Is the Good Book Good Law? Americans Debate.

April 16, 2020

There are some benefits to being stuck at home, YouVersion is reporting. For one, people have more time to read. And what they're reading, surveys say, is important. Turns out, the best-selling book in history -- the Bible -- is also the most popular one right now. Since Palm Sunday, the app found, Bible reading was a whopping 54 percent higher than last year's holy week. "All of this," a spokesman said, "on the heels of a record-breaking month."

March 2020, they announced, was the "number one month in Bible app history" -- setting new highs for users, verse shares, Bible searches, audio plays, and video plays. All in all, the good news of coronavirus is the Good News!

Now that more people are getting reacquainted with the Bible -- or introduced for the very first time -- a lot of experts wonder what the impact will be. In a new survey by Pew Research, Americans still seem very divided on what the role of Scripture should be -- especially in American policy. Asked whether the Bible should influence U.S. laws, half (49 percent) of the country said "yes," including 23 percent who thought it should have a "great deal." But then, there are also people who strongly object to the idea, like atheists, agnostics, or religious "nones."

Of course, the reality is, the Bible's morality already informs U.S. law -- whether Americans like it or not. Civil government can't exist in a vacuum. Since the founding of this nation, our framers relied on God's law to create our own. There's clearly a deep-rooted history of the Christian religion in America society. It is, as FRC's David Closson pointed out on Wednesday's "Washington Watch," part of our DNA.

That aside, when you break the Pew numbers down, there are some very interesting correlations. Obviously, the split down the middle on the Bible's role points straight to the worldview divide we see in the country. It's what we see in every election, every public policy debate. It's the undercurrent of every conflict we have in our culture today.

But there are also some interesting alliances. Eighty-nine percent of white evangelicals said the Bible should have a great deal or some influence on U.S. lives. That's nine out of 10. And when you look at black Protestants, it's 76 percent. In fact, they're the next highest category of people who believe the Bible should have influence on our culture and our laws. In all honesty, I think the media and liberal politicians try to keep white and black Christians apart. They're constantly seeding the ground with controversy and driving wedges between them because they have a very similar worldview based on Scripture. And they understand what could happen on social policy if those two groups joined forces.

The other aspect to consider is age. The older Americans are, the more impact they want God's word to have. On the other side of the ledger, the majority of 18 to 29-year-olds believe it shouldn't have much at all. That, in my view, is the clearest indication of a public education system that's been completely hijacked by the Left. Liberal academia has rewritten American history, pushed religion out of schools, and stigmatized self-identifying Christians. And for moms and dads, it ought to be a wake-up call that they're not going to get any help from the culture raising their kids in the faith.

"It's up to Christian parents to be the disciple makers in their home," David agreed, "because if they're not going to do it, the younger generation is simply not going to learn about the biblical foundations of this country [or], even broader, the biblical foundation of their faith and even the gospel." This poll suggests that a lot of families aren't taking that role seriously -- and parents need to. Ultimately, we're going to be held accountable to God for what our children learn. And it's up to us to make sure that they're being taught what the Bible says and how it applies to their lives and the culture.

If you need a way to jumpstart that process, join FRC's two-year Bible reading plan. It's never too late to jump right in. And, if you want to maximize that reading, we can point you in the right direction! Check out the FRC Blog for Ways to Read the Bible, Parts One, Two, and Three.