Let me state upfront, I realize within the audience reading this article, there will be a wide range of preconceived notions about the Bible. Some view the Bible as a historical book telling the story of one particular nation of people. Others may see the Bible as a good story book that includes helpful moralistic teaching. Still others of you may believe as I do, that it is the inspired and infallible Words of God Himself.
Regardless of what you believe, no one can deny that there has never been anything written in the history of man, that has had more impact on mankind. It is the most purchased, most read, and most translated book ever written. In the not so distant past, even many non-Christians in America, viewed the Bible as a reverent book that held authority when it comes to standards of morality. A few generations ago, most people could tell you who Moses was, what Noah was known for, that David was a courageous king. But in the American culture today, less and less people are being exposed to the Bible. This is unfortunate, as the more I read and understand the Bible, the more I truly believe America needs the Bible.
I believe so strongly about this, I want to encourage non-Christians reading this article, to consider reading the Bible. Why you might ask? First ask yourself this question. What is it about one single book, that has had so much impact, on so many people, in every continent of the world, for thousands of years? In other words could it be there is something special about the Bible considering how universal its message is and how it has survived the test of time. It is true the Bible was written within a particular culture at a particular time, but you will find that it still speaks just as clearly to a person living today in America as it did 2,000 years ago in ancient Israel. Cultures may change, but mankind itself does not.
Another reason American still needs the Bible is we live in a culture of confusion. If you don’t believe it, go to a bookstore and see how many different opinions you will find in self help books on the same subject. The American people are spending millions and millions of dollars searching for answers to questions about everyday life. The fact we are looking shows that we believe there is an answer out there, and that we care enough to try and find those answers. As you read this article, do you want to know how to have a flourishing marriage, how to raise responsible children, how to be financially stable, how to live a joyful meaningful life, and how to know you are going to heaven? If so, did you know you can find the answers to all of those questions and many more, with the purchase of one Bible.
Finally, have you ever asked yourself any of these questions? Is there a God? Is there life after death (i.e is there a heaven and hell)? How can you know what is truly right and truly wrong? Why is there so much evil in the world? What in the world am I here for? If you have, then can you think of any other source that could possibly claim any greater authority on questions about God, heaven, hell, right, wrong, good and evil than the Holy Bible?
Right now we live in a time where our country needs something solid to anchor into. Though the lines of morality in our culture are ever changing, the Bible remains the same today as it did yesterday, as it will tomorrow. Though we live in a culture that says there is no absolute Truth, we all know deep down inside there has to be. Though you may disagree with my opinions regarding the Holy Bible, I believe that we can agree experientially speaking, there is evidence that the further we as a culture depart from the solid foundational truth God has given us in His Word, the further our culture is slipping into moral decay.
But there is still great hope. Just as the pendulum can swing away from the center by ignoring the teachings of God in the Bible, the pendulum can also swing back toward the middle if people would return to the teachings of the Lord. Most people that say the Bible has no value for our world today have never read the Bible, therefore arguing out of ignorance rather than knowledge. The Bible is a big book, composed of several books and yes, it can be rather complex in some parts (after all it is about God). So if you are a beginner, let me encourage you to begin by reading the gospel of Luke and then the book of Romans. Find someone you know who may be a Christian that can help you with questions you may have. I think as you read the beautiful and profound words of the Bible, you will at least begin to see, why I say America still needs the Bible.
(Editor’s note: Allen West is pastor of Union Grove Baptist Church.)