Is the Church Losing Her Salt?
by Carlton Pruitt
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About a decade ago George Gallop said that only 21% of adults could name at least one of the prophets.
One adult in three (34%) knew that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
Only one teenager in three (35%) could name the four gospels. Are you surprised? Well, don't be.
Gallop says just 12% think the Bible is the actual word of God to be interpreted literally. He said that figure use to be a lot higher.
Does it not appear that something has eaten away at public confidence in the Bible?
While 90% of Americans say they have never seriously doubted the existence of God apparently 78% of them think that God has left us with out any written record of what He wants us to know. Americans don't believe the Bible as they once did. They don't read it as they once did. Consequently, we don't know it as we once did. What is true in America is true in Canada. It is true in the UK. It is true in Australia. Its true all over the world because Christians just don't read their Bible the way they once did.
In 1984 a new George appeared on the scene. George Barna is like George Gallop Jr., a Christian and is located in Southern California. The Barna Research Group has become the standard for quotable meaningful measurements about cultural trends in America-their values, beliefs, attitudes and behavior. What Barna reports about Bible literacy confirms what Gallop has already said.
In the most recent annual survey of America's faith Barna says that 83% of American say their religious faith is very important in their life. That's encouraging but what that faith means to them though and what kind of faith it is may be a matter of interpretation.
Currently 40% of adults meet the born again criteria. Barna says that the percentage of born again adults is the same as it was at the turn of the decade and is marginally above the level measured fifteen years ago 35%.
The proportion of Christian adults who are defined as evangelical remains small 7% and it remains unchanged over the last six years.
Barna and Gallop report 90% of American evangelicals claim to read their Bible during the course of a typical week as opposed to 64% of those who claim to be Christians but not evangelical.
Only three adults in four (75%) know that Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Fewer than half of all adults can name Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as the four gospels of the New Testament.
Ten percent of Americans believe that the Bible is an ancient book of fables, legions, history and moral precepts.
About two adults in three (64%) know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Only 12% think the Bible should be interpreted literally. The Christian church has neglected the
Bible. Creeping Bible illiteracy is what Woodrow Kroll says we're suffering from.
Particularly shocking is the lack of knowledge of the Bible among college graduates-these are suppose to be the brightest of our society and yet only four in ten (40%) know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Fewer and fewer people know anything about the Bible. Even Christian know far less than we think. Whats worse few Christians seem to be aware of their glaring deficiency.
What conclusions can we draw from these pollsters?
The professing Christian community and post Christian world at large are atrociously ignorant of the Bible. It appears that the church has lost her salt and is worth less and less in the eyes of
Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."
You tube viewers might want to take a look at my recent videos on the need for getting back to the Bible and how you can read through the entire Bible once a year in as little as ten to twelve minutes a day.
Click below to view one of the two videos or cut and paste the following link in your address bar.
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