by Wes Moore

His words took me by surprise. They were all at once a kind compliment and a stunning rebuke. He walked up to our booth at the conference and said, “Wes, I really enjoyed your session this afternoon. You know, of all the seminars I’ve attended at this conference, you’re the only who actually taught out of the Bible.”

Yes, you read that right. It was a Christian conference in the Midwest. There were probably a thousand people there and a hundred or more breakout sessions over the two day event.

This wasn’t the first time this had happened to me. A few months ago I had a similar situation at another Christian conference. Again, I did several breakouts over the three day event. After my last session, which was the last speaking event of the conference, a man walked up to me and said, “That was the best talk of the entire conference. You actually quoted the Bible.”

A Devastating Trend

Across much of evangelical Christianity in America the Bible has become a secondary or non-existent source of teaching. In many places, it isn’t even referenced at all on Sunday morning. In others, a verse may be quoted to start the message, but then the rest of the time is filled with a solid dose of the pastor’s “wisdom,” either from his vast “experience” or his scholarly “learning” at some quasi-pagan seminary.

Still other churches, who claim to be “Bible-based,” avoid many of the major teachings of Scripture for fear they will offend our oh-so-sensitive culture. They’re playing the marketing game, and the total teachings of Scripture just don’t fill the seats.

And then you have those who take the Bible and distort it to accomplish their own ends, namely, building self-help clinics for personal profit.

Across the nation, the Bible is becoming less and less a part of the life of the Christian church. We are quick to rail against the Catholics, Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses for using another authority for their teaching (that is, a source of teaching other than the Bible itself), but we so conveniently overlook the fact that we do the same every day….

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