Someone asked lesbian celebrity Rosie O’Donnell if she thought she would go to heaven when she died. Her response, so typical of America, went something like this; “God must know how much I’m trying to be good.”
Doesn’t it make you sick and sad when this kind of question solicits such a hopeless response? The hard truth is that America does not yet know what a real Christian is. With all of the gospel resources and knowledge circulated through our nation’s airwaves, with all the churches and ministries that graze within its shores, with all the talk of America being a Christian nation, the truth is that when it comes to her relationship with the true and living God, she does not yet know where she stands.
What does that say about the Church in America? Have we failed to properly communicate the gospel that we preach? Have we fallen short of living this message that we profess?
A few years ago in a national poll on Christianity in America these telling statistics were revealed:
- 96% of adults in America believe in God
- 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians and believe Jesus to be the Son of God
- 13% claim to have no religion while the other 4% are adherents of all non-Christian religions combined — Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and a smattering of other lessers.
- 90% believe there is a heaven
- 80% believe they will stand before Almighty God and be held accountable for their sins
- 77% believe their chances of going to heaven are excellent (this one kills me)
Studies also show that even though 79% of those who actually attend evangelical churches find their faith “very important”, only 36% of them actually believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life. What?! That one is hard to believe! The others believe that many religions can lead to eternal life. Talk about an age of religious political correctness!
The drop in percentages among mainline churches is even more telling. Only 14% believe that Jesus Christ exclusively provides the only way to eternal life, while 83% think “many religions” lead there. Only 22% of this group even believes that the Bible is fully inspired while another 28% believe that it is just “a book written by men, not the word of God.” Compare this to evangelical churches where only 7% do not believe the Bible is a divinely inspired book. The great tragedy and deception is that many think they can be Christians while rejecting every major doctrine and practice of the true Christian faith.
The most disturbing trend, however, is in America’s 18-35 group. While some polls show roughly 9 in 10 Americans still maintain belief in a god or gods, the trend of religious young Americans is toward a conglomeration of varied religious beliefs including atheism. A 2010 USA survey revealed that 72 percent of the nation’s young people identify themselves as “more spiritual than religious.”
Furthermore, with an increasingly majority of younger Americans accepting evolution as fact, Christianity for many under 35 is becoming a watered-down hybrid version of eastern philosophy and biblical teachings. This trend among our young people towards being ‘spiritual but not religious’ points further to the declining belief and practice of Christian doctrine, and the embracing of a broader relationship with all other religions and beliefs.
This explains most of the above statistics, doesn’t it?
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SOURCE: Charisma News
Bert M. Farias