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The scandal of biblical illiteracy in Uganda: It’s up to us to fix it

One can strip it down, twist it, misread it, add to it, supplement it, and even overrule it, and, unfortunately, 95 percent of the congregation will not realize it.

The Bible Society of Uganda often declares the significant increase in bible translations, an exciting development that somehow evokes the illusion that biblical illiteracy is on the downward trend.

Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the worlds best-selling and most widely distributed book. A survey by the Bible Society concluded that around 2.5 billion copies were printed between 1815 and 1975, but more recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion (Dec 5, 2015)

That is just in print, but how about those downloaded online? This year, YouVersion Bible App alone hit quarter of a billion downloads. Yet one problem remains: many are oblivious to the Bible’s basic content, meaning, and message.

The Bible is not held in the esteem it once was. Over the last few years, Ugandans have drifted from individual bible reading and left every thing in the hands of Church leaders. Hopefully, you have seen the consequences.

The unwillingness of many to individually dig deeper into the Scriptures is not related to a lack of options, that is, shortage of Bibles, but rather knowledge and appreciation of the Bible’s message.

As we look back on 2017 and look forward to 2018, many evangelicals are confused and concerned, worried about trends in the broader culture and also within their churches. Is the church’s identity becoming more secular than theological? Are we losing our grip on the gospel?

All people want today is to go through the emotions Sunday services bring and then return to their normal lives of sin. Fact is, if the Christian life is shaped and guided by scripture, then life is about relaying what the Bible really teaches. The “tell me what I want to hear Pastor” mentality has killed many who have later been duped into false doctrine.  Bible Study has taken a back seat to other concerns in corporate worship.

God loves us, redeems us, and has a purpose for our lives. The approach to reading the Bible is essential for a positive impact on our lives. We ought to give some urgent attention to the crisis –biblical illiteracy in the church. This scandalous problem is our own, and it’s up to us to fix it.

We will not believe more than we know, and we will not live higher than our beliefs. The many fronts of Christian compromise in this generation can be directly traced to biblical illiteracy in the pews and the absence of biblical preaching and teaching in our homes and churches.

By Ballagadde Samuel.

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