By Lonnie Wilkey
According to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, Christianity is “the most adhered to religion in the United States with 75 percent of polled American adults identifying themselves as Christian in 2015.” A Gallup poll in 2017 confirmed the Wikipedia claim.
In addition, Wikipedia reports that the U.S. has the largest Christian population in the world with nearly 240 million living in the country that still boasts the motto, “In God We Trust.”
Somewhere along the way, our Christian walk and our Christian talk are not lining up.
We may say we’re Christian, but where’s the proof?
A recent survey by LifeWay Research (see story on page 1) indicates that a large number of professing Christians don’t agree with traditional Christian beliefs.
• Half of Americans (50 percent) say the Bible is 100 percent accurate in all that it teaches. That tells me at least 25 percent of Christians don’t believe in the complete accuracy of the Bible. That is troubling. Forty-seven percent of Americans claim the Bible is not literally true. That number no doubt includes a large number of Christians.
• Only 57 percent of Americans say only those who trust in Jesus alone as Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation. Forty-three percent disagree.
And, then we come to sin. That great theologian Barney Fife once said, “Yes sir, that’s one subject you just can’t talk about enough — sin.” Apparently, we haven’t talked about sin enough in our churches over the past few decades.
Only 53 percent of Americans say “the Bible has the authority to tell us what we must do,” according to the research. That is definitely reflected in how sin is viewed: 51 percent believe sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin; 52 percent of Americans believe abortion is a sin; 44 percent of Americans believe the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn’t apply today and 33 percent of Americans believe gender identity is a matter of choice. Wow!
Why is there such a disconnect between the large number of Americans who say they are Christian and the values in which they believe?
That’s an easy one. The Christian church has done a poor job in proclaiming God’s truths. Too many pulpits (of all denominations) fail to preach on sin because pastors don’t want to offend the flock.
America is in a mess and the latest research from LifeWay just confirms it.
What’s the solution? It’s time to get back to the basics. Preach the Word. Disciple new believers. Pray fervently for our nation.
America did not turn its back on God and Christianity overnight. It’s been a process years in the making. But we are paying the price today. What concerns me most of all is that our grandchildren ultimately will reap what we have sown. Can you imagine what our world will look like in 25 years if we don’t hit the reverse button now?
Christians have to quit talking about what we believe and start living it. Only then, will the world really see the difference that God makes in our lives. B&R