If you’re like me, you long for Bible reading revival in America. The problem is, all the trends are headed in the wrong direction; Bible reading is declining, biblical values are eroding.
That’s why I’ve been intrigued by a growing movement in France, one of the most secular countries in the West. For the past few years thousands of French citizens have marched in favor of biblical values. But the most surprising thing is most probably had no idea they were doing so.
What’s ignited the protests is a 2013 French law legalizing gay marriage and adoption, the so-called “Marriage for All” law. In the US, opposition to such laws is often driven by a commitment to God’s Word. But as NPR correspondent Eleanor Beardsley pointed out, in France, “rarely do demonstrators wave signs with Bible verses.”
Instead, French opposition is driven by a commitment to parenting; they simply believe children need a father and mother to fully develop. “The absence of a religious tone to the French protests seems strange,” continued Beardsley, “to someone used to the Bible-centric, American opposition to gay marriage.” But it seems to be getting a hearing.
Maybe the French have inadvertently discovered the secret to promoting biblical values to a new generation. In the past, there was a consensus that the Bible had authority, or at least that it was still “the Good Book.” Billy Graham was famous for proclaiming, “The Bible says….” Today, people just shrug.
So I wonder if those of us who love God’s Word can learn something from the secular French: a better way to promote God’s design for the family, for example, is to march for children rather than against gay marriage. Sure, the Bible has clear teaching on both subjects. But a secular world will never hear any of it until we stop shouting Bible verses and start lovingly advocating for a biblical worldview.