Amen and A-woman

Amen and A-woman

     According to longstanding tradition, the 117th Congress was opened with a prayer. As Rep. Emanuel Cleaver came to the end of his prayer, he concluded with “Amen and a-woman.” Yes, you read that correctly, “a-woman.” As if, in some way, “amen” was actually some chauvinistic masculine word.

     To set the record straight, “amen” is an ancient Hebrew word that has been used for thousands of years. It simply means “may it be so.” In other words, after a prayer, we are collectively requesting that the words of the prayer would happen.

     There is a tantalizing desire to take this article into the dumpster-fire discussion of politics, but there is a much more important lesson to learn about our culture right now – The United States is ignorant about Christianity.

     While Rep. Cleaver may have provided us with an extreme example, this religious ignorance is more common than you might think. There are those who have heard of Jesus but, but have no idea who He is or what He did. Others have no concept there is a difference between the Old Testament & New Testament.

     The days have long passed when we can make religious assumptions both in our nation and in the body of Christ. Whole congregations of “the Lord’s people” have no idea Scriptural worship cannot be led by a woman. Supposed teachers, preachers and elders have decided that the plan of salvation introduced at Pentecost is no longer binding. Others have become “bored” with worship and expanded the experience to include anything that will entertain and engage the “worshiper.” Therefore, it is time we…

…stop assuming people have even the most basic understanding of the Bible

…stop assuming people know Bible words.

…stop assuming people know Bible people.

…stop assuming people know about Jesus.

…stop assuming people know how to pray or worship.

…stop assuming people know what is happening during worship.

…stop assuming people know the basics of Christianity.

The bottom line is…we need to stop assuming.

     At this very moment, we have reached a place in our nation where people may not know Jesus, know the Bible, or know that “amen” isn’t a gendered word. We may be heading towards another time when people are darkened in their understanding because of the ignorance that is in them (Ephesians 4:17-29); ignorance that will destroy them (Hosea 4:6).

     If we are going to reach our world today and fulfill the Great Commission in 2021, we need to change. We need to change how we think. We need to change how we teach. We need to change how we talk. We need to change what we do. We need to change how we evangelize. NO, I am not changing the message or our stand on truth. I am talking about changing HOW we approach people. Peter had to start with proof that Jesus was the Messiah (Acts 2), but Paul had to start before that and explain that there is only one God (Acts 17). Philip has to start in Isaiah, because that is where the Eunuch is in his study. As we evangelize a world that is woefully ignorant of the most basic Bible knowledge, we may find ourselves having to start at the beginning, more often than not, to lay a foundation on which we can build up to the Gospel plan.