Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Jesus Sinned?" Excuse Me!?!

I guess I should stop being surprised at Barna surveys. Keeping in mind that polls and surveys only sample a set amount of people, and then project the results outward, this latest Barna survey is troubling, if not an outrage. The results show that one in three "Christians" think Jesus sinned.

I would like to know in greater detail who these people identifying themselves as Christians are. If the bulk of them are part of apostate churches, then it's not so much of a surprise. But if these people really are "evangelical" or "fundamental," Houston, we have a problem, and a big one.

15 comments:

Phil Perkins said...

You HAVE a problem. Hello? Even most pastors and religious leaders in the ME world aren't all that famaliar with their Bibles.

Be holy,
Phil Perkins

Gilbert said...

I'm not surprised any more. The pablum---no, let me be blunt: the GARBAGE spewing from many pulpits is now bearing "fruit". Our society is in rapid decline, and all we hear about is "self help" (as if THAT were possible...think about it), mysticism, and other evil.

I would dare say before they need to know the Bible, people need to know their condition: sinful, and headed for hell for sinning against a holy God, and without repentance, they are doomed. Only Jesus can save them, if they repent and believe that He died and rose again for them.

And in many (most?) churches, you won't hear that. Too unfriendly. Too rough.

So is hell.

Randy said...
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Randy said...

Joel,

In an old Sally Field movie, someone asked her a question: "Are you a Christian?" Her reply was: "Sure, isn't everyone?" I would imagine that there are a lot of people that think they are Christians haven't really studied to find out what it takes to become one. Maybe Barnes needs to define what a Christian "is" to the people they ask the question to before they get the reply. Well, that is if the Barnes organization knows themself what a "real" Christian is.

Randy

Ron said...

I think that Randy's comment concerning Barna was one that needed to be expressed.

Thanks Randy.

TelegramSam said...

“I think that Randy's comment concerning Barna was one that needed to be expressed.” –--- Really? Why? It just dilutes the point and turns the focus away from the results and redirects it toward something what is supposedly wrong with “Barns” (sic). The purpose of the survey isn’t to “educate” the self-proclaimed Christians being polled as to what a Christian “is”, but rather to find out what those so-called Christians believe. Only then can we begin to understand the true state of popular, mainstream Christianity. I tend to agree with Gilbert’s comments regarding Barna’s findings.
BTW - I don’t carry water for Barna, but it seems like whenever his organization posts poll results that show mainstream Christianity in a poor light somebody tries to find a way to say that the research was flawed. Maybe some people find that it’s easier to hammer the messenger than acknowledge the problem.

Solameanie said...

Sam,

I don't doubt that Barna's polls get plenty of detractors aiming to deflect criticism that comes their way, but I think it is valid to have clear cut definitions. We see this often in political polling i.e. answers are often determined by how a question is asked.

In so many cases, the term "Christian" is applied to people and groups that don't deserve the label. Having said that, Barna's survey may well be very accurate. In terms of evangelicalism, it is sad to see just how easy the errors of the Emergent Church have been taken into so many congregations that ought to know better.

TelegramSam said...

Sola,

Digging deeper into the WND article you’ll find that it says the people in the survey stated that “they had made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ (and) that (it) was still important in their life today and (they) also indicated they believed that when they die they will go to heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.” If somebody told me that during an introductory conversation I would assume that they were at least an “entry-level” Christian, wouldn’t you?

Another troubling aspect of the article is that, according to Barna, “…Americans are more likely to pit a variety of non-Christian options against various Christian-based views. This has resulted in an abundance of unique worldviews based on personal combinations of theology drawn from a smattering of world religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam as well as secularism." This view is popular right now in the PoMo and Emergent “tribes”, and it has found a comfortable home in many of our churches.
Lord come quickly.

Solameanie said...

Possibly "entry-level." But I'd be a bit cautious, because Mormons often say the same thing. See what I mean? That's why I say some more clear definitions are needed when asking these questions.

Ron said...

I'll be brief;
Is the decline in solid Biblical doctrine, which Scripture predicts, sadly so, not an issue we already haven't recognized? Did we need this report to confirm it? And does a random sampling of 1004 adults 18 and up who answered a few questions really speak for millions of Christians as the report indicates? The Barna Group is a for profit institution. So who commissioned this study and why? For what purpose? This is a question we rarely ask, just assuming that everything's completely unbiased and without a preconceived agenda. Could this essentially be used by the Post Christian mob to affirm Western Christianity's failures, bolstering their arguments? After all, Barna's involved with the pagan Christianity movement, which rails against Western Christianity, it's buildings, it's paid pastors and actually prefers the irradication of pastors. So much for solid doctrinal preaching from the pulpit. Assumptive language can twist and morph most anything. Never take studies at face value.

Randy said...

Hi all,

I understand where TelegramSam may be coming from. However, I'm glad that Ron had my back on that one. Maybe this is way too simplistic but let me throw this out there. If someone approached a person on the street and asked if the US is a democracy or a republic, wouldn't you want to be sure that the person you are questioning knows what the difference is before they get the answer?

If you have someone who "thinks" they are a Christian but really haven't embraced the full significance of it, how can they responsibly answer the original question? However, I think all of this was good banter.

My fear is that everything is starting to blend where there are no lines drawn in the sand anymore.

Blessings,

Randy

TelegramSam said...

Randy,
As I tried to explain to someone earlier today, from what I understand about
this particular survey Barna did not try to QUALIFY the respondents as Christians, he just asked them if they CONSIDERED themselves to be Christians and then asked questions about their theology....so (for me) the results of the survey showed that while many people consider themselves to be Christians FEW REALLY ARE...which shouldn't surprise us because that's what Scripture teaches. Is any poll 100% accurate? No, but if properly done they can give a sense of what is going on.

There is more that I would like to say, but I'll shut-up now because I've beaten this topic to death!

Randy said...
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Randy said...

TelegramSam,

I do understand your points and I have pondered them. Yes, maybe this chain of comments has reached its course. I guess it comes down to this for me. Wouldn't it be better for Barna to have asked two questions. One, Do you know what a Christian is? and Two, Do you believe Jesus sinned?

Someone could ask me if I believe in the new age. I do. Now, work with me on this. Yes, I do believe in the new age. However, I "didn't" say I was a new ager! See the difference.

Plus there are countless papal lovers wasting fifty minutes a week confessing to a man instead of God and are heading the furnace but call themselves Christians.

Okay, I'm done ranting. Thank you, though for responding to me. Good dialogue in a spirit of peace always bodes well.

Blessings to you,

Randy

Solameanie said...

Randy,

Sorry...didn't mean to appear aloof or unresponsive. I try to remain silent and let people comment unless there's a specific point I want to address or if someone takes a pop at me, like happened yesterday in another meta. I appreciate everyone's comments.