Even if you only occasionally attended Sunday School growing up, at some point you were exposed to the concept of faith in Jesus as being the only way to God. John 8:12-27 where Jesus is testifying before the Pharisees is a good example. There are many others you could point, and feel free to do so in leaving a comment on the blog.
The fact of the matter is that many Americans who self-identify as Christians examine biblical claims of Jesus’ singular divinity, they simply aren’t buying it.
A new survey released yesterday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life scopes this out in rich detail.
According to the survey done in August, an increasing number of Americans are prone to dine at a theological buffet, taking bits and pieces from Eastern religions and New Age beliefs to sculpt a hybrid tailor-made faith.
The study says, “One-third of Americans (35%) say they regularly (9%) or occasionally (26%) attend religious services at more than one place, and most of these (24% of the public overall) indicate that they sometimes attend religious services of a faith different from their own. Aside from when they are traveling and special events like weddings and funerals, three-in-ten Protestants attend services outside their own denomination, and one-fifth of Catholics say they sometimes attend non-Catholic services.”
On the issue of incorporating other philosophies, 24 percent of the public overall and 22 percent of Christians say they believe in reincarnation. Twenty-five percent of the overall public and 23 percent of Christians indicated that they believe in astrology. About 30 percent of Americans say they have felt in touch with someone who has already died. About 20 percent say they have seen or been in the presence of ghosts, and 15 percent have consulted a fortuneteller or a psychic.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. We have the ability to tailor-make our own entertainment, communication choices and relationships; have you ever heard, “Oh, he’s just a Facebook friend.” ?
For Christians who take a more orthodox view, the implications are clear.
Southern Baptist Seminary president Albert Mohler told USA Today as part of its comprehensive coverage of the story, “This is a failure of the pulpit as much as of the pew to be clear about what is and is not compatible with Christianity and belief in salvation only through Christ,” Mohler said.
You may read Mohler’s quote and agree 100 percent. You may have a strong cultural connection to Christianity yet enjoy yoga or meditation. I’m not naïve enough to assume that everyone reading this will fall into the same categories.
What the survey does clearly present is evidence is that God has given us freewill to choose him or not. Our interpretations of that choice are increasingly falling along the lines of what we are comfortable with as opposed to accepting a singular truth, or for that matter, what Jesus told the Pharisees.