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John Plake (Bible Study Trends)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd
The Truth Network Radio
October 28, 2021 4:00 am

John Plake (Bible Study Trends)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd

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October 28, 2021 4:00 am

The Woke Christian Left is ramping up its media narrative on how awful conservative Christians are, while failing to take the log out of their own eyes. I'll explain why I think so. Plus: Some good news is out on how Americans are exploring Scripture. We'll get the details from Dr. John Plake from the American Bible Society. Join us for Thursday's JANET MEFFERD TODAY.

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This archived broadcast of Janet Mefford today is brought to you by Hartford, Lebanon, God is using hard for Lebanon to bring practical assistance in the gospel to the stricken refugee families in Lebanon for a gift of $116 you can give a child in his family survival essentials for four months and hope of Jesus Christ which lasts forever, now 888-247-5499 888-247-5499 there's a banner to click@janetmefford.com is our confidence is in Christ alone, the word of God says I time is just one finding in the latest release coming from the American Bible Society's annual state of the Bible report, which highlights cultural trends in the US on spirituality and Scripture engagements. What else did this report discover about the Bible in the American church were to find out more now from Dr. John Flake, director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society John welcome great to have you with us. Thank you so much for having it agreed to be with.

Well, thank you. You have just come out with your seventh chapter on the state of the Bible in America gives a little bit of an overview on this report and how you conducted the research will back in January we reached out to a representative sample of over 3500 Americans from really every walk of life. Every faith background in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We really want to find their perspectives on the Bible on faith and really on the events that are affecting their lives and on the church and so we got a broad range of data that came to us and we been releasing it have that information every month throughout the year.

In this latest release we really look at the Bible in the American church and tried to understand to what degree is the Bible influencing people who call themselves Christians. And how do Christians in America really think about Scripture and how does it influence their lives right so you got this 95 million number. This is this is a lot of people who are exploring Scripture is that up is that arise since the previous time you took a look at these kinds of numbers. It is we've been looking at Scripture engagement kind of thinking of it in in three categories. We have a group of people in America that is honestly the majority that really don't look at Scripture at all. We call the Bible disengaged and these are people who unless it's by accident may be there at a wedding there at a funeral or something and they happen to encounter Scripture.

They don't really interact with it much. Then on the opposite end of the spectrum with people that we call Scripture engagement for the most part Scripture engage people are choosing to interact with the Bible often a week once a week or more on their own outside of church and many of them at the upper end of that are really reading the Bible every single day and it guiding their choices and really shaping their relationships, but in the middle.

There's this interesting group of people we call them the movable middle and their Bible test drivers for folks who are not only Bible users there probably not weekly Bible users, at least not most of them, but they've had something happen in their life that made them curious about Scripture and so they've begun to pick it up. They begun to reach out for Scripture. And what we've seen is that now that's 95 million Americans and that is an 90% increase in the last four years, so it's really a huge increase and all of those people are coming from the Bible disengaged that lower category, that doesn't really reach for Scripture much, so it's an interesting trend that were keeping our eye on it is fascinating to see how I think often in troubled times when people are facing difficult circumstances. They begin to think back on the faith of their fathers and mothers if you will, and wonder does the Bible have some wisdom for me today makes sense.

We've had a really lousy couple of years, and particularly with the pandemic and if you did these numbers in January. That would explain did you go through any more detail on that delving into why the people who were previously Bible disengaged decided to explore Scripture more. Did they cite the pandemic is one of the main reasons you know we didn't ask them. In particular, why you begin to dig into Scripture in a in a big anonymous survey like that sometimes he gets a little bit intrusive, but we did see some interesting correlations so people who were experiencing more stress or who had had close to home impacts from COBIT. 19.

They also said that they had increase their use of Scripture more lately and we do think that we also see this happening among millennial so millennial's are coming to an age of life where you know they're having children of their their lives are changing their facing things they've never faced before and so in the midst of stresses and in everyday life and COBIT, 19, and trauma and all of these issues.

What we find is that when people are struggling. Many of them to reach for Scripture. And that's when the story really begins to change it out. We don't look at Bible people and find that they are experiencing less stress is because think about that stress comes from the outside it comes from what's happening around you and actually don't experience less trauma either in their lives. In some ways we think they may be experienced more trauma in their lives when they face those things how they cope with them and the levels of hope that they have are completely different. The Bible is really bringing hope and resilience to people who are facing the struggles that are common to all of us. This is interesting because I know you break down some of these categories when you draw the distinction between, for example, self identified in practicing Christians and you have kind of a spectrum of categories of Christians, who are you talking about when you win and you talk to these 3500 Americans across America in all 50 states. You got You got evangelicals. How did that break down who your actually talking to when you were getting these numbers were actually talking to people of any and all faith, so we have probably 20 to 25% of our respondents say they have no particular faith affiliation, but among those who identify as Christian, they may say that their Catholic.

They may say that their Protestant is either just a Christian and those labels don't hold for them. Still, if they identify as Christian. They've attended a religious service, at least within the last month and they strongly agree that their faith is important in their lives than we call those people practicing Christians. And so there are self identified Christians you get this right. There are people in America who say I'm a Christian and you say will what that means you and many of them don't know or it means I'm not a Buddhist or not a Muslim or I believe in God you know and I'm an American, and so there is that group of folks in the United States that kind of identifies Christian baby they were baptized when they were a child. Maybe they were members of the church or their family had a church tradition, but they're not actually engaging with their faith. And so we call those people nonpracticing Christians and then the group of folks that says what I really don't have any tie to a Christian church at all, then those are non-Christian so we look at those three groups really instructive to look at what's going on in their lives and how are they experiencing life and how are they interacting with Scripture.

Yeah, one other thing that you guys had posted online about what you discovered in this report was the proportion of American adults who never use the Bible has actually fallen to 29%, which is the lowest percentage since 2016's on the one hand you have the 95 million American adults exploring Scripture. Scripture maybe for the first time as a 90% increase in the last four years. This other statistic is a fall but in a good direction. Can you talk about that particular finding I mentioned earlier that the largest segment of Americans really doesn't have any relationship with the Bible at all.

So I think there are people in the world who think will America is a Christian nation, or maybe in the community that your from you kind of feel like the Christian community.

But for most of America across a representative sweep of America. Most people really don't have a relationship with Scripture. So were talking 100 million or so American adults who are not meaningfully engaging with the Bible do not curiously exploring the Bible just out of the Bible.

There and so what we had seen in the last several years was that the percentage of Americans who say realistically, they never read or listen to or interact with the Bible at all that had been creeping up. But in January, we saw that correct back down and it fell below 30% for the first time in the last few survey cycles. We do the survey.

Every single January, we've done it for 11 years now so were starting to get a sense of what's happening in America and then in 2020 when the cold 19 pandemic really started locking down on America for the first time we did a special edition of the survey in June to try and understand what how is COBIT really impacting people. Water how is it impacting people's faith, their relationship with the Bible and is the Bible helping those who are hurting America right now all those things are very interesting because the pandemic has changed a lot of statistics and research data coming across a lot of spectrum spent on this particular subject. It's quite interesting because I wonder if this is pointing to a moment that the church can use to really bring people to Jesus Christ and take advantage of the fact that people are may not previously have been interested in the Bible. Opening it, maybe for the first time were to come back to listening to Janet my for today back with Dr. John Flake from the American Bible Society.

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Yes, you can serve the entire family went healthcare for only $399 a month with liberty health chair pretty health chair is a nonprofit ministry insurance so your money goes toward helping other members with their eligible medical expenses and in your time of need. Other members are there for you to, you can feel good knowing your part of a community of like-minded individuals sign up at any time and here their own doctor and hospital find out more@libertyhealthchair.org/JM T. Liberty health chair.org/JMP call now 855-565-2561 that's 855-565-2561 or liberty health shared.org/JMP you're listening to you. Welcome back. It's always interesting to see how American adults are exploring Scripture or not, but this is really interesting data coming out of the American Bible Society's state of the Bible report just come out with their seventh chapter on the state of the Bible and looking into how the Bible is influencing people's lives. John you and I were talking earlier about the fact that you've got all these people who had no engagement with the Bible at all. And now you see, even though that had been a number creeping down that they were an interest in the Bible. Now that is not interested in the Bible. Those numbers are going down. In other words, you have more people who are engaging with the Bible when interested in a little bit is talking about the reasons. Now I don't know to what extent you got into the reasons because you're interviewing 3500 people on all these views, primarily, did you discover that the reason or it may be that the biggest reason people were turning to the Bible was because of personal problems and not necessarily interest in Christianity per se interest in theology interest in Jesus Christ. Whether or not he really is the son of God. In other words, is it more self interest. Not that that's a bad thing necessarily, but people who need help, as opposed to people who have theological questions and that's why they're turning to the Bible. Did you see any evidence along those lines. Either way, equipped different groups of people in America so when you talk about the Bible test drivers with movable middle people all of our data in all of her research say that when they initially start reaching for Scripture. It's a question that brings them to the Bible. Often they're facing something new in their life. Now it might be new and difficult like COBIT 19 or grief or some struggle or difficulty trauma or pain that they're facing. And so they're coming to Scripture and their asking does the Bible have help for me in this circumstance, other times it is something more positive. I was riding in an Uber in Colorado Springs going to visit with a colleague of mine, and the gentleman who was driving to Huber had no relationship with the Bible whatsoever. But he got into this conversation with me about will you know I got these young kids and I want them to grow up to be good people, and he suggested the way he was doing that was Bible reading Grimms fairytales to the event and inwardly I chuckle that will Bible researcher, you know, until I isolate you ever wondered if the Bible might have some wisdom for you as a parent or for your children as they grow up and you know he will hunt off put by that at all. He wasn't angrier or defensive. He just looked at me and said not never really considered it.

And so there at the Hampton Inn by the Air Force Academy. He pulled my luggage out of the back of the car and I opened up my iPhone and showed them the Bible app by you version and search for parenting under the Bible reading plans and showed them to him and said with this look interesting to you like will yeah right there, he kinda downloaded the Bible onto his phone and started pursuing answers to his questions, not to take too long with that answer, but just to illustrate the idea that people come to Scripture not because the privilege Scripture not because oh you know it's this wonderful book. They don't know many of them the background of Scripture or how it structured or how to find what they're looking for but they do have a question and so most Americans to be get exploring Scripture for the first time they bring their questions to that question. That is great and I think you're right about that. There are a lot of people who are very Bible anger and they may never have set foot in a church or they may have never even encountered Christianity among people they've had to. And so that's a great opportunity.

Interesting when you guys were quantifying the weekly Bible reading rates you found them to be most common among practicing Christians or evangelicals, 93%, which is a very high number and also historically black Protestants and mainlanders 80%, which for some evangelicals that might be a little surprising because they tend to look at mainlanders as an we don't know how much they're really interested in the Bible. But what were those numbers higher than in previous state of the Bible reports that you guys have taken you know they're fairly what we find is that regardless of tradition from an evangelical background or mainline background, historically black or even Catholic background, the more engaged you are with your faith, the more likely it is that the Bible is part of that right and so they're picking up Scripture they're searching for what it has to say in their different traditions around how to engage with Scripture, do I do that on my own and my war room do I do that with a community of people who were helping me to understand that, but you know one thing I would say is nobody needs to do their faith walk alone and the church offers tremendous resources to help people understand Scripture and apply it to their day-to-day lives.

We don't just want people to be deeply rooted in God's word but also in a vibrant Christian community that can help them grow. What right so this is a very important question when you're seen some of these encouraging statistics coming out of your research. That is a question for a lot of Christians and a lot of pastors who may be listening.

What kind of opportunity do these numbers give the church to help connect these new people exploring the Bible, maybe for the first time to the church because that's obviously the goal is you want people who are reading God's word. To learn more about it. Where better to go than to go to church but what are some of your thoughts on that with the challenge that might lie within this situation in getting those Bible readers into an actual local church. I think the church really has three key opportunities show up in the data.

The first of them is there's a big group of Americans who are hurting for bright reasons, who are looking for hope and help if the church can help them. They are willing to listen to that message. If the Bible has answers for them and hope for them there there open to the second is I think the next generation. Our data around generation Z are really interesting because Genji is in some ways, facing things that are typical to young adults, but in other ways they're facing a brand-new moment.

None of us when we were that age grew up with Facebook and tick-tock and you know all of the social media kinds of engagements that are honestly not helping the feel good about themselves or about their future.

Those are spaces that we need to be stepping into and helping them engage with God's word and find a longer-term perspective in an the third thing is I think everybody's looking take their next step with God were oral and attorney were all at different places in our journey with God. But there's a next step for everybody and I think that if we could help people take their next step. Give them the biblical resources that they need to grow a little bit to maybe pray more to sense God's presence more to hear his voice more that people would be open to that and would respond to that.

So those are three key things that show up in the data that point us to reaching out to others with good biblical answer yes sir, you mention generation see and how online they are all the times the present problems of social media has been well researched and then discussed but it does this indicate to you at all John that there needs to be a higher level of Bible presentation whether or not it's Bible apps or Bible study materials online or should it be more that we try to catch NZ off-line so that they can grow in their faith what they mean is there any sense that you have that one is better than the other, or that we have to do both. I think I'm always in favor of using wisdom in how we engage with online and social media. I think there are some risks to people across the age spectrum. That said, I grew up in the country and we had a saying that it's not really all that effective to close the barn door after the horses already left and so I think the horses left the barn. In this case, the people are online.

People of all ages and generations and I think there's a real innovation opportunity or just like Johannes Gutenberg took the Bible and made it available in a language that people could understand and made it available to everyone through Movable Type were now in a technological age when we can take the wisdom of Scripture and we can deliver it to where people are where they're searching for answers.

We can provide those answers in this digital spaces and then invite them from where they are to where they can be with God.

And so that's really the contextualization sure that we have as the church and his people of God, to invite others to come from where you are to where you can be very good.

One other thing that I noticed was you found that more than half of self identified Christians in the United States are not actively practicing their faith. That's an awful lot of people and clearly there a lot of different categories of people within that statistic are these people who go to church at all. Are they just cultural Christians.

What is the church to do about those people who say I'm a Christian, but I not actively practicing my faith clearly want more those people to be engaged with God's word. What are some opportunities that the church has in that regard. One of the interesting things is that the culture is kind of shedding historical cultural connection to the church.

That's not to say there are just as many Bible believing born-again.

If you will, deeply committed practicing Christians.

Is there ever were. That number hasn't changed much but feel the zeitgeist of the culture has shifted some and so I think what that means is for us as Christians and for the church.

We need to be reaching out to our friends and neighbors and inviting them to explore Scripture with us to share how God is helping us and as we invite others into the exploration of Scripture and the exploration of faith. I really believe that many self identified Christians are going to become practicing Christian, we really do have an opportunity to welcome them back, but will have to be answering their questions and meeting their needs with biblical resources to do that will right and engaging with scripture.

Ideally, the more your reading the Bible, the more your studying the Bible, the better off you are.

Would you like to see those numbers get even larger, not just exploring Scripture with people going deep into Scripture. Is that something that you guys have taken a look at two absolutely depending on the kind of church that you might attend 30 to 50% of the people sitting next to you on a given Sunday or logging in with you to the online service 30 to 50% of them are not currently deeply engaging the Scripture. And so we've lost in many cases the discipleship moment that training to help people understand how I read Scripture and how I understand it, and how does it apply to my life. So that's where the small groups of people get together and study God's Word and pray together and really live out their faith in not just a ritual but in a vibrant Christian community that's really what's transformational in people's relationship with God through the Bible very good. You can check out more in American Bible.org. The website for the American Bible Society were Dr. John Clegg serves as director of ministry intelligence so much John. It was great to have the update. Keep up the good work and we really appreciate you being here.

Thank you Janet God bless you.

This archived broadcast of Janet today is brought to you by Hartford, Lebanon, God is using hard for Lebanon to bring practical assistance and the gospel to the stricken refugee families in Lebanon for a gift of $116 you can give a child in his family survival essentials for four months and the hope of Jesus Christ which lasts forever.

Call now 888-247-5499 888-247-5499 there's a banner to click@janet.com Janet Mefford today and here's your host Joe Mefford. While one would've thought when Russell Moore left the Southern Baptist convention to go to Christianity today that perhaps his media strategy would come to an end now. Now why would that happen. Why would that happen. We have big Eva for a reason, folks, Russell Moore, Beth Moore, Ed Stetzer, all those people out there in big Eva. They just love the media, the leftist media they like Fox they think Fox pushes conspiracy theories and will tell you so.

But they love the Atlantic.

They love the New York Times.

They love the Washington Post. How much was Russell Moran company able to leverage the loop.

The goodwill of their friends over at those leftist outlets for their own purposes. During his entire tenure and in their time and in their posts and evangelicalism to try to change the narrative and mainly it's never tromp and then it became now conservative Christians are evil and I hate the word evangelical and in all the different things that they've been pushing over the last several years. I mean, I'm glad he's a Christianity today, but the horror stories continue. So a couple of articles deserve. Comment one in the Atlantic by Pete Wainer. This guy is just insufferable.

It's a whole long piece. It's called Tromp is tearing apart the evangelical church break the left to spend tearing apart the evangelical church and the first anecdote with which he starts out has to do with David Platts who is the minister at McLean Bible Church out the DC area. He's been as woke as woe can be and they're basically painting Wainer I should say is painting the picture. As David Platt and others have been experiencing the horrors of tromp voters in all of these aggressive and disruptive and unforgiving people who are all about evangelical conservative politics. Now this is destroying churches like McLean Bible church.

Give me a break because that's not even true. And it's actually a lie because I know what happened. McLean Bible church and a lot of people who have been following the story and watching what's unfolded through the narratives of the people who love and have been members of that church for years can tell you that the problem it McLean Bible church is been David Platt.

It hasn't been the people who have been faithful Christians sitting in the pews for years. It's it's just outrageous. Here's a little bit of what they say Wainer I should say the election of the elders of an evangelical church is usually an uncontroversial, even unifying events this summer and an influential mega church in Northern Virginia. Something went badly wrong. A trio of elders didn't receive 75% of the vote.

The threshold necessary to be installed.

David Platt set a small group of people inside and outside this church coordinated a divisive effort to use this information in order to persuade others to vote these men down as part of a broader effort to take control of this church.

Platt said church members had been misled, having been told, among other things, that the three individuals nominated to be elders would advocate selling the church building to Muslims who converted into a mosque and a second vote. All three nominees cleared the threshold, but that hardly resolve the conflict. Members of the church filed a lawsuit claiming that the conduct of the election violated the church's Constitution Ellison of this little line Platt who is theologically conservative had been accused in the months before the vote by a small, small but zealous group within his church of wilderness of wildness and be left of center. He was accused of pushing a social justice agenda and promoting critical race theory, and of attempting to purge conservative members. A Facebook page and a right wing website have targeted Platt in his leadership and for his part, Platt speaking to his congregation described an email that was circulated claiming NBC is no longer McLean Bible church. It's now melanin Bible church whose fault is that David Platt it was your fault.

What happened at McLean Bible church, the Atlantic says is happening all over the evangelical world influential figures such as the theologian Russell Moore and the Bible teacher Beth Moore felt compelled to leave the SBC. Both were targeted by right-wing elements within the SBC idea what wadded up and throw it into that. The nearest fireplace is that is not what happened. They were not targeted by right-wingers. These people came into the church and they went woke and they started slamming us for the last part of a decade.

These people have been out there slamming us more. In particular, Russell Moore, in particular, and Beth Morgan on the woke training. David Platt got on the woke train David Platt was the one. If memory serves me correctly, who made sure that the church wasn't open during the pandemic, but he was going to be out on the streets marsh marching for racial justice at a time when Christians couldn't go to church so all of these will people we have long memories we remember what you actually did during the pandemic you worship the state you worship the authority of the state and you took verses out of context in order to do it and we won't soon forget. I go back also to this piece of news busters. You can read this. This was from August 10 of this year McLean Bible church is fighting back against radical Pastor David Platt and it says here, it was clear from the beginning that Platt would be bringing a political agenda with him while he was preaching the gospel meeting when he came on board at the church over the past four years that he has been at the church. There have been multiple cases of his personal biases creeping into his sermons.

Platt recorded a series of episodes on the issues of race and justice with videos named what is your earliest memory of being aware of your race is defined in American society that that central Bible concern of when did you become aware of your race. Yet straight out of the pages of Scripture. Recently, disgruntled members of the church have begun speaking out against Platt and his woke leadership. The Facebook group save McLean Bible church states that the congregation is witnessing corruption, lack of transparency, deception, slandering intimidation and use of the pulpit to bully members of the church. That's exactly what's been happening post on the page also revealed that the church is listed on the Southern Baptist convention's website. Despite the NBC's Constitution, prohibiting affiliation with a specific denomination. Oh, but it's all the conservatives out. David Platt is a golden boy of biblical fidelity. While these horror shows a little Nina little roach people who are in these churches and bothering these big names were just trying to be theologically conservative. I get so tired of it and yes there was sarcasm and sarcasm in my voice because I'm sick and tired of average Christians. Normal people who are trying to work at their jobs, to the glory of God and raise their families, to the glory of God and stand on the word of God that they are reading and studying and trying to faithfully adhere to what the Lord has called them to do and they go to church sometimes churches. They have been in for decades and they're encountering these little woke punks who are trying to hijack the Bible and hijacked these congregations built on the blood sweat and tears of people who have been in those churches for years and destroy them from within. And this was a calculated attempt by these guys to do it. It's not just Platt. You think of what happened at first Baptist Church of Naples Florida and how JD Greer got involved and they tried to make sure that they got their guy is the pastor of that church is a horror show what they did to those people discussing what they did to those people and they fought back they tried to paint the whole church is a bunch of racists because they didn't want to hire a man who didn't meet the qualifications for the job that were stated and laid out they didn't want to hire somebody who was woke he didn't have anything to do with the color of his skin. Nothing. You know what wouldn't of elected somebody is the pastor of the church was woke color. It had nothing to do with the fact that he was black, but oh no, we have to come up against these people you wonder why the Southern Baptist convention is in disarray why you have the former head of the executive committee. Pastor Mike Stone suing Russell Moore. You know what I was talking to a friend about this recently that whole issue of suing a brother and going back to first printing sex. Here's the thing Paul never said in first Corinthians 6 that if you are wrong to buy somebody in the church. You should just turn the other cheek and just be wrong. He actually says in that passage, you shouldn't be suing each other because why would you bring worldly people into the mass. Rather, you should have the church deal with it what what is Mike Stone supposed to do.

Who in the Southern Baptist convention is gonna litigate or solve what Russell Moore did to him with the defamation in and saying it was a sexual abuse problem and Mike Stone didn't Karen dragging his name through the mud and how convenient that Russell Moore at the tail end of everything that he did. Mike Stone leaves the denomination will that's a convenient way to never have to have any accountability is and it is one Russell Moore leaves the denomination.

You can't do on Matthew 18 process either. His church or Mike Stone's church.

So what Moore did was he neutralize the ability of anybody to be able to go back after him and write any wrong that was done to them as he happily exited and in and made his way toward Wheaton.

Congratulations Russell Moore listen. It is not the average Christian in the average faithful biblical church dealing with woke pastors who's at fault here, Pete Wainer, the fault lies with your friends. The woke elitists trying to take over too many of our churches and institutions in seminaries and Bible colleges and universities were on to you and were not to give up saying South and there's more to come stay with us listening to jam effort today hi this is Janet Matt for it for pre-born Candace talks about finding out she was pregnant. Thankfully, an ultrasound provided by pre-born allowed her to hear her baby's heartbeat sonogram sealed the deal for me baby was like this tiny little spectrum of hope and I saw his heart beating on the screen and knowing that there's life growing inside me sonogram changed my life went from just Candace to mom thinking everybody that is can these gifts you guys are giving more than money. You guys are giving bath which you make a leadership gift and sponsor a machine today. These lifesaving machines cost more than most centers can afford your tax-deductible gift of 15000 Dollars Will Pl. a machine in a needy women's center and save countless lives for years to come. All gifts are tax-deductible to donate, call 855402, baby. That's 855-402-2229.

There's a banner to click@jameffort.com this is Janet Matt for it for Bible league international Esther is 17 years old and part of the Maasai tribe in Kenya Africa. Like many of her age and gender. Esther was subjected to practices not taught in the Bible.

One is arranged marriage where a woman is forced to marry someone she doesn't know the other is female circumcision done out of superstitious belief with no known health benefits. Esther lived with bitter unforgiveness until finally volunteer introduced her to Jesus.

Now she's let her husband to Christ and she seen 60 young women come to them race the hope of the gospel, but Bibles are scarce in this part of Kenya so please join Bible league and sending God's word to finalist believers in Africa and around the world for only $5.25 also costs $100 most generous gift by calling 800 and yes word 800 why ESW ORD 800-937-9673. There's a vital link banner to jam effort.com you're listening to Joe at River today so I get tired ranting but is a lot to rant about. There really is I'm I'm just so tired of these people who do. They don't they want to be woke they wanted church turn the church woke they want to take all conservative evangelicals with them and when they don't go then there insulted and then they get their friends at the Atlantic to smear them. Now we have another article by Ryan Burge. I think that's how you pronounce his name. He's an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University's Baptist pastor ties to the Moore crowd. He wrote a guest essay, the New York Times why evangelical is becoming another word for Republican what even say this before I get to this article I want to do a little divergence here because when were talking about what these elitists are doing to our churches. Here's an example of this Megan Basham over the daily wire wrote a piece neither vaccinated nor unvaccinated how church is imposing vaccine mandates are dividing Christians with a different gospel and as exhibit a. She references the church the Tim Keller founded the cofounder of the Gospel coalition. You know, Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City back in July. She writes quietly posted a statement to its website regarding service attendance, in part, it says this individuals who are fully vaccinated are welcome to sit on the main floor of the sanctuary without social distancing and masks will be optional individuals who are not fully vaccinated are welcome to sit in the balcony know what you see wrong with that. You see wrong with that strategy. Of course it's not the only church that's doing this now we have vaccine segregation in churches. These woke churches, it is that okay with you, because I go back to James chapter 2 and the whole sin of partiality.

My brother and do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes and say you sit here in a good place and you say to the poor man you stand over there, or sit down by my footstool. Have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil motives. Good question because that's exactly what's being done here, here, vaccinated year special. You get to sit on the main floor.

The sanctuary, your unvaccinated. Sorry, pal. You're banished to the balcony have any biblical justification for vaccine discrimination it. It's so insane you hardly even know how to articulate an argument against it because it's a blatantly evil and wrong. First of all, there is no evidence that the vaccinated are more protected from contracting COBIT 19 then the unvaccinated because we've seen a lot of people who have had Cova 19 who have been fully vaccinated, and even died in the case of Colin Powell and others as well, so that's not doing anything and you don't have any evidence from science that the back of the unvaccinated are posing any kind of greater threat to you as to the transmission of the virus. Then the vaccinated are as unscientific but boy there can shame you this Neches saying this for the book.

This Nietzsche's Dr. Seuss. They probably put that out-of-print to his being wrong you cancel Dr. Seuss but you know the stars. The star belly snitches were the great ones and then the ones who didn't have stars were terrible, but then this guy came along with the machine and you could get stars put on your bellies and then as soon as the on starboard snitches got the stars than the starred ones didn't want them anymore and Nino went from there. I said so it's like what the snitches with this Neches in the church.

You have to have a vaccination if not to forget to be able to serve you with Jesus have done. Would Jesus have made any distinction between people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated when it came to worshiping him when it came to coming together to be part of the church of Jesus Christ. It's absurd, but were supposed to take all of these critiques from the big Eva friends in the media and Seo are the bad ones where the balance or all sinners will have blind spots. We have all kinds of things that we should be critiqued for his conservative Christians.

I'm not trying to hold up conservative Christians is blameless or not blameless I'm not blameless, but were not the villains that these people are constantly trying to portray us as were not Dylan's villain.

If you didn't get vaccinated. You have a very good reason. Probably for not being vaccinated, and if you are vaccinated fine. I said this from the beginning. If you want to get vaccinated. Great if you don't want to get vaccinated great, but every Christian ought to be on the side of not mandating vaccines, and every Christian ought to be on the side of standing against a church that would separate the vaccinated from the unvaccinated in violation of James chapter 2, so here's Ryan Burge's article the conventional wisdom about religion and the US is that the number of people who have no religious affiliation is rising rapidly in the 1970s, secular Americans made up just 5% of the population. Now the numbers climbed to at least 30%. The data suggest that religious groups must be suffering tremendous losses as the nuns and when he asked continue to increase in size and influence each year and that's why a recent report from the pew research Center came as a huge surprise its most shocking revelation was that between 2016 and 2020. There was no significant decline in the share of white Americans who identify as evangelical Christians instead. The report found the opposite during Donald Trump's presidency. The number of white Americans who started identifying as evangelical actually grew Russell Morse's hello no longer call himself an evangelical, he must be really irritated by this, conservative Christians celebrated the news for years.

Stories have appeared in media outlets about how many of the more theologically moderate denominations like Episcopalians in the United Church of Christ has suffered staggering losses in membership theologically moderate. I mean, this is like calling Obama a political moderate okay.

Bernie Sanders, the politically moderate Bernie Sanders the politically moderate AOC if the Episcopal Church at United Church of Christ are moderate back is on the left which is like that. So this tells you where this guy is coming from the fact that denominations that allowed women pastors were declining. While evangelical churches that took more conservative positions on views of gender and sexuality were holding their own, was evidence for evangelicals that conservative religion has staying power, but they might hold off on patting themselves on the back too much patting themselves on the back. Why would anybody pat themselves on the back.

They might say, praise the Lord what cells on the back.

He says the number of self identified evangelicals is likely not increased over the last few years because evangelicals have been effective at spreading the gospel and bringing new converts to the church. What is drawing more people to embrace the evangelical label on surveys is more likely that evangelicalism has been bound to the Republican Party of courts.

More people calling the cells evangelical.

It has to be because of Trump because it's always because of Trump.

More likely it's the fact that evangelicalism has been bound to the Republican Party and that's why more people calling themselves evangelicals know, maybe they're just sick and tired of being told that evangelicalism bad label like your friend Russell Moore, Ryan Burge. Maybe that's what people are reacting to. Maybe people are coming to Christ for the first time, maybe more people are coming to evangelical churches that are woke and hearing the gospel and getting saved.

I don't know. He says instead of theological affinity for Jesus Christ. Millions of Americans are being drawn to the evangelical label because of its association with the GOP. They are, he says it's happening in two different ways. The first is that many Americans who have begun to embrace the evangelical identity are people who hardly ever attend religious services. Okay, but whether they should go to church maybe they don't have a good church in their town because they have too many will pastors know there's never any nuance there it's just I have a narrative and I'm going to bludgeon you with it. People are becoming evangelicals and people are not leaving evangelicalism because Trump that's the story and I'm sticking to it because I don't have anything else. Memo memo to Ryan Burge and company trumps, not the president anymore, and I recognize that you're going back to data that was mined from a time when Trump was president because got get over it because at this point it's looking pathetic is looking for. Thank it really is. They never do anything wrong. Nobody on their side ever had a bad thought never made a wrong prognostication never unjustly one after fellow Christians who were not Democrats.

It's exhausting. The second factor bolstering evangelicalism on surveys is that more people are embracing the label who have no attachment to Protestant Christianity.

The share of Catholics also identified his evangelicals rose to 15% in 2018 and 9% in 2008. That same pattern appears with Muslims even talk. Muslims are evangelicals and is trumps me understand can get it okay. Just so you know we have a whole host of evangelical Christian Muslims and this is trumps fault right write it down in your diary, put it in a letter send it to grandma or send it to your grandkids so they can go to this point in history and preserve it forever for future generations who said what is an evangelical Muslim can't read this stuff with any seriousness. The only thing you can do is properly wadded into a ball thrown to the fireplace which I intend to do when I get off the air, but that means I have to make a fire.

Maybe I'll just wadded up and put in the trashcan of this sounds good doesn't it.

There is now it's gone. Thank you so much for joining us. God bless you for being here. We hope you will join us next time. Here enchantment for today is so much for listening this hour enchantment for today is to impart my heart for Lebanon call 888-247-5499 to give desperate people help in the hope of the gospel.

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