To Hell in a Hand Basket- (Not) Surprising News from the Pew Forum

Tomorrow, in light of the upcoming holiday, I will be staring a series of several posts on what I believe to be the real “reason for the season” of Christmas. However, with that in mind, namely the fact that so many people badly distort if not altogether ignore the significance of Christmas, I thought I would share a recent study with you guys that (sadly) is not surprising and really exemplifies why we see so little of Christ in Christmas.

The study is one conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and is reported on in an article entitled “Many Americans Say Other Faiths Can Lead to Eternal Life.” Now, the title itself may not be so shocking, but here is the first line: “A majority of all American Christians (52%) think that at least some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life.” What?

But it doesn’t stop there. If you scroll down and look at the box labeled “Which Religions Lead to Eternal Life?”, you get these interesting facts:

[Note: these numbers are from those who said "Many religions can lead to eternal life"]

  • 64% of White Evangelicals and 73% of White Mainline Protestants say that Judaism can lead to eternal life (Okay, maybe these are all dispensationalists that have gotten crossed up).
  • 35% of White Evangelicals and 55% of White Mainline Protestants say Islam can lead to eternal life (At least it’s still monotheism, I guess).
  • 26% of White Evangelicals and 46% of White Mainline Protestants say that Atheism can lead to eternal life (Umm, so we’re universalists, or at least we forgot that whole “justification by faith” thing that got us out of the Catholic church?)

Where it all goes to hell (and I mean that quite literally) is in the box labeled “What Determines Who Obtains Eternal Life?” This beautiful nugget informs us that:

  • 11% of White Evangelicals and 33% of White Mainline Protestants say that your actions (apart from belief) determine your eternal destiny
  • 10% of White Evangelicals and 10% of White Mainline Protestants say that it is a combination of belief and actions which determines your eternal destiny
  • 45% of White Evangelicals and 9% of White Mainline Protestants say that belief in Jesus and being born again determine your eternal destiny (!)

This means that over half of all white evangelicals and more than 9 out of every 10 white protestants disagree with Jesus when he says “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3.5). Nor do they agree with John 3.16. Or John 14.6.

This begs the question, at what point do we stop calling these people Christians? When we say “Most Christians” and when the society critiques “Most Christians,” it is now clearer than ever that they are not actually talking about Christians in the first place. They’re talking about people who wear the clothes of a Christian, but work for someone else. They’re talking about people who apparently don’t have anything better to do on Sunday morning (oh wait, they probably aren’t going to church, which explains our attendance numbers) and people who feel guilty for calling themselves what they really are, functional universalists (or atheists, since they seem to believe in no god I know of).

Why has this happened? Which came first: the denial of Scriptural authority and the inerrancy of God’s Word, or the abandonment of actual biblical Christianity? When did we become so self-assured that we lost the fear of God?

I don’t think I have anything constructive to say about this right now. Honestly, I’m shocked and appalled and a hair short of just really ticked off. I get so tired of people going around calling themselves Christians and then believing crap like that! If you wonder why Christmas is better called X-Mas and you are more and more likely to be shot trying to buy a Nintendo Wii than you are to hear someone talk about the birth of their savior and actually mean it, try these numbers on for size. This is sad, but unfortunately, it’s only sad because it confirmed what we’ve known all along.

I hope this motivates all of you, as it does me, to be more evangelistic and more adamant about the truth, the biblical truth, than ever before.

One Response to “To Hell in a Hand Basket- (Not) Surprising News from the Pew Forum”

  1. one way? « Interstitial Says:

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