As I pen these words, my heart is burdened about the biblical illiteracy that exists among those that profess to know Christ Jesus as personal Savior/Lord of All. Several years ago my pastor gave a quiz related to the Christmas Story (the biblical version – need to make that clarification since many of us might confuse it with the movie we’re addicted to at Christmas movie where the main character wanted a Red Rider BB Gun and his mom is afraid he will shoot his eye out). In the series of MULTIPLE CHOICE questions, most people – including Sunday School teachers FAILED. A “story” we have heard all our lives, and we cannot pass a test on the most basic of details.
This week is referred to as “Holy Week,” the “Passion Week” beginning with “Palm Sunday” and concluding with Easter Sunday. Over the past 2 weeks, I have been in conversation with several people concerned about the lack of knowledge about the heart of Christianly – the passion, sacrifice, atonement of sin vividly displayed in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I devised an “Easter Quiz” of 10 simple questions. Questions that should have been “absorbed” if you have attended Sunday School a couple of Easter services, been present during a baptismal or communion service, etc. I thought I would be wrong and that the “test” would be simplistic and people would answer and it would serve as a “discussion starter.” Was I ever wrong!
1. Why does the traditional Christian church gather for worship on Sunday morning? The answer given was that was when the women discovered the empty tomb. It had been discussed the previous week the teacher discovered they did not know the meaning of Palm Sunday.
2. Who betrayed Jesus to the religious authorities that carried Him to the Roman authorities that had Him crucified? David, Simon, and Peter were the answers given.
3. What had Jesus just finished doing when the authorities came to arrest Him and what was the signal that would be used to let the authorities know which man was Jesus? After prodding, they guessed praying but no one knew the kiss of Judas.
4. Which of the disciples denied that he knew Jesus when he was confronted about being a disciple and who confronted him? It was known it was Peter, but not who confronted him that night.
5. Why did Jesus have to die and what was the significance of His death being at Passover time for the Hebrew people? No real answer given.
6. What is the symbolism of the bread and the cup that we use in our communion service? With guided discussion, the answers were given.
7. Why did the Pharisees convince the Roman government to seal the tomb of Jesus and place guards at the tomb? When I asked the question aloud, I said steal instead of seal. After no answer came, the teacher said, “he let the answer slip when he asked the question.” So, someone used the word “steal” and we discussed what Jesus had said would happen and their fear that his followers would steal the body.
8. Who were the women that came to the tomb that morning and who rolled the stone away so that they could go into the tomb? The teacher gave the answer in the discussion.
9. Is there any other way to enter heaven besides through the shed blood of Jesus Christ? The answer was “NO” but no discussion by the group.
10. What was the last thing recorded that Jesus told His followers to do before He ascended into heaven and why is this so important? They all answered the Great Commission.
So, with all said and done the grade for the group would be a generous 50%.
Why am I writing this? The church needs to understand the plight of the church! These questions were not asked of random people off the street, No, they were asked of the most faithful members of a youth group.