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-Pew Survey on Religion in America- Good News and Bad News

by Dr. D ~ June 25th, 2008

The Pew Forum released on Monday (6/23/08) the results of an extensive poll of 35,000 Americans concerning their religious views and practices.

First the ‘good news’: 92% of Americans profess to believe in God or some kind of ‘higher power’. 80% believe in miracles, and 66% in angels and demons. The vast majority show a toleration for the large variety of religions in America.

Second–the not so good (for Christian leaders): A large segment of the population mistrusts organized religion. Most of those committed and involved in a religion do not consider it to be the only path to salvation or heaven. Even evangelical Christians surprisingly fall within this category. There is a general ignorance or rejection of the more exclusive dogmatic claims made by the religions or churches that Americans are affiliated with.

In an article in Tuesdays USA Today, Cathy Lynn Grossman quoted Rice University sociologist Michael Lindsay saying that TV’s Oprah has become more of a spiritual leader and a greater influence in America than any of the "religious" leaders:

"Rather than religious leaders setting the cultural agenda, today, it’s Oprah Winfrey, … The impact of Oprah is seen throughout this survey. She uses the language of Bible and Christian traditions and yet includes other traditions to create a hodgepodge personalized faith. Exclusivism (one religion has the absolute and exclusive truth) has gotten a bad name in America today."

Cal Thomas responded to the survey from an Christian view point in an article: "Do They Think Jesus Was a Liar?" image-picture of Cal Thomas First Cal quotes Jesus:

Apparently they must think Jesus was a liar, or mistaken, when he said: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me.” Look it up.

Then he finishes his short article with the following response:

If there are many paths to heaven, Jesus suffered and died for nothing. He could have stayed in heaven, sent down a book of sayings and avoided crucifixion. Orthodox Christians have always believed – and their Bible teaches them — there is only one path to heaven and it is through Jesus Christ and him alone. One can believe whatever one wishes, but you can’t be considered a Christian without believing in this fundamental doctrine.

Here’s a link to the complete Pew report.

Response: I’m solidly with Cal Thomas on this. His response is mine. Christian Churches in America have a lot of work to do with their own people. Seeker sensitive services and ‘watered-down’ preaching has obviously not got the job done. This really is a failing report card for American preachers.            *Top

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