It is more important today than ever to know what we believe and why as Christians… especially if we are to evangelize unbelievers and engage our culture with the Gospel. Click here to read a USA Today article about faith, salvation, and religious beliefs in America. Click here to see how what you believe compares with those who responded to the survey (This is very interesting!).
Here are a few highlights from the article. Consider the results compared to Orthodox Christian belief (Emphasis mine).
78% overall say there are “absolute standards of right and wrong,” but only 29% rely on their religion to delineate these standards.
74% say “there is a heaven, where people who have led good lives are eternally rewarded,” but far fewer (59%) say there’s a “hell, where people who have led bad lives and die without being sorry are eternally punished.”
70%, including a majority of all major Christian and non-Christian religious groups except Mormons, say “many religions can lead to eternal life.”
51% have a certain belief in a personal God, but 27% are less certain of this, 14% call God “an impersonal force,” and 5% reject any kind of God. “People say ‘God,’ and no one knows who they mean,”says Kosmin, director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.
I was glad to read that the SBC was well represented by our outgoing President.
The Rev. Frank Page of Taylors, S.C., past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, is not surprised by the Pew findings. “The number (of churches that) teach a clear doctrinal Christianity are a minority today. How would people know it when they never hear about how to be saved?”
There is a strong need for solid Bible teaching and preaching in our churches. The SBC fought to reclaim the seminaries during the past decades and forgot that before seminary is the church… and that is where the greatest need is for solid Orthodox Christian truth to be proclaimed. The local church is the most important place for the pure Gospel Message of Jesus to be explained, taught, and encouraged. If we wait till seminary to teach sound doctrine, we have waited too long because it is in the local church setting that the foundation is set for a strong faith (Click here).
God willing, tomorrow we’ll discuss this topic in more detail.