"Evangelicals" meet the born again criteria (described below) 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 today. 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." "ev
"Non-evangelical 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 and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. These adults are born again, but do not meet the additional evangelical criteria.
"Notional" Christians are individuals who identify themselves as Christian yet do not meet the criteria for being "born again."
"Skeptics" are individuals who identify themselves as atheists or agnostics.
Generations: Mosaics / Millennials are a generation born between 1984 through 2002; Busters, born between 1965 and 1983; Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964; and Elders were born in 1945 or earlier.
Here are some real eye-openers concerning the degenerating beliefs of “Christians” (underscores are mine):
October 8, 2002 - Nine out of ten adults own at least one Bible and eight out of ten consider themselves to be Christian, but you'd never know it from the smorgasbord of religious beliefs professed by most people. A new nationwide survey conducted by the Barna Research Group indicates that a large share of the people who attend Protestant or Catholic churches have adopted beliefs that conflict with the teachings of the Bible and their church.
Six out of ten Americans (59%) reject the existence of Satan, indicating that the devil, or Satan, is merely a symbol of evil. Catholics are much more likely than Protestants to hold this view - 75% compared to 55% - although a majority of both groups concur that Satan is symbolic.
Although most adults are aligned with either a Protestant (54%) or Catholic (22%) church, a large minority of Americans believes that when Jesus Christ was on earth He committed sins. Currently, slightly less than half of the public (42%) holds this view, while half (50%) say Jesus did not sin. The people groups most likely to contend that Jesus sinned include people under age 38 (49%), notional Christians (51%), and atheists and agnostics (62%).
The results are a reflection of a nation whose theological views are increasingly inclusive of many faith traditions, according to the director of the research. George Barna, author of numerous books about the religious beliefs and practices of Americans, including The State of the Church: 2002, was not surprised by the findings. "Over the past 20 years we have seen the nation's theological views slowly become less aligned with the Bible. Americans still revere the Bible and like to think of themselves as Bible-believing people, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Christians have increasingly been adopting spiritual views that come from Islam, Wicca, secular humanism, the eastern religions and other sources. Because we remain a largely Bible-illiterate society, few are alarmed or even aware of the slide toward syncretism - a belief system that blindly combines beliefs from many different faith perspectives."
Barna indicated that the passing on of a Christian heritage from one generation to the next appears to be rapidly dissipating in America. "Our continuing research among teenagers and adolescents shows that the trend away from adopting biblical theology in favor of syncretic, culture-based theology is advancing at full gallop." Citing a wealth of statistical evidence drawn from his books on teens lifestyles and religious beliefs, Real Teens, Barna noted that, "relatively few adults are alarmed by this trend, since teens and adolescents are merely reflecting the trail that their parents and teachers have already blazed."
Americans describe their views about life after death – October 21, 2003: George Barna, the president of the company that conducted the research, pointed out that "Americans’ willingness to embrace beliefs that are logically contradictory and their preference for blending different faith views together create unorthodox religious viewpoints." For instance, he noted that among born again Christians - who believe that they will experience eternal existence in Heaven solely because they have confessed their sins to God and are depending upon Jesus Christ to spare them from eternal punishment or rejection - 10% believe that people are reincarnated after death, 29% claim it is possible to communicate with the dead, and 50% contend that a person can earn salvation based upon good works."
“Many committed born again Christians believe that people have multiple options for gaining entry to Heaven. They are saying, in essence, ‘Personally, I am trusting Jesus Christ as my means of gaining God’s permanent favor and a place in Heaven - but someone else could get to Heaven based upon living an exemplary life.’ Millions of Americans have redefined grace to mean that God is so eager to save people from Hell that He will change His nature and universal principles for their individual benefit. It is astounding how many people develop their faith according to their feelings or cultural assumptions rather than biblical teachings."
Friends, that was about eight years ago, and my research shows that the universal church of Christ has been attacked, infiltrated and is being taken over by a raging sea of false doctrine. Old, familiar New Age teachings have crept into churches of previous high integrity. Christians who are mere fans of Christ and not true followers are being sucked into the teachings of the emerging church to satisfy their liberal theological need to “get along” with everyone, even if it means compromising the truth of the Word of God. Major, noted and popular church leaders are heading up committees and organizations for the expressed purpose of bringing together a variety of religions of the world, claiming we all worship the same God of heaven, and that there are indeed many paths that lead to God. Do they not know man alone cannot bring true peace to this world? Only God can, and God will, in His due time. We pray and pray for the leaders of the world to be led by the Spirit, but they are not listening. It should be no surprise, for the Bible has told us these things will come to pass.
It looks as if there is a trend for some "Christians" to simply cherry-pick the parts of the Bible they agree with and dismiss the parts that make them uncomfortable. They have grown to believe in doctrine the Bible doesn't teach at all. But those of us who remain faithful to God’s Word until the Lord returns will be blessed beyond measure! Paul instructed us in 2nd Thessalonians there would be a great falling away of the faith before Christ returns. I see the seed of this already beginning to happen. This is why I am pleading with you to ask our Father God for wisdom and discernment every single day so we will be prepared to test the spirits of unrighteousness and deception. And be prepared for this deception to come from the mouths of those you would never expect! Believe me. I know what I am talking about.
Keep the faith, no matter what. For it is by faith in God’s free grace alone that we are saved from eternal banishment from His presence, and not by any good works we may do for our own glory. Let us remember to thank God for all He has given us, including His loving chastisements He brings upon us to teach us how to have an even closer, more abundant relationship with Him.
If you know someone who is being carried away from the grasp of the Word by false philosophies or traditions of man, or simply by teachings that do not square with the Bible, pray to God as to what to do to help that person. You may simply pray for them. Or the Lord may lead you to gently bring that wavering soul back on track. But do all things in love and not judgment. Remember how many times you stumble or fall, and God has brought you back to Him. Ask God in faith to give you the exact words to speak to the heart of that soul. He will honor that prayer.
In summary, we continually need to remind ourselves of the words of Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:13, “He that endureth to the end shall be saved”. That means to endure in faith and obedience to His holy Word. God does not want us to run the race, only to fail to cross the finish line! Until next time, love others as God has loved you.