Research* suggests 6 out of 10 Americans identify themselves as “Christian”.
Just over 4 out of 10 American’s claim that they are “actively practicing the Christian faith” (APC).
Surveys have shown that just over 1/3 of those 4 (those identifying themselves as “APC”) – that is between 1-2 of them – strongly support things such as murder (aka: abortion), unnatural sexual perversions (aka: gay lifestyle/same-sex marriage), fornication (aka: living together outside marriage in a committed, loving relationship), and the like. That means that 28 of every 100 actively practicing Christians is supportive of behaviors that Scripture teaches – unrepented of – will cause them to “not inherit the Kingdom of God”. So, can we assume that the other 72 out of 100 “actively practicing Christians” are firm in their Scriptural convictions regarding righteousness? Unfortunately, no – at least not entirely.
When this same 40% of American’s who claim to be “actively practicing the Christian faith” is asked these 9 simple questions – shamefully – everything changes.
- Have you made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in your life today?
- Is your faith very important in your life today?
- Do you believe that when you die you will go to Heaven because you have confessed your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?
- Do you believe that you have a personal responsibility to share your religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians?
- Do you believe that Satan exists?
- Do you believe that eternal salvation is only possible by grace, through faith, and not by human works?
- Do you believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth?
- Do you assert that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches?
- Would you describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today?
You, like me, would probably answer 100% YES to all 9 questions, and, for a moment, wonder to yourself: “Isn’t that Christianity 101?”
Yet, would you care to take a guess at what happens to this 40% when these 9 questions become the criteria for a Scriptural definition of “Christian”? The group is reduced from 40%, to just under 7%! That’s right, 7 out of 100! There is not a question among these “9” that is extreme or unreasonable for a person who claims to be a Christian (Little Christ)… And yet, for the overwhelming majority of “APC’s” – these are not beliefs that they adhered to. How can that be?
So, if we accept that there is a 40% that are called Christian (let’s call them “The Christian 40”) – how do we distinguish the mere 7% who hold to the historic Christian teachings of “The Law, The Prophets and The Apostles”? I propose we call them “Scripturally Orthodox Christians” or “SOC” for short. (Side note: Jesus called them “Believers” – John 6:60-66.)
And of great concern to me is how prepared these 7% are to face the days we are now find ourselves living in – in which our society has – over as few as 20 years – become not just “Post-Judeo-Christian” – but even hostile towards SOC’s – a society in which the “religious establishment” (“The Christian 40”) will make peace with the ruling government of the day, and will oppose – even make war – against the 7%. As with our Lord – they will call us intolerant radical extremist, who hate & judge – they will claim we are not “Christian” at all.
Consider Acts 14:2, which reads:
“But the Jews (accepted established religion of the day) who disbelieved, stirred up the minds of the Gentiles (governments of men) and embittered them against the brethren (the so-called intolerant radical extremist).
“Are you an “SOC”?
Are you the 7%?
If so, are you prepared to face these defining days in which those whom you have worshiped side-by-side with, will become identified with “The Christian 40” and stir up the minds of the government, and embitter them against you? Are you ready…?
Stay tuned… Much more to come on “Dressed In Readiness With Our Lamps Lit: Living As A Scripturally Orthodox Christian in a Post-Christian Society”
* Some of the survey results that “inspired” this blog can be found at: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/723-christians-react-to-the-legalization-of-same-sex-marriage-9-key-findings#.VaR1ePlViko