Grace No More

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.


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tagged as , , , in apologetics,Church Issues,Culture,Evangelism,Gospel,heresy,relativism,theology

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 A Christian Prophet December 20, 2005 at 12:25 am

Thanks for this very good post. I hadn’t given this much thought until just this evening when I saw a wonderful post on grace on The Holy Inheritance blog. We are so lucky that it’s all in the hands of Jesus Christ.

2 Paul October 5, 2010 at 12:18 am

This is areally great blog..

3 Jeff October 5, 2010 at 10:11 am

This was good. Having been raised Catholic, but not practiced in a long time. I kind of have a problem knowing what I should believe. I have been in the military for 20 years, 2 combat tours in Iraq, and 2 humanitarian deployments. And I see so many innoncent people who are suffering. I have seen children blown up, killed, maimed and for what reason? I don’t understand how God lets this happen. I’m not blaming God, I know there is a plan for those kids. But it makes it hard for me to understand why the good have to suffer sometimes? I have done work at orphanages in Korea, and with childeren in Iraq and Panama, I know what I’m doing is good, but how does it make a difference if the children I am helping end up dead or sick afterwards? Maybe I’m looking at this all wrong or too hard? Not sure, sorry to unload on here but some days I just have a hard time seeing the light.


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