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ILLUSTRTATION: ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?
Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist leaders, George Gallup said, "We find there is very little difference in ethical behavior between churchgoers and those who are not active religiously...The levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkable similar in both groups.
Eight out of ten Americans consider themselves Christians, Gallup said, yet only about half of them could identify the person who gave the Sermon on the Mount, and fewer still could recall five of the Ten Commandments. Only two in ten said they would be willing to suffer for their faith.
SOURCE: Erwin Lutzer, Pastor to Pastor, p. 76
In the article "The American Witness" in the Nov/Dec 1997 issue of The Barna Report, George Barna examined 131 different measures of attitudes, behaviors, values, and beliefs. In that study he concluded that in the aspects of lifestyle where Christians can have their greatest impact on the lives of non-Christians there is no visible difference between the two segments. For example, Christians are just as likely as non-Christians to have been divorced, bought a lottery ticket, watch MTV or have subscribed to cable television. Christians are also just as likely to watch PG-13, R, and even X rated movies as non-Christians.
Time management from The Unleashing Connection, Winter 1990, p. 3
"In one year, the average American will read or complete 3,000 notices and forms, read 100 newspapers and 36 magazines, watch 2,463 hours of television, listen to 730 hours of radio, buy 20 records, talk on the telephone almost 61 hours and read 3 books."
How valuable is salt? 40 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. Homer called it divine. Plato called it a "substance dear to the gods." Shakespeare mentioned salt 17 times in his plays. Perhaps Leonard da Vinci wanted to send a subtle message about purity lost when he painted "The last Supper." In that painting an overturned salt cellar is conspicuously placed before Judas. In ancient Greece a far-flung trade involving the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, "...not worth his salt." Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers and known as "Solarium Argentums" the forerunner of the English word "salary." Thousands of Napoleon?s troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal--their bodies lacked sal...
Teens: Two of the most common life-changing situations reported among Christian teens are stress (64%) and sin (59%). 64% of Christian teens chose to remain sexually abstinent until marriage while 54% chose not to use alcohol or drugs (51%) in ‘02. Those who struggle with abuse or parental conflict are significantly more likely to have used alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana. Those struggling with abuse or broken relationships are significantly more likely to be sexually active. Christian teens with a father at home are less likely to struggle with abuse; be depressed as an immediate reaction to life-changing situations; have used alcohol or dated a non-Christian in the past 12 months. 83% of Christian teens feel that declining spiritual values and 79% feel marital problems and divorce are two of the country’s biggest problems. (A Glimpse In To Committed Christian Teens, Research Report, Christianity Today)
What Adults Believe Some of the key findings tracked by The Barna Group for the last two decades:
87% claim their religious faith is very important in their life today. 75% strongly affirm this idea.
77% are with the Christian faith, 12% are atheist or agnostic, while 11% are with some other faith group.
69% believe that God is the “all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe who still rules that world today.”
60% believe the Bible is “totally accurate in all of its teachings.” Just 44% strongly agree with this notion.
60% contend Satan does not exist but is merely a “symbol of evil.” Only 24% strongly reject this idea.
55% say a good person can earn a place in Heaven, 28% strongly disagrees with this concept.
52% agree they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others. 35% firmly believe this.
Only 50% of Christians rate themselves as being “absolutely committed” to the Christian faith.
44% believe Jesus committed sins while on earth, 48% disagree while 39% strongly oppose this. (Barna Research 3/19/04)
Torn: 75% of evangelicals feel a part of mainstream American, but 75% also believe they are a minority under siege and must fight to be heard, finds a poll by Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and U.S. News & World Report. (PWB 4/23/04)
12433. Beaten Into Higher Value
A bar of steel is worth five dollars. When it is wrought into horseshoes, it is worth ten dollars. If made into needles, it is worth three hundred and fifty dollars. If wrought into penknife blades, it is worth thirty-two thousand dollars. And if it is wrought into springs for watches, it is worth two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth a higher value. But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered, and passed through the f...
Self –improvement products have grown 50% since ’00. (Foster Letter 5/10/04)
Morals Sub Par: One thing that most Americans can agree on is that moral values in the U.S. are less than good and are getting worse. Older adults are particularly critical of the state of moral values today. Overall, only 19% of Americans describe moral conditions in the country as “excellent” or “good” and 77% think they are getting worse. The outlook for morals has grown more pessimistic over the past year. But this dim view of morals is not new. Gallup polling at various points dating back to the mid-1960s shows that the majority of Americans have typically been dissatisfied with the nation’s moral and ethical climate. (Gallup 5/21/04)