A recent study put out by Lifeway Research gives us some interesting information that paints a picture of how Americans view, study, and apply the Word of God to their lives.
It starts out painting what could maybe be a hopeful study, stating that 90% of Americans have read at least a portion of the Bible, but when you dig deeper into the study, the facts paint a dark picture.
53% of Americans have read “Several passages or stories” at best and a third of Americans never pick up a Bible on their own. Even when we talk about things that seem good, we see that less than a quarter of those who actually do read it have a systematic system for how to study the Bible.
Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, stats “Most Americans don’t know first-hand the overall story of the Bible – Because they rarely pick it up. Even among worship attendees less than half read the Bible daily. The only time most Americans hear from the Bible is when someone else is reading it.”
The problem isn’t the number of Bibles in American homes either, as 87% of households have a Bible and the average American home has three Bibles in it.
A second, question, however, can maybe give us some hope that the typical media narrative of the youth of America seeing a “harmful, bigoted Bible” is inaccurate. 52% of those surveyed said the Bible is a good source of morals, while only 7% said it was harmful, 8% said it was bigoted, and 14% say it is outdated. Maybe we aren’t losing the culture war as much as we are think sometimes, but we still need to put some work in to change these views of the Bible, even if its a small number.
But the main take way I see from this? We, as Christians, need to read the Bible more. We have to be a light to a dark, dark world and without our having read the Scriptures, how can we lead others into the light?