By Mary Priddy, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent reporting from the United States
HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA (BosNewsLife)– More than half of Americans no longer consider Christianity as the nation’s main religion while one in three Christians say “Jesus sinned while He was on earth,” a new study claims.
The Barna Research Group, a leading Christian polling institute, says half of the adults interviewed for its nationwide survey agree that Christianity is no longer automatically accepted by Americans as their personal faith; 44 percent “disagrees”, and six percent isn’t sure.
Yet, even those calling themselves Christians no longer accept Christian teachings, according to the study obtained by BosNewsLife Tuesday, January 13.
One quarter of American Christians “dismiss” the idea that the Bible is accurate, almost half agree that Satan does not exist, and one-third say that “Jesus sinned” while he was on earth.
That contradicts Christian teaching which says Satan exists and although Jesus was without sin, He died for the sins of this world before his resurrection, so everyone who believes in Him as everlasting life.
In addition, two-fifths of those questioned say they do not have the responsibility to share the Christian faith with others, according to the study.
Despite the controversy, three out of four Americans say their “religious faith,” whether Christian or other, has become “more vital” to them than in their past “as a foundation of objective and unfailing moral judgment.”
There are over 200 Christian denominations in the United States, but the Barna Research Group study reveals that over 60 percent of Americans, including many ‘born-again Christians’ no longer look at churches or denominations to offer theological teachings.
Especially young Americans (82 percent) of 24 or younger believe that individuals should customize their believe as they see fit, the study shows.
Researcher George Barna suggests that the Christian faith “has become a faith that is defined through individualism.” In a statement obtained by Worthy News, he also said that, “Americans are comfortable picking and choosing what their religious beliefs should be from the Bible and are disregarding the rest of the Bible. Many Americans are their own Theologian.”
He is concerned that “Americans are holding on too their own random beliefs and not the whole picture, so to say. Of those individuals many believe that if you perform enough good deeds then that is enough to get you into Heaven.”
Barna says the survey shows Americans are moving away from Christianity. “In America’s past when most people were making up their mind which religious road to take for their lives, the answer was always Christianity. Today Americans are offering up non religious points of views against Christians points of views.”
He says this has resulted in “overwhelming worldwide views based on individuals’ personal combination of spirituality, drawn from different world religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism.”
Barna warns that with Americans spending less time studying the Bible, “people are instead embracing the views of self reflection, dialogue, and observation instead of teaching. Many people now base their faith on their emotions.”