Spiritual Dry Rot

    As I mentioned on the last broadcast, researchers George Barna and Mark Hatch argue in their new book, Boiling Point, that most Americans are deeply confused about spiritual matters. But shockingly Barna found that born-again Christians are almost as confused about the faith they profess as the rest of the public. Barna and Hatch report the following: of those classified as born-again believers, 68 percent believe the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves; one-fourth believe that Jesus committed sins while on earth; and only about half believe that the Holy Spirit and Satan are living entities -- not just symbols. Thirty percent believe Jesus was not physically resurrected and about a third believe all religions teach the same basic truths. I remind you that these are people Barna classifies as "born again." As Barna and Hatch put it, "the Church is rotting from the inside out, crippled by a-biblical theology." Well, you may ask, with moral relativism running rampant in the church, how can we expect Christians to have any impact on the culture? We can't until we straighten out our own house. We have to start by returning to our core Christian beliefs and then we need to get serious about discipleship -- which means understanding and acting on discipline in the church, accountability, holiness, biblical knowledge, theological purity, and confession of sin. Well that may not be easy, but Barna and Hatch identify three steps for restoring theological purity. First, we need to admit that we're in a state of spiritual anarchy. Let's get honest with ourselves. Too many people pick and choose what they want to believe and call themselves Christians. That has to change. Second, we need to understand that turning churches around will take concerted effort over a long period of time. So we need long-term strategies undergirded by prayer, with pastors and lay governing boards agreeing to get tough and to prepare people for battle. Third, we have to be accountable for our beliefs. Unless we have identifiable standards, we will never be able to measure our progress or know when we're slipping. This is one reason why I started BreakPoint ten years ago. Our ministry strives to equip Christians to contend for truth in all areas of life. And now with the launching of The Wilberforce Forum, our Christian worldview think tank, we're expanding this vision -- developing worldview curriculum for colleges, seminaries, prisons, Bible study groups, and much more. Our websites, and, are helping to connect believers to our biblical roots -- with solid information and provocative articles on the heritage of the believer. I hope you'll visit them soon. The evidence in George Barna's new book is startling, to say the least; but it doesn't have to stay that way. Whether or not this study reflects your own experience, it's important that we recognize the challenges we face and strengthen the church for the task ahead. We'll never see an awakening in our nation until we do -- let alone be found faithful to the one we worship. For further reference: Barna, George and Hatch, Mark. Boiling Point. Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2001.


Chuck Colson


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