Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Antidote for Astounding Ignorance

Are Christians really this ignorant? Apparently we are, according to these George Barna statistics quoted at The Constructive Curmudgeon: Not Loving God with all our Mind :
"Although a core teaching of the Christian faith is the divinity and perfection of Jesus Christ, tens of millions of Christians do not accept that teaching. More than one-fifth (22%) strongly agreed that Jesus Christ sinned when He lived on earth, with an additional 17% agreeing somewhat. Holding the opposing view were 9% who disagreed somewhat and 46% who disagreed strongly. Six percent did not have an opinion on this matter.

Much like their perceptions of Satan, most Christians do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living force, either. Overall, 38% strongly agreed and 20% agreed somewhat that the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity.” Just one-third of Christians disagreed that the Holy Spirit is not a living force (9% disagreed somewhat, 25% disagreed strongly) while 9% were not sure."
What should be our attitude regarding this astounding revelation of ignorance. I agree with John Schroeder, who writes:

"What I find most fascinating is that there are many, many people out there that will look at those statistics and damn such people for eternity. Yet, if we sum up these statistics what we learn is that a large portion of the church has little or no theological understanding. So I look at such statistics and conclude that the church is doing a lousy job of teaching its members.

But more than that, if we do pronounce such people as damned, it seems to me we send them away when a better response would be to draw them in and try to teach them.

It seems to be that when Christ was among us, He did not spend His time amongst that that already had all the answers - the Pharisees and their ilk, but rather with those that were searching for the right answers. What's more, when Jesus was amongst us, He saved His condemning words for those that did have all the answers.'