Sunday, December 31, 2006

Barna Lists Most Significant Religious Findings from 2006 Surveys

The Barna Group has released George Barna's list of the twelve most noteworthy results of 2006, and described a few themes that ran through this year’s surveys. Among the noteworthy outcomes:

· Only 15% of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life; (scratching my head???)
· 75% of teenagers have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity; (and where did they learn that from; entertainment media, school peers???)
· 21% of adults consider themselves to be holy, but by their own admission large numbers have no idea what“holiness” means; (say what???)
· "Christian Revolutionaries" distinguish themselves even further from born again Christians; (Revolutionary? What ever happened to the term Fundamentalist???)
· House church involvement rapidly increasing; (no authority, and usually not the same structure as the church is defined in the NT)
· Young people raised in church are disengaging in their 20s; (God was never a part of their life!)
· Most high-profile Christian leaders are relative unknowns to most of the population; (the media Christian leaders have no power and bring no conviction - the general population has nothing shown to them to remember)
· One out of every six people believes that spiritual maturity is meant to be developed within the context of a local church or within the context of a communityof faith. (or they have no intent to develop spiritual maturity at all - they enjoy the world too much!!!)

(The RED comments are mine!!!)

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad to say this is America Today.

Happy New Year and may The Lord Bless.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Christopher,

I hope you and your family have a very Happy New Year!!!

11:04 AM  
Blogger Nerak said...

Whoa!!! Down boy. You're making lots of assumptions there. Home churches have no authority and usually don't follow NT principles??? On what basis do you purport to know that? How many house churches have you been involved in or with? What makes the leaders in a house church less legitimate scripturally than a "pastor" who's been to seminary? Some recommended reading....if you aren't afraid of a little challenge to your thinking.....The Naked Church, by Wayne Jacobsen and When the church leaves the Building by David Fredrickson. But be sure to read with an open mind, checking everything against scripture.

Try and imagine the church as who we are, not where we go....this is 100% biblical. I have yet to see a model in Scripture of a full-time 'pastor' and paid staff. Not that there's anything wrong with it....but we can't even visualize "the church" without the 20th century establishment and all its trappings coming into our minds. I don't dare imagine what would happen to the church in our country today, if, one Sunday morning we woke up and our "church" buildings had disappeared.

I've made it my goal this year to read through Acts and the letters, trying to read them as though I don't know anything about what the church is today so that I don't read anything back into what He was trying to teach us about the church. I would challenge anyone to do the same.

Well, I better get back to the family. Obviously you know and love the Lord...but please be careful! Don't assume that because His church doesn't always meet in a church building that they're rebellious or anti-authority. Maybe you don't feel that way, but it sure seemed like it. Make sure you know what you're talking about if you choose to put yourself in a position of publicly judging what some of the rest of His body is doing unless you can back it up with Scripture.

In Him,

1:46 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Nerak,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment....

I'm glad that you plan on reading the NT, especially Acts and the epistles to the church written by Paul... we find the principles of the institution of the local church in God's word. Maybe that would have been a good place to start your search prior to reading the books that you mentioned. God's way instead of man's way...

Yes, churches in the NT met in houses in the early days, but they were also established from another local church, with men sent out into other areas preaching the Gospel. Paul and Barnabus were sent out from the church in Jerusalem. Much prayer was made prior to ordaining them to go out and start other churches with the new converts. They in turn instructed these new converts with doctrine and trained one to take over the church as pastor when they left. These churches were growing, with new converts added daily. These churches had the authority to baptize and conduct the communion service, the two ordinances given to the church, and ordained pastors and deacons as necessary to guide the church. Churches birthed other churches... that is the pattern seen within the NT.

I am sure there are some legitimate house churches here in America, but the ones whom I have been associated with have been started by former disgruntled church members who took it upon themselves to start a local church on their own. Some have no pastor, but take turns among the men preaching from week to week. Some have no intention of growing any larger, not spreading the Gospel in the community. Some members attend one church one week, another some other week, while skipping other weeks; the authority structure is weak. We as Christians should be a part of a local church and serve God through it with our gifts, time, and talents. We should have no problem submitting to God's man, the pastor of the local church, as long as he is teaching the truth from God's word.

My comments were directed toward house churches such as this... again, I do not believe they are following the pattern of the local church as specified in God's word.

Thanks again for your kind comments regarding some of the other posts on my blog. I pray that your search for a church will be found as you study the scriptures. Jesus Christ is the head of the church. He is coming again for His bride, which is the church. As Christians, we should belong to a legitimate NT church..

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Nerak said...

Hmmm. No answer to my last comment?

10:25 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Nerak,

I did answer your first comment... please look above.

If you are talking about a 2nd comment, then it must have gotten lost in the blogosphere, because I didn't receive it.

If you don't mind, please tell me more about your experiences with house churches...

6:20 PM  

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