The Barna Group Summarizes 2004 Statistics: Moral Values, America a Christian Nation, and More
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Below are excerpt from:
Public Christian symbols backed
American Christians increasingly want their religion reflected in public symbols and language, they overwhelmingly reject homosexual clergy, and the largely unchurched West Coast is showing signs of spiritual growth, evangelical Christian pollster George Barna says.
The survey found some things to praise about American religiosity, but also found much more to criticize, particularly in matters relating to the depth of American Christians' faith.
Among the other bad news about American religiosity that [George Barna] noted in his year-end review was the continued rise in the number of unchurched Americans and the continuing alienation of men from churches.
Those Christian men who say they are "deeply spiritual" and possess an "active faith" (meaning church attendance, regular prayer and Bible reading) is declining. Although men are slightly less than half of the national population, they constitute 55 percent of the unchurched, he said, and represent only 38 percent of the born-again public.
"Men who are leaders typically aren't allowed to lead within the church," he said. "They come into an environment where the senior pastor is a teacher pretending to lead. Thus, men who are called and gifted as leaders become a threat to the pastor. For those men, church is a very frustrating place to be."
In addition, he said, "Church is not intellectually challenging for them. Men look around and see how poorly run the ministry is -- in ways they could never get away with in their business -- and they're not willing to put up with that on their free time. And they don't have any meaningful relationships arising from their church."
Female pastors, Mr. Barna said, have "substantially different" theological beliefs than male ministers, tend to be more liberal, have less of a "biblical worldview," are less likely to describe themselves as born-again and are more likely to be divorced.
Only 51 percent of all senior Protestant pastors
have what Mr. Barna called "a biblical worldview," based on several
criteria: believing that God is all knowing and all-powerful; that Jesus
Christ never sinned; that Satan is real; that salvation only comes through
faith in Christ and not by good deeds; that the Bible is accurate; that
absolute moral truth exists and is described in the Bible; and that
Christians should share their faith with nonbelievers.
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