“Great” Stuff — Survey Finds Most American Christians Are Actually Heretics

Found over on TheFederalist.com .. not sure if it’s great, but it’s a commentary on our society. Click the link to go to the Federalist for the complete article.

 

shutterstock_280367285-998x666Evangelical writer Eric Metaxas remarked on BreakPoint last week that if Americans took a theology exam, their only hope of passing would be if God graded on a curve. He’s right. In knowing both the content of the Bible and the doctrinal foundations of Christianity, we Americans aren’t just at the bottom of our class. We are, as Ross Douthat argues in his book, “Bad Religion,” a nation of heretics.

A survey of 3,000 people conducted by LifeWay Research and commissioned by Ligonier Ministries found that although Americans still overwhelmingly identify as “Christian,” startling percentages of the nation embrace ancient errors condemned by all major Christian traditions. These are not minor points of doctrine, but core ideas that define Christianity itself. The really sad part? Even when we’re denying the divinity of Christ, we can’t keep our story straight. Americans talking about theology sound about as competent as country singers rapping.

A few of the astounding results of the survey —

  • More than half went on to indicate that Jesus is “the first and greatest being created by God,”
  • many Americans don’t understand or even care what the Trinity means
  • sixty-four percent also thought this God accepts the worship of all religions
  • Two-thirds insisted that most people are good by nature
  • Seventy-four percent said the “smallest sins” don’t warrant eternal damnation
  • Two-thirds … said heaven is a place where all people will ultimately be reunited with their loved ones
  • … they see no contradiction between their casual universalism and … that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone
  • Scripture, he says, has become “a museum exhibit, hallowed as a treasure but enigmatic and untouched.”

 

To read the whole article, go to TheFederalist.com.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

“Great” Stuff — Survey Finds Most American Christians Are Actually Heretics — 8 Comments

  1. This is no news to me. Having been baptized and quasi-catechized by the 1960’s Methodist Church, I learned more about the Trinity from the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” than any Sunday School class or sermon. There was no doctrine of original sin; no knowledge that I was born a sinner, condemned even before I committed my first sin on this my birthday 57 years ago. Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, came from one verse, John 3:16. Not much more was there…

    In regards to the faith of the citizens of this nation, this nation was founded by men who largely professed faith in a deity, which could be the Christian Trinitarian God, namely the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or Allah, or God as the Jewish see Him. The god of Freemasonry, any god would do. While indeed there were some founding fathers who were both professing and practicing Christians, Christianity was the de facto religion of most of our citizens. This was never a “Christian nation”; rather it has been a nation whose citizens for the most part were members of the visible Church. If you weren’t professed as Christian, you at least kept your mouth shut if you were a deist, an atheist, agnostic or any other religion.

    And functionally this nation’s professing Christians still hold to this type of pluralistic universalism. “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere!” has been the creed here…

    And while it is commendable that the Evangelicals have opposed the atrocity of elective abortion and stand with the Bible against same-sex lifestyles, they have held to “no creed but the Bible”. Things such as original sin, the Incarnation, Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, His imputed righteousness, or even the concept of the Trinity are the result of the shallow theology taught in all branches of the visible Church. And are those sitting in our LCMS pews any less clueless about Whom they believe in, what He actually has said in His Word? May it never be so. May we always examine ourselves to see that we are abiding in the true faith once delivered to the saints. It would warm my heart more to have Evangelicals learn our divinely-inspired beliefs, than to have us go down their pietistic, theologically bereft wayward path. Lord have mercy…

  2. I read the article. I am wondering if the actual survey / questions are available somewhere. Might be a great Bible study for teaching. Anyone know?

  3. I grew up in evangelicalism–fairly conservative churches, but still evangelical–and this sadly doesn’t surprise me at all. The goal was numbers, and you don’t get numbers by preaching doctrine, something I wasn’t exposed to until I was guided into Lutheranism.

  4. Not all evangelicals are alike. It is an evangelical writer who is highlighting this concern about theology, reflecting the views of many other conservative evangelicals.

    Some evangelical church bodies most certainly are creedal. Some affirm the ancient creeds explicitly. Others publish a statement of faith. The Evangelical Free Church of America, for example, has a statement of faith that is clearly Trinitarian, affirming among other things that “only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained” and “the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe….”

    Yes, doctrinal misunderstanding abounds. And there but for the grace of God go we. So what is our best response as followers of Christ? Finger-pointing and smug self-satisfaction as we tell ourselves that we know better? Rather:

    Whoever says he abides in [Jesus] ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:6

    And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph. 5;2

    For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. Luke 19:10

    I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 1 Cor. 9:22

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