Illustration results for The Virgin Birth
Most Christians believe the Virgin Birth is true. According to George Barna, 85% of those surveyed believe that Jesus Christ was born to a virgin. He also found that even 75% of the people who do not embrace Jesus as their Savior believe that he was born to a virgin. (Fresh Illustrations, http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
A recent Newsweek poll found that “84 percent of American adults consider themselves Christians, and 82 percent see Jesus as God or the son of God. Seventy-nine percent say they believe in the virgin birth, and 67 percent think the Christmas story — from the angels’ appearance to the Star of Bethlehem — is historically accurate.” These are amazing statistics, and at first blush they may seem encouraging, but it is one thing to believe those things and quite another to integrate them into life. Many people believe the right things, but keep these beliefs separate from large sections of their every day lives.
A Newsweek Poll found that 84% of American adults call themselves Christian, 82% see Jesus as the son of God, and 79% believe in the Virgin Birth. (Newsweek 12/13/04)
WHAT ARE WE PREACHING?
False teachings abound whenever people do not know the truth. Many of our churches today do not teach the truth because many pastors do not know the Bible. In our seminaries, almost 50 percent of professors now teach that there was no virgin birth of Jesus, and that story was a myth given to us to "just make a point".
With the help of our mass media today, slick talkers are packaging their lies in some very convincing packages and selling it to tens of millions at one time. It is the largest wholesale misleading of people in the history of the world. And, it is imperative that we, as Christians, start paying attention to the truth of God in our world today.
A nationwide survey of church leaders by George Barna recently reported:
* * Only 53% of church leaders believe that moral truths are absolute
* * An amazing 43% of church leaders doubt the existence of the Holy Spirit
* * 33% of church leaders believe that Jesus never had a physical resurrection.
* * 27% of pastors have either never read the Bible all the way thru, or do not read it on a daily basis.
* * And, 19% of church leaders believe that Jesus sinned while alive.
These figures are among the church leadership. Now, if the church leader...
Americans Believe: A new poll released by Newsweek reveals some surprising statistics on how Americans view Jesus and his birth.
· 93% percent of all Americans believe Jesus really lived.
· 82% see Jesus as God or the Son of God.
· 73% say they believe Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary.
· 67% of Americans think the entire Christmas story is historically accurate, including the virgin birth, angelic proclamation to the shepherds, the star of Bethlehem and the wise men from the East.
· 84% consider themselves Christians.
· 55% believe the Bible is literally accurate.
· 52% believe Jesus will return to earth some day, and 15% think it will be during their lifetime.
· 11% say American society as a whole very closely reflects true Christian values and the spirit of Jesus; 53% say it somewhat reflects those values.
· 86% think organized religion has “a lot” or “some”
· influence over life in the U.S. (PWB 12/10/04)
Spiritual Superstition More than 30% of Americans believe in astrology and over half believe in ghosts. However, many of the same folks say they believe in God, the resurrection of Christ and the virgin birth. A recent Harris Poll finds the trend is strong among the young, with 60% of those under 30 believing in ghosts and 43% believing in astrology. (Pastor’s Weekly Briefing 6/6/03)
A 2003 study from the Barna Research Group shows that many of our country’s moral and spiritual challenges are directly related to the absence of a biblical worldview among Americans.
Barna’s study of 2,033 adults showed that only 4 percent have a biblical worldview as the basis of their decision-making.
In order to be disciples of Jesus, to live as Jesus lived and do what Jesus did, we need to know about Jesus. Although nearly all Americans have multiple copies of the Bible, most of us don’t read it. Barna’s research shows that most Americans don’t know how to integrate core biblical principles into their daily lives.
His research indicates that only 9 percent of born-again Christians have a biblical worldview. They defined a biblical worldview as a belief that:
• absolute moral truths exist and are defined by the Bible,
• that Jesus Christ lived a life without sin,
• that God is the omnipotent and omniscient creator of the universe that he still rules today,
• that salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned,
• that Satan is real,
• that Christians have a responsibility to share their faith in Jesus with other people,
• and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.
That 9 percent figure for born-again Christians was the good news. Protestants from mainline denominations came in at 2 percent, and Catholics were less than half of 1 percent.
Protestants from non-denominational churches were the highest at 13 percent.
Our worldview impacts our behavior. When Barna compared the perspectives of those who have a biblical worldview with those who don’t, he found that those with a biblical worldview were:
• 31 times less likely to accept cohabitation (2% vs. 62%)
• 18 times less likely to endorse drunkenness (2% vs. 36%)
• 15 times less likely to condone gay sex (2% vs. 31%)
• 12 times less likely to accept profanity 3% vs. 37%)
• 11 times less likely to describe adultery as morally acceptable (4% vs. 44%)
• 78 times less likely to describe pornography as morally acceptable (.5% vs. 39%)
• 12 times less likely to have cheated on their spouses in the past month (<1% vs. 12.5%)
It’s not totally their fault, however. Clergy can claim a lot of the credit, or discredit. Barna reports that only half of our Protestant pastors (51%) have a biblical worldview. In some denominations, the vast majority of clergy do not have a biblical worldview.
Hal Lindsay reports that one of the first exposés of the beliefs of our nation’s clergy was made by Redbook magazine in August 1961. The publishers surveyed our seminaries preparing people for Christian service in the Protestant churches. Of the seminarians that they surveyed, 56 percent rejected the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, 71 percent rejected that there was life after death, 54 percent rejected the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and 98 percent rejected that Jesus would personally return to earth.
DO YOU BELIEVE?
Americans are three times as likely to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus (83 percent) as in evolution (28 percent)
Not only do 91 percent of [American] Christians say they believe in the Virgin Birth, but so do an astonishing 47 percent of U.S. non-...