There is an ever-increasingly passive attitude on the part of many people toward the actual teaching of the Bible. In some places, there may be a religious revival, but that does not mean that there is greater respect for God's word. The so-called new religious emphasis is - in many instances - only a social and cultural trend. It may be that it is more fashionable today to be religious than it was a a decade ago, but it is not necessarily true that the average people obey God more completely.
The passive attitude of most people toward Bible teaching is so clearly evident in moral degeneration. In a survey of students in one Minneapolis, Minnesota high school, it was found that more than one-third came from broken homes. Just think of it: one student out of three, with a warped outlook on life because of divorce. Moral restraints are almost unknown to many youngsters. The only reason that more of them do not get into trouble is the fear of being put into jail. Parents have failed to instill real inhibitions in the minds of their children. Sin and crime overcome some because there is little or no mental reservation to enable the person to suppress evil. So, adultery, fornication, robbery, etc. are committed without so much as a guilty conscience.
Materialism makes constant demands upon modern people, causing many to abandon spiritual lives. The great urge to keep up with the Joneses and the desire to spend for life's luxuries keep men's minds so occupied with that they have little time or energy for study, prayer, worship, or work for the Lord.
The editor of the Daily Oklahoman (of Oklahoma City), in lamenting the lack of Bible knowledge, told of a survey of a group of advanced college students, and said that they did not know anything about the Bible. He said, "Most of the students tested have heard of Pontius Pilate, but there their knowledge ends. They are not certain who built the ark, or who fashioned the golden calf, or who prepared the tables of stone." The survey showed that the students had not been taught the Bible. The material that they had studied in Sunday School had contained profound discussions of political and sociological problems, but it did not teach real Bible truth. The article said, "As a result of this Biblical blackout, the college senior who had fifteen years of Sunday School training is unable to tell whether it was Lazarus who wrestled with an angel or Moses who was swallowed by a whale."
Such over-emphasis on social, political, and psychological aspects of life lead to greater spiritual decay. It is still God's word that is necessary in every life, and it is still only by the directing influence of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel that souls will be saved.
Many parents promote the cultural, social, and financial welfare of their children in such a way that they smother out any spiritual desires in the child. Today, while the child is young, many parents are completely happy if the child make good grades, is socially popular, and has a knack for business. Later, they will wonder why the child (then a man or woman) is not a Christian. Indeed, as the twig is bent, so will it grow! If parents will put spiritual things first (Matthew 6:33), their children will not be so religiously retarded, nor so void of spiritual concepts and ideals.
--Leslie Diestelkamp (Brookfield, Illinois); Truth Magazine Vol. 1, #1, p.7 October 1956, Truth Magazine