(posted on Eurweb.com on September 28, 2007)
Determined to fight off the nation's slipping Biblical literacy rates, Illinois State Senator and pastor, James T. Meeks (see photo, below) issues mandate to members and staff of Salem Baptist Church of Chicago "We are bringing the Bible back!"
Responding to the recently released book, "Religious Literacy," by Stephen Prothero which states that two-thirds of Americans believe the Bible has the answers to "all of life's basic questions," but only 16 percent of Christians who participated in a Gallup poll said they read the Bible daily, Reverend Senator James T. Meeks of Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, announced that he is leading his congregation for the next six months through a series he calls, "Berean Behavior," where every single individual will be in a class geared toward learning key events, Scriptures and understanding of the Bible.
Berean Behavior classes will begin on Sunday, October 7, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at the House of Hope, 752 E. 114th Street, Chicago. The book also points out that 60 percent of Americans can't name five of the Ten Commandments and only half of U.S. adults know the title of one Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). "After spending five months outside the four walls of the church where we served the needs of the community, I felt it was important to get back to the basics of learning and understanding the Bible," said Reverend Senator Meeks of Salem, which is the largest African American church in Illinois with over 20,000 members. Rev. Senator Meeks is also a state senator. "It should be the desire of Christians to emulate the citizens who lived in the ancient city of Berea." In the book of Acts 17:11, Paul and Silas were sent away to preach in Berea where the inhabitants "eagerly examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."
In what is being projected as the largest Sunday study hour in the city - apart from worship service, Reverend Senator Meeks hopes to enhance his congregation's knowledge of Scriptures and their desire to read the Bible more on their own. Recognizing that people learn better in familiar company, individuals will be in Berean Behavior classes that have been customized and segmented by ministries, staff or years in which they joined Salem.
Classes for young adults (18-21) will be held at a local college to not only ensure undivided learning but also serve as fertile ground that will hopefully inspire individuals who are not enrolled in college to pursue higher education. Members will also receive Scriptures via text messages to their cell phones
It's sad a state of affairs when you're ecstatic about someone doing what ALL CHURCHES should do, and that is: TEACHING THE WORD OF GOD. Our NT churches has gotten so caught up in materialistic acquirements, and accoutrements that the "Gospel of Jesus" has become an AFTERTHOUGHT!
*sarcastically speaking* I mean why should I wonder what Jesus did, when MY PASTOR said if I "sow a $50,000 seed" I'll be blessed.
Jesus Christ, is not a "movement," nor fad. He is Lord & Savior, ruler of all. Jesus is not water, or air, or the chair you sit in, as some clueless leaders like to have you believe. He is the Son of God, who died and was raised 3 days later. He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Alpha & Omega-beginning and end. Don't believe me? Then detach yourself from your pastor's mouth, consecrate yourself before God and crack open the Bible! Not only will God give you revelation, He'll give you consistent truth. Not "truth" that depends on the audience at hand.
How has the church come to the point of looking exactly like the world? Why have we sold the Church out to the highest bidder??? How did we ALLOW false Profits, Pulpit-Pimps, and charlatans to enter the pulpit? What happened to applying Proverbs 3:5,6? Aren't we admonished to acknowledge God in all of our ways, so He can direct our path? "He" meaning God. Why have we chosen to idolize pulpit pimps & prostitutes?
Brethren, you better recognize-these false teachers, leaders cannot get you into heaven, but they can get you to hell. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to rightly divide the word of God, ask questions, seek confirmation etc. You owe it to yourself, for IT IS a matter of everlasting life, or death!