In Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard which has been compiled and edited by Charles E. Moore, we find a very good reason for the proliferation of nominal Christians:
The matter is quite simple. The bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close.Jesus informs us through the Apostle John that the reason people are God-fearing in name only is because they do not have an abiding relationship with the Son of God.
- And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness to me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen; and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent. You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:37–40)
Sadly, many people think that they have to study (acquire information by research, investigation, learning by rote and demonstrating recall) before they can be approved by God. This is a misunderstanding of what is written in the book of Second Timothy.
- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2.15—King James Version)
Study for show is not "being diligent to present yourself in person". There is a major difference between disappearing into a tower of academia to work for approval before God and earnestly seeking the Son of God out so that you might be known of Him, as you let your light shine, so that the Father is glorified.
- Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15—Revised Standard Version)
- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
- He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, (Colossians 1:13)
- But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles—to whom I send you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:16–18)
The Light That Shines Nevertheless Needs To Have Some Knowledge Of Its Existence