The American Religious Identification Survey 2008,

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Most of the headlines regarding the recent Trinity College poll: ” The American Religious Identification Survey 2008,” herald the demise of religion in the United States… a nation that boasts being the most religious country in the Western world.

    The poll announced that there are now more people than ever claiming “no religion.” From 1990 to 2008 the percentage jumped from 8.2 percent to 15 percent… nearly double the amount. And the number of people identifying themselves as Christian sank from 86 percent in 1990, to 76 percent in 2008, a ten point drop.
    It certainly does look like people are losing their religion.

    We should never rely on polls to tell the whole story.

    But hold off on those memorials for now. My take on the study is actually quite positive.

    If you include the numbers from the 2001 poll, the results may actually say something different. Most of the gains in the area of “no religion” occurred between 1990 and 2001. The numbers went from 8.2 to 14.2. Less than once percent of the gains occurred between 2001 and 2008.

    This is also true for people dropping from the rolls of Christianity. That number went from 86% to 77% from 2001 to 2008. Again, it’s barely a nudge from 2001 to 2008 (down to 76%).

    What this tells me is that the exodus from religion and away Christianity was staunched in 2001. Perhaps 9/11 was the bench mark. It would be an obvious reason.

    But it also demonstrates that we should never rely on polls to tell the whole story.– Did you also notice in any of the articles that appeared on Monday that there was an exponential increase in the number of Christians claiming “no denomination”? That number went from .1 percent in 1990 to 3.5 percent in 2008. Now that may not seem like a big percentage but translate that to the population and the numbers look like this: In 1990 there were about 194,000 people who claimed “no denomination.” That number climbed to 8 million Americans in 2008. — Two thirds of that gain happened between 2001 and 2008.

    Take all this information and couple it with the fact that religious books are flying off the shelves. How do you explain some 30 million copies sold of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”?

    Or how about this — a few weeks ago, the No. 1 book on the atheist best-seller list was written by a Christian evangelist? The book “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can’t Make Him Think”, shot straight to the top of Amazon.com’s sales charts, knocking Richard Dawkins’ “God Delusion” to the number no. 2 spot. [Source: Christian Evangelist's Book Ranked Bestselling 'Atheist' Item: Christianpost.com Feb 14, 2009].

    What I’ve learned about polls is that you can draw a variety of conclusions from them. The samplings are a microscopic representation of a country of some 300 million. And the kind of questions asked can often determine the response. Additionally, science and religion are destined to be at odds. Science is very good at observation, giving us answers to the “what, when, where, and how” questions. But science stumbles when it tries to tell us “Why?” That’s where psychology, philosophy and theology are the strongest.

    Here’s one last thing about the people who represent the percentages we saw in the Trinity College poll. — There’s a truth about them and all of us that poll numbers can never reflect. One minister put it this way: human beings are telic creatures. We have to have to have a purpose in life. We have to believe in something. It’s simply our nature. And the difference between religious and non-religious people is that religious people admit it.


    Found Here
     
  2. gb93433

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    I wonder how the surveys account for some who over the years have joined several churches and yet each church maintains them on their roll as a member? That would account for the same person being a member of several churches at the same time. In some religious circles there are about three times as many on the roll as there are attenders and others who have less members than attenders.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Figures lie, and liars figure.

    THANKS for putting some "bad" news in a more "realistic" light. :thumbs:
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    We've all heard the stats about how many youths are "walking away from Christianity" in their college years. What we don't have good stats about is how many of them return after their college years either once they get married or are in their mid-20s.

    One reason is many are attending large contemporary churches and have not seen their numbers get tracked effectively. Many in popular media are still relying on standards and formulas where mainline denominations are seen as the goto sources for this information.

    With so many contemporary churches and new church starts seeing growing numbers I wonder if most of the decline is in our older more established churches. Of course the real number is how many people are making true decisions for Christ. The trouble with evangelicalism is that most adults in America have found it a no lose proposition. They can get their "fire insurance" from Hell and never have to change how they live. The amount of sinful activity in their lives remains the same.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Maybe we should stop being counters and just preach the gospel. All our counting doesn't further the Kingdom one iota.
     
  6. Me4Him

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    A few years back a "Marketing survey" showed that our town was "Number one" in the nation for "fast food",

    and overnight, all the fast food chains started building.

    But I told my wife that the marketing survery also showed there were "more women" unwilling to "cook", in our town than any other per captial town in the nation. :laugh: :tonofbricks:
     
  7. gb93433

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    Why preach to the choir but instead show them how it is done in ppublic among non-believers? Numbers do count. How about knocking on at least 75 doors each month. If you consistently did that you would be amzed at what might happen after a few years. Most people come to Christ through a friend.
     
  8. Jon-Marc

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    Too bad surveys don't accurately record how many people are BORN AGAIN Christians. Being religious means nothing if a person isn't born again. Jesus didn't say, "Ye must be religious." He said, "Ye must be born again." How many of those "religious" people have actually had a life-changing experience and KNOW Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour?
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    You don't have a clue what I do or do not do.
     
  10. gb93433

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    The following statement you made indicates that you do not place the same emphasis God places on numbers. "Maybe we should stop being counters and just preach the gospel. All our counting doesn't further the Kingdom one iota."

    Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit numbers are recorded throughout scripture in many places. The name of one of the OT books is Numbers.

    Remember that numbers are often the souls of men. Is that not important?

    Read the quote by Spurgeon from his sermon on Mt. 4:19 and then mention that numbers do not matter.

    "Well, if any person in the world said to you, “I am a fisherman, but I have never caught anything,” you would wonder how he could be called a fisherman. A farmer who never grew any wheat, or any other crop — is he a farmer? When Jesus Christ says, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” he means that you shall really catch men — that you really shall save some; for he that never did get any fish is not a fisherman. He that never saved a sinner after years of work is not a minister of Christ. If the result of his life-work is nil, he made a mistake when he undertook it. Go thou with the fire of God in thy hand and fling it among the stubble, and the stubble will burn. Be thou sure of that. Go thou and scatter the good seed: it may not all fall in fruitful places, but some of it will. Be thou sure of that. Do but shine, and some eye or other will be lightened thereby. Thou must, thou shalt succeed. But remember this is the Lord’s word-- “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Keep close to Jesus, and do as Jesus did, in his spirit, and he will make you fishers of men."
     
    #10 gb93433, Mar 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2009
  11. Marcia

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    Actually, Barna has certain question he asks to determine this. There is a category of "Evangelical" which is broader, the it is narrowed down to other questions that he believes indicate someone is born again. This is, of course, not something we know for sure but the answers give a good idea.

    I think the questions (in addition to other broader questions) have to do with belief in Satan as a real personal being, heaven and hell, belief in Jesus needed for eternal life, judgment of all people at the end of time, God's word as inerrant, and others.

    I couldn't find the questions he asks but I found info on a survey conducted to see how many have a biblical worldview:
    http://www.barna.org/barna-update/a...dview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Georgie is anti church anything. If it doesn't line up with the house church hype he demonizes it.
     
  13. Marcia

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    But I think he's right in his percentages. I think that the number of actual born again believers is quite low, and I think the number of people with a biblical worldview is quite low. I am astonished at some of the beliefs or lack of certain beliefs I find in the church (conservative, evangelical).
     
  14. gb93433

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    What proof do you have to support your "facts"?
     
  15. gb93433

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    Josh McDowell wrote a book called Right from Wrong that would lead one to believe that most Christians are hiding their head in the sand.
     
  16. preachinjesus

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    The best offense is always a good ad homenim...or maybe not...
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    The proof is his involvement in the unbiblical house church movement which is against preaching against church buildings against church leadership etc. The house church movement has an agenda to tear down everything about the church to justify their rebellion.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    The number of actual born again believers has always been quite low. The church has been a poor gate keeper. We have for many years allowed the lost to join our rolls and attempt to take care of God's business.

    But those in the house church movement (of which Barna is part of) like to gather any and all negatives they can find or create to justify their rebellion. They tear down biblical preaching of the word of God and use pejoratives like "monologueing" or "pulpiteering". They are hyper-focused on geography and what types of buildings are used. They deny biblical and God ordained leadership. They promote a consensus type understanding of scripture meaning scripture can only be understood in a group setting.

    Because the negatives they find in the church are used to tear it down they have no credibility. They have only one agenda. To prop up their rebellion. There are a number of issues with today's church but addressing them in the context of George Barna and the house church movement does not advance the discussion as they have their own issues.
     
    #18 Revmitchell, Mar 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2009
  19. gb93433

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    What proof do you have of your "facts"?
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    I just gave you proof.If you question whether or not he is part of the house church movement let me know. If you question whether the house church movement is against church leadership, and preaching let me know.
     

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