In the last issue of Reality Alert, we talked about how many born again Christians were shockingly ignorant about the Word of God and off-base theologically.
The lack of understanding of the Word of God falls directly on the responsibility not just of the person claiming to be a born again Christian, but also on the pastor and church leadership.
- Too many pastors do not teach the full gospel.
- Pastors cherry pick verses and avoid controversial issues.
- Pastors skip sections of scripture in order to have an imbalance in theological understanding.
But there is one other issue.
In the past, I have described the difference between a born again Christian and an evangelical Christian.
Those claiming to be evangelicals have:
- A better theological understanding
- A better walk with the Lord
- Are able to vote their values more consistently.
George Barna is a great researcher. He has created the best distinction between a born again Christian and an evangelical Christian.
Let me explain what it is.
What is a born again Christian vs. the evangelical Christian?
- “Born again Christians” are defined as people who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
- That the commitment is still important in their life today.
- Believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.
Politically, Barna’s research found that just one-half of the nation’s born again adults describe themselves as fiscal conservatives and one-half also claim to be social conservatives.
Combined, only four out of ten born again individuals (41%) are conservative on both fiscal and social matters.
Further, a slight majority of born again Christians (54%) have conservative views about the ideal size, reach, and power of government.
For a group reputedly politically conservative and traditional, it is hard to explain why one-third of them (34%) say they prefer socialism to capitalism.
How evangelicals differ
While 38% of the country say they are evangelical, a filtered study by Barna reveals the figure is closer to 9% of the population, or 84 million adults vs. 18 million.
“Evangelicals” meet the born again criteria, 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.
- Describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today.
Of true evangelicals, 65% are mostly conservative on social and political matters, 41% for born again Christians.
The need for repentance
Born again, evangelical, whatever the label may be … we have all fallen short of the glory of God, and as sinners need to repent of our sins.
That is why Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross for all humanity. Our sin debt is paid once and for all.
This is why I love the Scripture in 1 Peter 3:18:
“For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually.”
Have you repented of your sins?
Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
If so, that’s great news.
Now, don’t keep this “good news” to yourself … share it.
What do you think? Write me at email@example.com