Three out of 10 adults in America say they are born again Christians.
But what some of them believe in is something else entirely.
First, what is a born again Christian?
A born again Christian is someone who has repented of their sins and turned to Christ for their salvation, and as a result has become part of God’s family forever.
Most born again adults have biblically correct beliefs on a variety of matters, but are completely inaccurate on others.
While many born again adults have a biblical worldview, they do have a hodgepodge of unbiblical beliefs.
Here are the results of George Barna’s excellent survey:
- 9 out of 10 (89%) born again Christians have an orthodox view of the nature of God.
- 4 of 5 (82%) agree that God is alive and active in peoples’ lives.
- 4 of 5 agree that all people are sinners (79%)
- 4 of 5 say same-sex marriage is inappropriate (78%).
- Three-quarters (76%) concur that the Bible is God’s Word and has no errors.
- 2 out of every 3 born agains believe God created the universe as described in the Book of Genesis (66%).
- 2 of 3 believe the Bible is totally accurate in all the life principles it teaches (64%).
That’s bad. With proper teaching all the results above should have been 100% … but it gets worse:
- Less than 6 out of 10 (58%) believe that Satan exists.
- Only half believe that Jesus lived a sinless life (52%)
- Less than half believe that absolute moral truth exists and is found in the scriptures (47%).
- More than half believe the Holy Spirit is a symbol but does not actually exist.
And it gets even worse.
The truth about eternal salvation appears to be a mystery to most born again adults:
- Only 37% argue that it is impossible to earn one’s way to Heaven.
- Sharing the good news with non-believers is ignored by most born agains. Only one-third (34%) believe they have a responsibility to share their faith in Christ to non-believers.
- 75% claim that all people are basically good, thus disputing the biblical teaching that people are not basically good because of mankind’s sin nature.
- The survey found that only 46% of born agains read the Bible during a typical week.
- One-third of them (34%) say they prefer socialism to capitalism.
In other results, a recent survey based on the question “what awaits you after you die on earth” provided the following:
- Only 30% (the born again Christians) said, “I know I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.”
- 25% said they had no idea what would happen to them after they died.
- 9% said they would go to Heaven because they were a good person.
- 7% said they would go to Heaven because God loves all people and will not let them perish.
- 6% said they would go to Heaven because they have tried to obey God’s rules.
- 7% said they would be reincarnated, returning to Earth as a different person or life form.
Shocking results, to be sure.
But nothing that cannot be overcome by daily scripture readings, which would help iron out theological waffling.
A good example of “searching for the truth” is found with the Berean Jews in Acts 17:11:
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
And pastors must teach.
They must teach the whole truth, not just “seeker friendly” studies.
They need to teach the entire Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, without compromise and with God’s love.
We are warned about the consequences of improper teaching in 2 Tim. 4:3:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
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