Monthly News Roundup (06.24.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This is the last episode for the month of June – time for our monthly news roundup. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the number of Americans who are reading the Bible, the Department of Education and transgender students, and the effects of the pandemic on our emotional well-being.

STORY #1 –More Americans Are Reading the Bible

“The latest State of the Bible report from the American Bible Society finds that 181 million Americans opened a Bible in the past year—up 7.1% from the previous year.

“When thinking about their own usage, 24% of Americans say their Bible reading has increased this year compared to last. Around 2 in 3 (63%) say it has stayed the same, while 9% say it has decreased.

“In January 2020, 48% of Americans were considered Bible users by the American Bible Society—the lowest percentage in the 10 years of the study. That number rebounded, however, in January 2021 as 50% or 128 million Americans are Bible users this year—the highest percentage in four years and the most in raw numbers since 2014.”

[…]

“Even as fewer Americans are avoiding the Bible completely, not enough are reading it on a regular basis. Around 1 in 10 (11%) say they read it daily, and another 5% say they read it four to six days a week.

“That combined 1 in 6 Americans who read Scripture at least four times a week is an important number. Extensive research of the impact of Bible reading shows that is the amount necessary to see significant life change. People who engage with Scripture one to three days a week demonstrate the same effect on the personal lives as those who don’t engage with it at all. Those who read the Bible four days a week or more, however, see radical, life-altering effects.

“Unfortunately, even among churchgoers regular Bible reading is not common enough. Close to a third (32%) of U.S. Protestant churchgoers say they read the Bible every day, according to a 2019 Lifeway Research study. Including the 27% who say they read it a few times a week, fewer than 3 in 5 churchgoers read the Bible more than once a week. A full 12% say they rarely or never read the Bible.” (Lifeway Research)

Related material:

STORY #2 – Department of Education Says Sports, Bathrooms Must Be Open to Transgender Students

“On Wednesday, the Department of Education said public schools cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity under a new Biden administration policy that will impact such contentious issues as sports and the usage of bathrooms and locker rooms.”

“The Department of Education’s decision impacts multiple hot-button issues, including the use of bathrooms and locker rooms by students who identify with the opposite gender. It also affects athletics and the controversy over biological boys competing in girls’ events. In its new policy, the Department of Education says it will ‘fully enforce Title IX’ to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity ‘in education programs and activities.’ The latter term includes sports.” (Christian Headlines)

Related material:

STORY #3 – 44% of Americans Hit ‘Lowest Emotional Point’ of Their Lives During Pandemic

“If there was a growing mental health crisis before 2020, a new study finds the coronavirus pandemic may have sent it spiraling out of control. Half of Americans feel they lost complete control of their lives during the last year.

“A survey of 2,000 people reveals 47 percent feel helpless, while 44 percent say they hit their lowest emotional point within the last year. Since last March, Americans report struggling more with anxiety (42%), depression (37%), and loneliness (31%) than ever before.” (Study Finds)

Related material:

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