Baylor Study: A Person’s Views About Heaven and Hell Affect their Views on Work and the Economy

Early last year, pastor Rob Bell stirred up controversy with a book and a discussion that questioned the strong, historically held, Evangelical belief in hell.

In Love Wins, the aforementioned book, he introduced Scriptural arguments questioning the traditional Christian doctrines of heaven and hell, God’s judgment and love. Siding with God’s limitless love, Bell put hell in question. While many criticized Bell for undermining Evangelicalism and Christian orthodoxy, no one critiqued him for undermining the American economy.

However, the results of a recent Baylor University survey publicly released Tuesday September 20, suggest that “[B]eliefs in Heaven and Hell, beyond mere forecasts of a future afterlife, have value in the here and now.” Specifically, the Baylor Research Group concludes that a person’s belief in a literal heaven or hell impacts their views on job satisfaction, commitment to their company or organization, whether they are willing to take risks or not and how they integrate faith in the workplace.

Poignantly, people who absolutely believe in heaven and hell are more satisfied with their jobs, put more stock in the personal connection they share with their organization or company and are “always or often motivated by their faith to pursue excellence.”

As a whole, only a slight majority of Americans absolutely believe in hell (51%), while some 62% absolutely believe in heaven. There is a marked difference between those who are “not religious” and those who are “somewhat” or “very religious” when it comes to belief in heaven and hell, with only 19% of “not religious” people believing in heaven (compared to 66% and 95% of “somewhat” and “very religious” people respectively) and 13% believing in hell (again compared to 50% for “somewhat” and 85% for “very”).

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Source:  Ken Chitwood, Houston Chronicle

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