In a recent Barna Group article the title One-Quarter of Self-Described Born Again Adults Rely On Means Other Than Grace to Get to Heaven says it all. It’s an interesting read.
The article states
Overall, 80% of adults in the U.S. call themselves “Christian.” In comparison, the phrase “a committed Christian” is embraced by two out of every three adults (68%). The words “born again Christian” are adopted by just less than half of the population (45%).
Why should these three descriptions have different connotations? I do understand to a point since we do use qualifiers in language. But c’mon! I wonder how some of these folks view these descriptions as different from each other. I also wonder why folks who would not call themselves a “committed” or “born again” Christian don’t call themselves a back-slidden Christian?
We do get somewhat of a description of the differences though.
The study showed some interesting relationships among these terms. For instance, one-quarter of those who call themselves born again did not meet the Barna Group criteria for born again – which generally meant they rely upon something other than God’s grace as their means to salvation.
It’s not suprising given Jesus and Christianity have emerged into pop-culture. There is no fear of God, His holiness nor Lordship. Jesus is your bestfriend and His name looks cool on a t-shirt. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Jesus t-shirts, but I wonder sometimes if it’s just a way of getting His name to the youth. Whether they really love Him and follow Him or not.
It reminds me of a pastor who once tried so hard to get a teenager to just “say the prayer” so everything would be okay. We don’t hear much preaching on God’s grace to the undeserving sinner who should be thankful he even gets to take another breath after his last thought. That’s grace. Instead we hear “just say the prayer,” “walk the aisle,” “this is your verse,” “ask Jesus into your heart” or “every head bowed and every eye closed.” Just like at Peter preaching at Pentecoste, right?
People don’t even understand the sinful state of mankind in contrast to the
Holiness of God. People don’t understand that they deserve God’s justice so how are they going to understand that they don’t deserve God’s saving grace? I wonder if the “committed Christian” in the article is a “working for salvation” Christian.
Anyways, read the article. I’m not really suprised. Another good reminder that words (read: Christian) do mean something.