Author Topic: Survey shows most evangelicals don't understand the core beliefs of their faith  (Read 1165 times)

Sandra Craft

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Before you say, "well duh", as I did at first, let me say this is not about what I expected.  In fact, if what this survey found is true, I'm inclined to think this is a good thing.

Survey shows most evangelicals don't understand the core beliefs of their faith
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joeactor

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Before you say, "well duh", as I did at first, let me say this is not about what I expected.  In fact, if what this survey found is true, I'm inclined to think this is a good thing.

Survey shows most evangelicals don't understand the core beliefs of their faith

I'd prefer they didn't abide by the bible, especially the Old Testament...

Sandra Craft

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Before you say, "well duh", as I did at first, let me say this is not about what I expected.  In fact, if what this survey found is true, I'm inclined to think this is a good thing.

Survey shows most evangelicals don't understand the core beliefs of their faith

I'd prefer they didn't abide by the bible, especially the Old Testament...

Me too, and if, as this survey claims, many of them are either misunderstanding or abandoning core beliefs in order to fit in with a more lenient society, then all the better. 
Sandy

  

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I followed links provided by Caplin in the article. The survey results site is rather well produced; it includes a "Data Explorer" page on which it's possible to filter the raw results in real time with animated graphics. Caplin's article as well as the Religious News Service press release focus on evangelicals--I suppose because that's who Ligonier (the "ministry" that commissioned the survey) considers to be their target demographic, but the survey methodology gathered a much wider sample.

The percentage of what Ligonier describes as self identified evangelicals in the survey is roughly in line with other estimates (a bit less than a quarter of the population of the US). Ligonier appears to be a pretty hard-line evangelical outfit, deploring the rise of "secular" values such as tolerance of same-sex relationships for instance, so their dismay at self-identified evangelicals failing to parrot the party line is understandable.

Their main take-away from the US survey results seems to be "we need to preach harder." Even more so for the UK (this is the first year they've done a survey in the UK): "These results show the urgent need for sound biblical teaching and the bold preaching of the gospel."  :eyeroll:
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John V

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The Bible itself is a history of corruption and/or apathy with brief periods of revival, so the surveyors should have expected the results.

That said, some of the questions could have been worded better. For instance, questions involving a dichotomy should just have two clear options, rather than the standard strongly agree etc.

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The church gives some people a safe and comfortable community, friends and a social life. The religion can be almost incidental. This wasn’t the case with my church; it was very keen on the core Christian beliefs which meant they had to do a hell of a lot of rationalising. They are pleasant people otherwise.
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mathetes

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Evangelicals in the USA in particular are constantly faced with colliding and competing worldviews / belief systems.  Many of their beliefs are theoretical in nature, but their operational beliefs tend to be those that aren't caught up in this collision or those which attempt to help them reconcile the two.  They spend a lot of time attempting to reconcile these beliefs (often creating new ones).

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It would be interesting to compare these results with Australia.  Evangelicals (often called "rafter hangers" over here) are not much of a presence.  They are a noisy, but very small minority.  The most recent census has christians being only about 52% of the population with the biggest group amongst them being catholics at around 23%

Religion Top 20 – Australia 2016 census 2011 census

No religion – 30.1% 22.3%   
Catholic – 22.6% 25.3%
Anglican – 13.3% 17.1%
Uniting Church – 3.7% 5.0%
Christian, (Not further defined)– 2.6% 2.2%
Islam – 2.6% 2.2%
Buddhism – 2.4% 2.5%
Presbyterian and Reformed – 2.8% 2.3%
Eastern Orthodox – 2.6% 2.1%
Hinduism – 1.9% 1.3%
Baptist – 1.6% 1.5%
Pentecostal – 1.1% 1.1%
Lutheran – 0.7% 1.2%
Sikhism – 0.5% 0.3%
Other Protestant – 0.5% 0.3%
Judaism – 0.4% 0.5%
Jehovah’s Witnesses – 0.4% 0.4%
Seventh–day Adventist – 0.3% 0.3%
Latter-day Saints – 0.3% 0.3%
Oriental Orthodox – 0.2% n/a
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