A new study was released that Christian blog sites are picking up. The study asked a variety of questions to people of different education levels and beliefs to see generally, what the religious knowledge level is among those who participated. Many people who are seeing the results are surprised to see that Atheist and Agnostics scored higher than any other group.
This doesn’t surprise me, as atheist and agnostics tend to read the bible more than those who claim Christianity as their religion. They have to in order to defend themselves from attack. I would venture to say that many of them started out reading it because they had questions that Christians were unable to answer.
There are several reasons why Christians are lacking of information. I think one of the main reasons is that people who claim Christianity are not really Christians. That is not to say that they don’t act like Christians or are unable to enter into salvation, but that they don’t really know what it means to be a Christians. I got an email today from focus on the family asking what does it mean to be a Christian. With most religions, a child who is born into a family that practices a religion is automatically added into that religion. You see this with Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. Christianity is different in this area as it takes a choice and acceptance of God by each individual in order to enter into the faith. This is not openly taught among churches. People are assumed to know this, but how do you know if you are not taught it.
Many churches teach on eternal salvation or once saved, always saved. It is a nice concept, but not a biblical truth. But if you learn that your salvation is secure, why do you need to study the Bible if your not planning on going into the ministry? Luckily more than half of the people knew that the Golden Rule is not one of the Ten Commandments, but what about all of those other people? They are basing their faith off what they hear from others. It is a shame. Only 37% of the Christians said they read their bible at least once a week. Almost half of the Christians said “they seldom or never read books (other than scripture) or visit websites about their own religion”. Where are they people getting their answers from?
Mormons also outscored Christians. This survey includes them Mormons with Christianity, but I separate them out since they don’t really belong. I know the terminology is similar, but the meanings are different. Mormonism pushes discipleship among its followers. Men are required to move away from home and conduct missionary work where they spread the message of Mormon. They study the Book of Mormon in order to be secure in their faith and, hopefully, to be prepared to defend their beliefs. You don’t see that with Christianity. The default defense of the faith seems to be because the bible says so. We are not making disciples out of believers as we have been directed to. The church is failing those who are supposed to be part of it.
There is not one quick answer on how to fix this or what caused it, but we do have a source that points to an area of weakness that needs to be addressed.