"Barna’s 9% number of Christians possessing a Biblical worldview includes 33% who believe in the Buddhism/Hinduism doctrine of 'karma'. . ."
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I’ve known for many years that the Church in America has fallen to the lowest spiritual state of its entire existence. I’ve tried to warn Christians in both this column and my public speaking to the dismal state of today’s churches. Faithful readers are very much aware of those warnings.
But now, studied research confirms all I have warned about over the past several decades, and it’s actually worse than I thought: The American Church is not just derelict; it is apostate.
Researcher George Barna and the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University have released Barna’s latest survey, and the findings are horrific.
According to Barna’s research,
Today, 176 million Americans claim to be Christians—69% of the population. Yet, only 6% of U.S. adults—which is 9% of those identifying as Christians—possess a biblical worldview, believing the Bible to be accurate and reliable, among other convictions.
“Two out of three Americans think of themselves as a Christian, and a majority still think that Christianity is kind of about the Bible,” Barna said in an interview at the time. “But there’s a big gap between what (self-identified Christians) believe the Bible may teach, and what the Bible actually teaches.”
The CRC study, which included 2,000 adults, classifies American believers on a spectrum of five sub-groups, from those who only self-identify as Christians to those who are termed “integrated disciples” and possess a biblical worldview. On the surface, they may all appear Christian, but the survey reveals stark differences in their core beliefs.
Large majorities of self-identified Christians also report many beliefs “not in harmony with biblical teaching,” according to the survey. These include:
72% argue that people are basically good
66% say that ‘having faith’ matters more than which faith you pursue
64% say that all religious faiths are of equal value
58% believe that if a person is good enough, or does enough good things, they can earn their way into Heaven
57% believe in karma
“There is a remarkable level of self-deception (even among) born-again Christians,” said Barna, commenting on his recent worldview research. “It represents a huge educational challenge for those responsible for biblical worldview development.”
“Too often . . . people who want a certain reputation or image embrace the label ‘Christian,’ regardless of their spiritual life and intentions,” states Barna. “‘Christian’ has become somewhat of a generic term rather than a name that reflects a deep commitment to passionately pursuing and being like Jesus Christ,” he states.
To bring Barna’s research into focus:
Of the 176 million Americans who claim to be Christians, only 9% of them believe the Bible to be the true Word of God. But the real number of truly saved people in this country might actually be even smaller than that.
Barna’s 9% number of Christians possessing a Biblical worldview includes 33% who believe in the Buddhism/Hinduism doctrine of “karma”. Plus, 52% believe that man is basically good.
Barna is also astute in highlighting the reason for this massive Christian apostasy: The pulpits are not teaching sound doctrine.
Quoting again from the report:
Resonant with his decades of research work, George Barna’s latest survey seeks to arouse urgency among evangelical . . . pastors regarding the necessity of teaching sound doctrine to the next generation.
There it is: By and large, America’s pastors are not teaching their people sound doctrine. Hence, the blame for this massive apostasy in the U.S. can be laid squarely at the pulpits of America’s churches.
One would think that the stark reality of the above report would cause America’s pastors to reevaluate their emphasis on “church growth,” motivational speaking, turning their churches into glorified social clubs, avoiding hard sermons, being “yes-men” for civil government and on their unscriptural infatuation with Christian Zionism.
God has written “Ichabod” over the churches of America.
Be sure the church you attend is not one of them.
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