Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Pew Research Poll of Americans Shows Fluidity in Beliefs

I have been hit with several people who are either interested in or concerned with the recent pew research poll. In a sentence, the study finds that Americans are "spiritual," believing in God, but that they are increasingly pluralistic, non-dogmatic, and fluid in their belief systems.

Pew research looks at religious trends in the US across all religious groups. Because this is an election year, their findings are receiving additional. See the findings at http://pewresearch.org/pubs/876/religion-america-part-two.

I'll spare you a discussion about shift from modernism and postmodernism and its relative benefits and drawbacks. The fact is that people are much less concerned about beliefs today, and much more concerned about a practical faith that impacts their lives.

I know that these trends are disturbing to many. Certainly, the Christian faith has core beliefs that we must adhere to. We need to teach our children that, according to Scripture, Jesus is the only way. But we do this through an active faith that impacts people's lives (both ours and others) in the here and now. We will "teach" our children the right way by serving the poor, developing Spiritual practices, and showing them what it means to live under the rule or reign of God.

For myself, I believe that the current religious climate presents tremendous opportunity. Thirty years ago, the culture was secular. Religion was a private matter. And whatever belief system you grew up with, you kept. Now spirituality is in the open. And people are increasingly open to anyone who will show them an authentic faith. My friends, that ought to be us. If people will just give us a hearing, I am convinced that following Christ offers the most hope, the most meaning, the most fulillment, of any faith that is out there.

Here are various news articles, analysis, and reaction to the findings.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25334489/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-06-23-pew-religions_N.htm

http://www.newsmax.com/estrich/pew_research_religion/2008/06/25/107169.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,370588,00.html

What do you think of these pew results?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree...we have tremendous opportunities to share our faith by living and communicating that God is apart of our everyday walk. Last week I had the opportunity to pray for someone who is a very slight aquaintence but who told me about her 3 yr old nephew who has lukemia. It just came out in a conversation and I asked if I could pray for him. Wow, did I ever get a YES. Will this person someday become a christian? Only God knows, but I sowed the seed for Him. I leave the blessing and reaping up to Him. James

James said...

James,

Thank you for sharing this story. On Sunday I am showing a video about a little girl who has leukemia . . .

Praying for people right there "in the moment" is one of the most powerful things that we can do with people. Physically laying on our hands as we do this creates an experience that is quite profound for many.