First, 92% of America believes in God! And people say we aren't a Christian Nation! Well OK, just cause people believe in God doesn't amke them Christian, but still, 92% thats something isn't it?
Well we're down 6% from 1967, does that mean we are backsliding?
But in 1947 it was only 94%. Wow, and I thought the post-WWII era was very religious!
Going back just a few years to 2007 we find that only 86% were "Sure" there was a God. But maybe some of the "unsure" if pressed would say probably so.
Still less than 90% say there's a heaven! What is that about? Surely heaven is the main product that Christianity is selling. And less that 80% believe in a Hell! Well there goes the motivation for 20% of the population to check out the claims of Christianity!
2007 May 10-13
(sorted by "believe in")
Not sure about
Don't believe in
But again, we're talking about a basic belief in a deity. Not neccesarily YHWH, or Jehovah God, or even a basic Christian view of God. Just God. Some of these people maybe graduates of a 12 step program that allows you to pick anything for your "Higher power." Some of these may believe in the Great Omelet in the Sky! Or the Great Pumpkin! So how do we calculate how many folks believe in God in a way similar to Jews, Christians, or even Muslims? (Muslims are only about 8 in every thousand but a case can be made that their god is somewhat similar to the Jewish understanding.)
Maybe the next Questions will shed some light:
How often do you attend church or synagogue -- At least once a week, almost every week, about once a month, seldom, or never?
2007 Mar 26-29
Only 55% ever attend church more than "seldom". Oh wait that's church OR synagogue. So the Jews (God love 'em) are not part of this Christian Nation (except of course, they LIVE here.)
And as for churches that would include Catholic churches which do not teach the more evangelical view of salvation and is therefore errant. Then there are the Mormon, Jehovah's witnesses and other Christian-like cults that are even more errant than the Catholics.
Maybe the next Question helps:
Would you describe yourself as a "born again"
But what does Barna mean by Born Again and Evangelical?
So now we're down to 40% who call themselves "Born again"
or "evangelical." Wow, less than half. Hmmm. This doesn't
bode well for the "We are a Christian Nation" crowd. And
gee, Evangelicals? Really? I mean those are those nominal
Lutherans and Methodists that don't really believe much of
anything. Certainly not in the exclusive claims of Christ,
and salvation by Grace through Faith, occuring in a
miraculous work by the Holy Spirit! So whats left?
How many Christians are there for crying out loud?
Well maybe Gallup can't get us where we want to go, so
let's try Barna. According to him:
While more than eight out of ten (84%) view themselves
as Christian, a lesser but significant majority label them
selves as a "committed Christian" (60%). Within that
framework,people’s self-identity includes 45% who
call themselves a "born again Christian," 42% who claim
to be an "evangelical Christian..."
“Born again Christians" are defined as people who
said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus
Christ - that is still important in their life today -
who ... believe when they die they will go to Heaven
because they had confessed their sins and had
accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Respondents are not
asked to describe themselves as "born again."
Well, gosh, I know of unsaved baptists that would attest
“Evangelicals" meet the born again
criteria (described above) plus seven other conditions.
Those include saying their faith is very important in their
life today; believing they have a personal responsibility
to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-
Christians; believing that Satan exists;
believing that eternal salvation is possible only through
grace, not works;
believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth;
asserting that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches;
and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful,
perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it
Being classified as an evangelical is not dependent upon
church attendance or the denominational affiliation of
the church attended. Respondents were not asked to
describe themselves as "evangelical."
Well, OK, I guess this sounds pretty Christian to me,
and that's 42%. But Gallup said only 40% describe
themselves as 'born again' or evangelical. And when you
read Gallup's data closer you would find that some of
that 40% didn't even believe in Jesus! They defined
"born again" in their own private terms.
So, there appears to be some polling discrepancy here.
(Sounds a lot like a presidential election poll doesn't it?
BUT I'm not going there.) Taking Barna's numbers
though, we have the description of 42% of americans
who might be considered True believers. Problem is,
when I view what Jesus said,that number looks WAY
Jesus said; Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is
the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to
destruction,and many there be which go in there:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.
"Few there be that find it." Hmmm, 42% sounds like
more than a few!
Jesus also said; So the last shall be first, and the
first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
For many are called, but few are chosen.
What am I trying to say here? I guess I'm trying to say
the USA is a shining city on a hill! It was founded by
really sharp guys, many of whom did seem to be
Many were deists, and various other of primarily God-
believing groups.It was founded as a Republic. Where
laws could protect the disenfranchised from mob rule.
Or sometimes it did anyway, that was their goal.
It was founded with representative government rather
than the divine right of Kings or despots to rule and
seize power from the people.
It was founded with an
open and free commerce system. The government may
have owned property but it wasn't actively competing
with or crippling the shopkeepers, farmers, tradespeople,
homeowners, local elected officals or churches.
It allowed ideas, even government and religious ideas,
to compete in a free market place as well as goods
It was also founded with an eye towards
common law and Biblical law. It recognized Biblical
principles in commerce, philosophy, and government.
It did not do all of these things perfectly because a
nation is only as good as it's people and we are not
a perfect people. These are wonderful things, however,
to be proud of. They have helped us excel beyond
many other nations on earth.
(Now some would say thats a very naive opinion. They would
point to our greed and domineering attitude. To the corrupt
usage of raw materials and human resources. All of which
I would have to say we have been guilty of to some degree.
But are we so different as humans? Did not Europe, Canada,
China, Australia, etc. have raw materials and the possibility
of cheap labor? I would say yes they did. But our laws
helped us rise above using people in a demeaning way.)
But, we are not a Christian Nation. And that's OK.
Our constitution does not say we are Christian. It
defends the rights of all people to believe according to
their own consciences.
Our laws are not all Biblical laws.
Our people are not even Christian in the majority.
And, there is only one Christian Nation:
The Redeemed of God, for whom Christ died, who have
been regenerated, saved, born again, and justified by the
blood of Christ. Some are here on earth. Some have
gone to be with the Lord. But it is them and them alone
who are a "chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an
holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew
forth the praises of him who hath called you out of
darkness into his marvellous light:"
And that's not the USA! And that's OK.
In fact, its great to know!