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RELIGION, CURRENT EVENTS, TECHNOLOGY Subscribe to the breaking newsWhat is RSS?
FRONT PAGE  |  10/1/2014
Choice News TUESDAY, DEC 14, 2010  |  20 comments  |  2 commentaries
Six Megathemes Emerge from Barna Group Research in 2010

Change usually happens slowly in the Church. But a review of the past year's research conducted by the Barna Group provides a time-lapse portrayal of how the religious environment in the U.S. is morphing into something new.

Analyzing insights drawn from more than 5,000 non-proprietary interviews conducted over the past 11 months, George Barna indicated that the following patterns were evident in the survey findings.

1. The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate.

What used to be basic, universally-known truths about Christianity are now unknown mysteries to a large and growing share of Americans--especially young adults. For instance, Barna Group studies in 2010 showed that while most people regard Easter as a religious ...


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www.barna.org

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· Page 1 ·  Found: 20 user comment(s)
News Item12/20/10 4:15 PM
Rick | Alabama  Find all comments by Rick
JoJo wrote:
Hey Barna....remember your "User-Friendly Churches" book? -Accessible way to "worship", a comfortable place to bring frinds and a creative community they can belong. Nothing said about Hell, repentance and the such. You created this problem and now you are concerned about its results? Let's get back to the ancient paths...preach the word...and they will come. True Christians, sheep, should be concerned about feeding on the truth first not about comfortable conditions...
Couldn't have said it better. Blessings to you as you share the truth.
20

News Item12/20/10 8:08 AM
JoJo | Ohio  Find all comments by JoJo
Hey Barna....remember your "User-Friendly Churches" book? -Accessible way to "worship", a comfortable place to bring frinds and a creative community they can belong. Nothing said about Hell, repentance and the such. You created this problem and now you are concerned about its results? Let's get back to the ancient paths...preach the word...and they will come. True Christians, sheep, should be concerned about feeding on the truth first not about comfortable conditions...
19

News Item12/19/10 4:18 PM
Steamroller | Canada  Contact via emailFind all comments by Steamroller
A quarter of a century ago, I got sucked into something that was purported to me to be
"the new Christianity". It was called "The New Age Movement." I was sucked in partly because this new Christianity allowed me to indulge my own sin nature and partly because I was too biblically illiterate to know what real Christianity is. Actually reading the Bible cured this. Unfortunately like this article says, fewer and fewer professing Christians want to do this, thus the church is now as post modernly "New Age" as my New age friends were back 25 years ago. They don't read the Bible and when they do they interpret it out of context and read into it what they think so as to be relevant to their precious little world; their reality. Thus as in Philipians2:21, all seeks their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus (as he reveals Himself in His word, the Bible).
18

News Item12/16/10 8:18 AM
Rick | Alabama  Find all comments by Rick
Bob; Glad your study went well. The pastor doesn't know how blessed he is to have a group of people who want to have an In Depth bible study.

If he felt the subject matter was going to be difficult, he should have attended to oversee and guide through the difficulties.

God Bless.

17

News Item12/16/10 7:44 AM
Bob | USA  Find all comments by Bob
A group at our church wanted to have a indepth Bible study but our pastor said no because although he knew some would be benefitted he knew others would not agree with what would be taught so he advised us to hold it somewhere "offsite"....we held the study at a local bank. They gave us a beautiful room for free and we had people from several churches and several communities attend....after the first few sessions the #1 question asked was, "why is this being held in a bank and not in a church?"....I told them what my pastor told me and they all just nodded and walked off in thought. At the end of the study nearly everyone that asked the above question came to me and said, "I did not hear anything taught that was untrue." I took this information back to my pastor and asked him how I should answer folks when they ask these type of questions and give these remarks....he never gave me a answer. I write all this just to say that I think of three groups when I read Barna's information....1) those who do not know what the Word says, 2) Those who know but chose to ignore, and 3) those who know the truth, ignore the truth, and withhold the truth from others. As I learn and grow I find myself struggling in the #1 #2 areas but I always hope to avoid the 3rd.
16

News Item12/15/10 11:29 AM
just thinking  Find all comments by just thinking
Barn Door Rechurch Center wrote:
Didn't take long for this thread to go off on a tangent.
You are correct, however 'if' you are 'listening' there is a thread. And people are responding as they always do because the article says different things to different people like a sermon.
What would you prefer chit-chat to dealing with the real issues that give this poll 'some' verification. The article has been quoted 3 times and the responses are appropriate to the quotes.
15

News Item12/14/10 10:41 PM
west coast reader | west coast usa  Find all comments by west coast reader
Paul wrote:
You actually heard Martin say that? Can you remember which sermon?
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=5104225838
The section where he "chooses his words very carefully" ... begins at 57:50
14

News Item12/14/10 5:10 PM
Barn Door Rechurch Center  Find all comments by Barn Door Rechurch Center
Didn't take long for this thread to go off on a tangent.
13

News Item12/14/10 2:25 PM
jpw  Find all comments by jpw
Why not just give someone some bread? I see people in need all the time, and keep food in the back of my truck. If you want the state training go ahead!
12

News Item12/14/10 2:05 PM
Guinness  Find all comments by Guinness
jpw wrote:
At our church we were able to feed the hungry, directly, make a meal and meet some families in difficult times.
Then the government came in with their training program...

Well, you State-Worshippers.

Let me see if if I have this right ...

(1) You and your church used to feed the hungry, but now do not ... all because of a state training program.
(2) And you criticize others for being state-worshippers for acquiescing to easily.

11

News Item12/14/10 2:05 PM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
Ah, westcoastreader, you wouldn't find that being said to women in our church, The Nature of Women and Their Role for a sermon, or Instructions to Wives, Mothers and Their Husbands for a booklet. The woman's place is in the home.

I think this was written before it was really dangerous to make "Mother Nature Angry!" ,but it explains some of the Division and Diversion in the Church. The ones mentioned are all still there.

Gil Rugh said or, wrote:
....
The church today, being held accountable to these same standards, must consider very carefully what the Lord of the Church requires of His Church. He has made clear what the work of the Church is to be and what it is to involve itself with in regard to the culture and society in which it has been planted.
from, Evaluating the Church Today

Barna only had to point out the first point and stop there.

10

News Item12/14/10 1:38 PM
jpw  Find all comments by jpw
At our church we were able to feed the hungry, directly, make a meal and meet some families in difficult times.

Then the government came in with their training program. Now families, who themselves are struggling but love their neighbor must now get hours of government training, including how to monitor your neighbor for abuse, so that you can turn them in, before they can even feed a hungry person.

The church is worshipping State, because State is demanding worship and the church has not figured this out yet.

It is evidenced by the fact that I cannot even find the regulars on this site, minus a few, say that TSA sticking their hands down people's pants, dignitaries from foreign nations getting groped, women on their cycles grabbed, men with urine bags, getting them wripped off in the airport is a bad thing.

Well, you State-Worshippers. You will now have the opportunity to turn in your neighbor (for what? I don't know) when you go to Walmart.

When the Russians took Romania, they stood at the head of a pastors meeting and declared State in charge of the Church. Media was there. Only Wurmbrand stood up to say that the Head of the Church was not State, but Christ Himself.

So it will come down to this, turn your neighbor in, or love your neighbor.

9

News Item12/14/10 1:25 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
You're welcome, & I see your point. By the way, the word "some" should be "one" [theology] in my final sentence. I don't want to be another instance of this problem!

Since I was born in 1961, I am a Baby Boomer according to the US Census Bureau.

8

News Item12/14/10 1:18 PM
Guinness  Find all comments by Guinness
Neil wrote:
I think 11 mos. is merely how long the survey took to conduct. BTW, I can't resist pointing out the demographic stereotyping ("Busters" & "Mosaics").
My thanks from one Buster to another (I think? ),

I had figured it was just the eleven months of the survey, but the extract above was itself of such poor "literacy" I could not resist pointing out the absurdity.

The many ironies and inconsistencies of this standard Barna fare are painful to read.

7

News Item12/14/10 12:54 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
I think 11 mos. is merely how long the survey took to conduct. BTW, I can't resist pointing out the demographic stereotyping ("Busters" & "Mosaics").

Irony here is, the use of statistical surveys such as this, which I presume are intended to influence church decision-making, is itself an innovation open to question. I thought Christians were simply supposed to learn & do what is Scriptural, regardless of what the world thinks, & leave the increase to God. We talk to people not based on what surveys say they believe, but what they themselves say, since average people do not exist.

And another thing: the implication by Barna that theological literacy is a "good thing" w/o regard to its content is itself unbiblical & illogical! Am I supposed to rejoice that a Roman Catholic understands his church's Catechism? Not just any theology will do - some are true & good, others (including alleged theological indifference) are false & bad.

6

News Item12/14/10 12:23 PM
Guinness  Find all comments by Guinness
The Church became less theologically literate over the past eleven months?

I must have missed the news report of the cataclysmic event that took the lives of so many of the theologically literate so suddenly!

5

News Item12/14/10 12:17 PM
Frank | Clearwater, FL  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
Revelations 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
4

News Item12/14/10 12:06 PM
Paul | Canada  Contact via emailFind all comments by Paul
west coast reader wrote:
...When asked what matters most, teenagers prioritize education, career development, friendships, and travel. Faith is significant to them, but it takes a back seat to life accomplishments...
I was listening to an old respecet preacher here on SA in a message he gave in 2002. He was advocating just this explaining... "you don't want to work at Target your whole life do you? You need to go to College!" and he was speaking to girls and even suggesting secular college. He said to the parents something like "God will protect them, you can't protect them forever yourselves". --Albert Martin--
We quit listening to him from this point, and this servey confirms what we already knew from the Bible. Don't chase idols.
You actually heard Martin say that? Can you remember which sermon? That is surprising. It seems the "get educated" trap has conditioned everyone. Education will not get you or anyone into heaven. We are here for one reason only. To bring God glory. We are servants for Him doing His work. Jesus dying on the cross alone saves us, and if we do not put Him first, we are in trouble.
3

News Item12/14/10 11:56 AM
west coast reader | west coast usa  Find all comments by west coast reader
...When asked what matters most, teenagers prioritize education, career development, friendships, and travel. Faith is significant to them, but it takes a back seat to life accomplishments...

I was listening to an old respecet preacher here on SA in a message he gave in 2002. He was advocating just this explaining... "you don't want to work at Target your whole life do you? You need to go to College!" and he was speaking to girls and even suggesting secular college. He said to the parents something like "God will protect them, you can't protect them forever yourselves". --Albert Martin--

We quit listening to him from this point, and this servey confirms what we already knew from the Bible. Don't chase idols.

2

News Item12/14/10 11:44 AM
just thinking  Find all comments by just thinking
The poll states "The theological free-for-all that is encroaching in Protestant churches nationwide suggests the coming decade will be a time of unparalleled theological diversity and inconsistency."

Could it be more diverse and divided than it already is? Though two might agree, out of charity, on one point; two rarely agree based on their doctrinal understanding and practice even within churches that profess to be of the same 'denomination'. It would seem those who have embraced this pluralism believe that denominationalism is allowable or pragmatic contrary to the Scripture see Ephes. 4

1
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