The serious effects of teaching generations that they can reinterpret God’s Word—particularly in Genesis—or totally reject it are painfully evident in Americans’ views of the Bible. We’ve been saying for years that one consequence of this compromise will be an increasing rejection of the Bible as the literal Word of God and as our authority. And this is exactly what a new Gallup poll shows.
Only 24% of Americans (including older Americans) believe the Bible is “the actual Word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word” compared with 26% who view the Bible as “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.” Another 47% of Americans view the Bible as “the inspired Word of God but that not all of it should be taken literally.”
According to Gallup, this is the first time in 40 years that the number of those who are skeptical about the Bible has surpassed those who believe it should be taken literally.
What I found particularly striking about these results is the numbers when it came to young people. In 40 years, the number of young people who believe the Bible as written has fallen from 32% to a mere 12%. That’s a massive drop!
In 40 years, the number of young people who believe the Bible as written has fallen from 32% to a mere 12%.
That number represents generations of young people who have not been taught to stand boldly on the Word of God, defend what they believe, and allow God’s Word to be the authority in their lives. Most of them have been indoctrinated in the increasingly atheistic public education system. Frankly, I believe their parents and churches are partly to blame. Sadly, I wonder how many of those young people were told it didn’t matter what they believed about Genesis, as long as they trusted in Jesus? When you open the door to reinterpreting the Bible in Genesis, where do you stop? If we can be the authority over the clear words of Scripture in Genesis why not be the authority in other places too?
Parents, pastors, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, Christian teachers—are you actively working to instill a belief in the inerrancy, inspiration, and authority of the Scriptures in the young people under your influence? Are you simply assuming they view the Bible in this way? Are you actively undermining this belief by allowing for compromise regarding the history recorded in God’s Word?
As believers we need to be diligent about teaching young people the correct view of the Bible because the world is trying very hard to convince them that God’s Word can’t be trusted and that man is the authority, not God. I encourage you to arm yourself with resources (such as our newly updated and expanded Answers Bible Curriculum) and dedicate yourself to training up a generation of young people in the way they should go.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.