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Christian Dunces

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Written by Ivan Sutton

To view the full article please visit the ling at the end of this segment.  I entitled this Christian Dunces because I liked the reference in the article. It is quite something that Christians are able to self diagnose our spiritual condition and write about it in hopes of saving lives.  I recommend reading the whole article and have inserted this brief part of it to encourage you to read more.

Bad Religion – Many Christians Endorse Heretical Beliefs Without Realizing It


Americans talking about theology sound about as competent as country singers rapping”, he observed, citing several highlights from the survey.
Seven out of ten respondents in LifeWay’s survey affirmed the doctrine of the Trinity–that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Persons but one God, and six in ten agreed that Jesus is both human and divine. Their orthodoxy–and consistency–ended there.
The rest of the survey unearthed some beliefs that are shocking to note:
  • More than half went on to indicate that Jesus is “the first and greatest being created by God,” a heresy known as Arianism, which the Council of Nicaea condemned in 325 A.D.
  • Seventy percent of participants–who ranged across socioeconomic and racial backgrounds–agreed there’s only one true God. Yet sixty-four percent also thought this God accepts the worship of all religions, including those that believe in many gods.
  • Two-thirds admitted that everyone sins a little bit, but still insisted that most people are good by nature, which directly contradicts scripture (“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9).
  • Over half said it’s fair for God to exercise His wrath against sin, but seemed to waffle about which sins deserved wrath (not theirs!). Seventy-four percent said the “smallest sins” don’t warrant eternal damnation, in contrast to Jesus’ half-brother, who when writing at the Holy Spirit’s inspiration taught that even one infraction of God’s law is enough to sink someone.
  • A full 60 percent agreed that “everyone eventually goes to Heaven,” but half of those surveyed also checked the box saying that “only those who believe in Jesus will be saved.”
Granted, the average professing Christian may just be wearing a popular tag that makes them feel better about their spiritual side. Evangelicals, however, are known to be more accurate in their interpretations of scripture and more serious in the actual practice of their faith.
As Morris noted, everyone therefore expected them to perform better than most Americans. No one expected them to perform worse. Here are some of the bizarre and contradictory beliefs that many evangelicals hold to:
  • Seven in ten evangelicals–more than the population at large–said that Jesus was the first being God created.
  • Fifty-six percent agreed that “the Holy Spirit is a divine force but not a personal being.”
  • A huge increase in evangelicals (28 percent, up from 9 percent) indicated that the Third Person of the Trinity is not equal with God the Father or Jesus, a direct contradiction of orthodox Christianity.
  • By definition, evangelicals in this survey believed that “only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.” Yet nearly half agreed that “God accepts the worship of all religions including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”
  • Two-thirds of evangelicals–more than Americans in general–said Heaven is a place where all people will ultimately be reunited with their loved ones. Many of these folks evidently see no contradiction between their casual universalism and the evangelical creed that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone.
  • Two out of five evangelicals say “worshipping alone or with family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church”.
Morris further noted that former Newsday religion reporter Kenneth Briggs recently told Religion News Service that the faith he finds in “mega-type churches” is a “Bible-less,” “alternative version of Christianity.” Scripture, he says, has become “a museum exhibit, hallowed as a treasure but enigmatic and untouched.”
The Bible remains phenomenally popular, of course. Practically everyone has one in his or her home, and many families own four or five. But Briggs characterises our love for the Bible as love for an “artifact,” a “keepsake,” or a lucky “rabbit’s foot.” This talisman of faith mainly stays on the shelf or mantle next to the urn filled with grandpa’s ashes.
Briggs says it was in a prison, not a church, where he encountered the most vibrant and intimate familiarity with God’s Word.
Most everywhere else, his observations confirmed a recent Barna survey, conducted for the American Bible Society, which found that less than half the country can name the first five books of the Old Testament and that a similar number think John the Baptist was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples.
Why does it matter that we’ve become a nation of doctrinal dunces? What harm is there in flunking Christianity 101?

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Ivan Sutton

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