Do you like to read? I do. In fact, I used to read at a rate of 70 books a year. One year I even read 90 books and they were books of all types from mystery thrillers to autobiographies, the Bible and other historical works.

And why do I read that much? It’s mostly because reading is interesting. But also because knowledge is power and it’s a fact that you can go nowhere without knowledge. In fact, you could make the case that knowledge is everything.

Recently I attended a church service at the Heart Cry Cowboy Church in Queen Creek. And their Pastor, Billy Van Camp, a former bull rider turned team roper, takes the knowledge concept way beyond being just power.

But before we get into that, think about this: In the 12th Chapter of John, Verse 46 in the Bible, Christ says that he comes as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in him will not remain in darkness.

What is he talking about?

According to Pastor Billy, in this verse, light actually stands for knowledge. And darkness actually stands for ignorance. So if we substitute those words, for those that were there, it sounds more like this: “I have come to give knowledge to the world, so that everyone who believes in me will not remain ignorant.”

Are we ignorant? Perhaps we are. And is it important that we not be ignorant? You know that it is.

Pastor Billy also says that you will never rise above what you know. And the information you choose to stand on will ultimately define the reality of your life. In other words, what you know will have a direct bearing on the quality of your life. And those are some pretty powerful words.

Athenian philosopher Plato said that human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge.

English nobleman Sir Richard Cecil said that the first step toward knowledge is to know that we are ignorant.

Which begs the question, what really constitutes knowledge? In other words, what determines whether what we know is going to be helpful or unhelpful, valuable or worthless, enlightening or meaningless?

I think we have to refer back to John 12:46 once again. Christ says that he came to give us knowledge so that we would not be ignorant and left susceptible to that which might harm us.

But what have we done? We’ve completely eliminated God from our schools, from our governmental institutions and agencies and now we’re even in the process of shutting down churches. Thus we are eliminating the primary source of knowledge from the very places that need it most.

President Ronald Reagan, whose son is now a professed atheist, once said that if we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

He also said that of the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.

But maybe President George Washington summed it up best when he said that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained.

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Kevin Holten is a columnist and executive producer of “Special Cowboy Moments” on RFD-TV.

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