age as they were written to a group of people thousands of years ago.
Or the answer may be even simpler. People believe that the Bible is accurate but they haven’t taken the time to read it so they can’t actually live according to what the Bible says. It doesn’t matter how accurate the Bible is if we are unfamiliar with its teachings.
I have a cell phone that can probably do a lot more things than send text messages and make phone calls. But I have no desire to do anything more with it than that. I have an instruction book that will tell me how to do everything else with my phone and I trust its accuracy. But I’ve never read the book. And I have no desire to make my cell phone do more because I’m happy with it as it is. This is the way many people treat their Christianity as well.
Many people are happy with their Christian life as it is and don’t bother to read the Bible because they don’t want any more out of their life. They fear that it will change them and cause them to do things that they don’t want to do. In truth, knowing the Bible only makes you more fulfilled in your Christian life and will never detract from your life.
People may believe that the Bible is accurate but it takes more than just belief to make a difference. People need to act on this belief. If the Bible is accurate in its teachings, then we need a desire to learn its teachings. Only then will it make an impact on our lives.