Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God

Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God

(Link):   Record Few Americans Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God

(Link): Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God by A. Cone

Excerpts:

May 16, 2017

Fewer than one in four Americans believe the Bible is “the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word” — a record low in 40 years of surveys conducted by Gallup.

The 24 percent of literal believers is a 4 percentage point drop from the last (Link): Gallup survey in 2014.

Among respondents, 26 percent believe the Bible is “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man” — the first time that the biblical literalism view is not greater than biblical skepticism. In 2014, 21 percent were non-literal believers.

Continue reading “Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God”

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Critique of Pastor Groeschel’s “I Want to Believe But…” Sermon Series (Re: Unanswered Prayer, etc)

Critique of Pastor Groeschel’s “I Want to Believe But…” Sermon Series

Christian Post recently published this summary of Groeschel’s sermons, and I take strong issue with it, which I will explain below the long excerpts from the page – but if I didn’t blog my criticisms of this guy’s sermon, I was going to go nuts -several of his points or assumptions annoyed me up the wall:

(Link): God Is Not Your Puppet, Says Pastor Craig Groeschel by A. Kumar

Here are some excerpts from that page, and I will comment on this below the excerpts, which is pretty long, so please bear with me:

Pastor Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of Life.Church, has started a new series, “I Want to Believe, But…,” to address difficulties some have in believing in God.

In the series’ first sermon on Sunday, the megachurch pastor dealt with the notion that God should give us exactly what we want and when we want it.
“God is too big to be a puppet of mine,” he stressed.

Some believe in God and others don’t, but there’s “a newer category of people that are saying, ‘I wanna believe in God but I’m struggling to,'” the popular pastor said as he introduced the (Link): series to the congregation on Sunday, the 21st anniversary of the church.

Continue reading “Critique of Pastor Groeschel’s “I Want to Believe But…” Sermon Series (Re: Unanswered Prayer, etc)”

One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism – In a Faith Crisis

One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism  – In a Faith Crisis

November 2016. (There is a moderate amount of swear words in the post below)

Some of the points in the post, in brief (the long explanation is below):

  • I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior before I was ten years old
  • I have read the entire Bible.
  • I spent many years reading books ABOUT the Bible (e.g., books about its formation and history)
  • I spent years reading Christian apologetic literature
    – so do NOT tell me that I “do not understand Christianity” or that I was “never a REAL Christian to start with”
  • I currently have doubts about the Christian faith and/or aspects of the Bible
  • I have not rejected Jesus Christ Himself
    (he’s pretty much Christianity’s only good feature or selling point, as far as I can see at this point)
  • I am not an atheist
  • I am not a Charismatic
  • I am not a “Word of Faither”
  • I was brought up under conservative, Southern Baptist and evangelical teachings and churches
  • Even though conservative Christians claim to believe in the Bible, they
    • cannot agree on what the Bible means or how to apply it – this is a huge problem as I see it in the faith
    • they diminish the role of the Holy Spirit or deny Him and that He can work for Christians today, because they are “hyper sola scriptura” and have reduced the Trinity to “Father, Son, and Holy Bible,” (this is also problematic),
      they usually do this because they are hyper-cessationist and paranoid or hateful of Charismatic teachings or practices
    • they teach that most to all of the biblical promises are not for Christians today but are only for the Jews of 5,000 years ago, there-by teaching that the Bible is NOT relevant for people today  (this is also problematic)
  • If you are a Christian, do not act like a smug dick about any of this and immediately disregard any points I have to make about God, the Bible, or other topics, because in your view, I am a “Non-Christian who was ‘never’ really saved” -not to mention, that is not even true.
    I was in fact “truly” saved, and I am / was, a “real” Christian.
  • No, I don’t want to enumerate a detailed list of reasons why I have doubts about God, the Bible, or the faith.If I were to provide such a list or explanation, your average Christian would only want to debate each and every point to argue me back into fully believing. (A witnessing tip to Christians: doing that sort of thing is NOT an effective way of “winning back a lost sheep to Jesus.”)

DETAILED EXPLANATION

I find that people who are both Christian and Non-Christian (and several other categories of people I bump into on Twitter and other sites) get frustrated when they cannot easily box me in.

People seem to be more comfortable with labels, but I’m not sure what label I would give myself these days.

I have briefly tried to explain my current religious beliefs on my Twitter bio, and I explain them a little more on my blog’s “About” page and have mentioned them in a post or two over the course of the last few years I’ve been blogging here.

Here is my background:

I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior prior to turning the age of ten.

That means: I believed that Jesus took my sins upon himself, he was without sin, he paid the price for my sins, and was raised from the dead three days after having been crucified – and if I believe in all that, if I put “saving faith in” Jesus (as opposed to mere intellectual assent), my sins have been forgiven by God, and I go to heaven when I die.

I read the entire Bible through when I was 18 years old, and afterwards, I read a lot of the Bible in the years after. Prior to that age, I had read portions of the Bible when younger.

Continue reading “One Foot in Christianity, One Foot in Agnosticism – In a Faith Crisis”

Teen-Raping Texas Pastor Gets life in Prison After using the Bible to Justify Abusing Women – Equally Yoked is BUNK

Teen-Raping Texas Pastor Gets life in Prison After using the Bible to Justify Abusing Women – Equally Yoked is BUNK

Far below is a link to a page about a pastor who raped girls in and from a church. Notice in the article how other church-goers who went to church with this guy described him as being “very nice” or as being a “good Christian.”

My Christian parents brought me up to think if I wanted to marry, that the best place for me to meet potential spouses would be at a church. I suppose the assumption with that is that the type of men who attend church regularly are going to be “safer” or better moral choices than the type of dude you might meet at a bar.

However, in the last few years of running this blog, I have seen (Link): so many news stories of church-going Christian men who get arrested for abuse or perversion, I now have my doubts about that.

Secondly, single women out-number single men in churches. I know that every church I’ve been to in person, I’ve been one of the few singles there. The only men in attendance and 80 years old, which would be fine if I were 80 too, but I’m not, and May December relationships (Link): make me want to barf. (I do not want to date or marry dudes who are over 5 or 10 years my age.)

I’ve done blog posts before about Pat Robertson, who has criticized women on his Christian TV show, for having married jerks, perverts, or abusers. Robertson seems to think women should be able to instantly spot if a man is a jerk, creep, loser, or abuser from the start. He’s wrong and an idiot about this.

The fact is, as this article below shows, even other adults who go to church with these kinds of deviant men are not aware of what a creep or pervert these guys are.

These are not people who are dating the guy – they are simply sitting next to him in church every week. If they cannot spot the perverts among them easily, why do Christian conservative men like Robertson think women who date men should be any better?

Continue reading “Teen-Raping Texas Pastor Gets life in Prison After using the Bible to Justify Abusing Women – Equally Yoked is BUNK”

Gary Habermas joins Janet Mefferd to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life (Re: Unanswered Prayer – other issues)

Gary Habermas joins Janet to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life (Re: Unanswered Prayer)

Audio / podcast.

I have found that Janet Mefferd’s show does not work in Google Chrome (browser), sometimes does not work in FireFox, but DOES work in IE (Microsoft Internet Explorer browser). I loathe IE, but it’s the only browser that will play her show.

Habermas has recently written a book about faith and doubt or something, and he is interviewed by Janet Mefferd about it, as well as related questions, such as unanswered prayer, Christians who walk away from church because they have been hurt by other Christias, or they lost a loved one (to death), or they don’t feel Christianity is meeting their needs, etc.

You can listen to the interview here:
(I think this is hour 3 – there appears to be an hour 1 and hour 2):
(Fixed the link)

(Link): Podcast: Gary Habermas joins Janet to discuss dealing with doubt in the Christian life. (mentions unanswered prayer, other topics)

———————————
Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Blaming the Christian for His or Her Own Problem or Unanswered Prayer / Christian Codependency

(Link):  Unanswered Prayer and Diversity of Doctrine and Interpretation (podcasts)

(Link):  How to Deal with Unanswered Prayers via Pastor Bil Cornelius 

(Link):   When All We Hear from God is Silence by Diane Markins

(Link): On Prayer and Christ’s Comment to Grant You Anything You Ask in His Name

(Link): Church Is Not Important, 51 Percent of US Adults Say

(Link): Guilt Tripping or Shaming the Hurt Sheep to Return to Church

(Link): Quitting Church – why single Christians aren’t going to church – church has failed Christian singles

(Link): Christians Who Can’t Agree on Who The Old Testament Is For and When or If It Applies

(Link): Why People Don’t Go To Church (various links and testimonies March 2014)

No Man’s Land – Part 3 – Liberal Christians, Post Evangelicals, and Ex-Christians Mocking Biblical Literalism, Inerrancy / Also: Christians Worshipping Hurting People’s Feelings

No Man’s Land – Part 3 – Liberal Christians, Post Evangelicals, and Ex-Christians Mocking Biblical Literalism, Inerrancy / Also: Christians Worshipping Hurting People’s Feelings

BIBLICAL LITERALISM AND INERRANCY

Another common thread I see on forums for spiritual recovery sites (or ones by ex Christians, liberal Christians, etc), is a rejection of

1. Biblical literalism
2. Biblical inerrancy

This is all so much intellectual dishonesty in another form it makes me want to throw up.

I spent years studying about the history of the Bible, Bible translation, and so forth.

I came away realizing that the Bible is inerrant and yes, we can trust the copies we have today; the Bible is not filled with historic blunders and mistakes, and all the other tripe atheists like to claim.

It is not entirely accurate for critics to paint the Bible as a purely man-made document, that contains mistakes because it was copied and re-copied numerous times over the centuries.

While there is an aspect of truth to that description, the end conclusion, or how that description, impacts the NIV or NASB Bible version you have sitting on your coffee table right now, is not how critics of the Bible paint it.

Atheists and ex-Christians who are critical of the Bible are disingenuous and duplicitous in how they paint some of their arguments against the Bible, and they should be ashamed for it, as some of them claim to be truth lovers.

Not too long ago, an ex-Christian woman at another site was declaring that Christians cannot “trust” the Bible because the originals (called the Autographa) do not exist.

Oh please! I pointed out to her that is not so: as far as the New Testament is concerned, scholars have many thousands of copies of the Autographa (some dating within decades of the originals), and by use of lower textual criticism, they can reconstruct the READINGS of the Autographa.

It is not necessary to have “the biblical originals” themselves to know what they said, as she was dishonestly arguing (but she later accused me of being dishonest!).

I pointed this FACT out to her (about it not being necessary to have the autographa to know what the autographa said), where upon she shot back the falsity that one cannot trust the translations anyway because they are done by “conservatives.”

Oh, but she is willing to grant liberal scholars or liberal theologians the title of un-biased, as though they do not have an ax to grind against the Bible and dating its documents and so forth?

Because the liberal scholars do in fact start out their examinations of the Bible from an anti- Christian bias.

The woman with whom I was corresponding on this matter doesn’t seem to understand that the practice of lower textual criticism is a science – a liberal who uses that methodology would come to the same conclusion as the conservative who uses it.

So here we have an example of one type of ex-Christian I am talking about:

This woman claims she was a Christian at one time, now fancies herself atheist or agnostic (and some kind of expert on the Bible), but who now spews inaccurate or untrue things about the Bible, because she disdains all of Christianity in general.

My view: Do not lie about the Bible’s history, accuracy, and textual evidence just because “Preacher Fred” at your old church was a big meanie to you X years ago (or insert whatever other emotional baggage you carry against Christians that now colors all your other views about the faith and Bible here) – please!

Give me a freaking break.

I am genuinely compassionate towards people who have been hurt by churches, but not to the point I cover for their dishonesty about how they discuss church history, the biblical documents, etc.

Because some of these folks claim to have been hurt by Christians in general, or a particular denomination, or what have you, they feel fine now rejecting biblical literalism and inerrancy.

Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Part 3 – Liberal Christians, Post Evangelicals, and Ex-Christians Mocking Biblical Literalism, Inerrancy / Also: Christians Worshipping Hurting People’s Feelings”

No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected

No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected

✹ What follows is actually the heart of my “No Man’s Land” view. This is what prompted me to write it: ✹

✹ TAKING THE OPPOSITE POSITION OF WHAT YOU USED TO BELIEVE BUT NOW HATE – DUE TO EMOTIONAL REASONS OR A KNEE JERK RESPONSE OR FROM SPITE – IS JUST AS WRONG AND MISTAKEN ✹

As to the forums and blogs by ex Christians, liberal Christians, self identifying post-evangelicals, or those still Christian who expose spiritual abuse…

I notice a number of the regular visitors to these sites – the ones who left an abusive or legalistic church or denomination – simply now operate in the reverse in their thinking, which is, IMO, just as bad or wrong as the thinking they are leaving.

There are different types of ex-Christians one must take into consideration when discussing this topic, so I shall present some sketches of them first.

IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists)

For example, there are ex IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists).

IFB preachers and churches are ridiculously legalistic. They make up rules that are not in the Bible, or twist or exaggerate the rules already there to the point those rules then become unbiblical.

IFBs are the contemporary, American versions of the Bible’s Pharisees: nit picky, anal retentive, legalists who make up man-made rules but insist they are “biblical” and thus binding on all believers.

IFBs concoct man-made traditions they expect all IFB members to adhere to, just like the Roman Catholic hierarchy does towards Roman Catholic members.

For example, IFB churches are legalistic about secular entertainment and clothing and physical appearance.

IFB churches teach their congregations that women should not wear pants but only skirts. And the skirts should be only so many inches above or below the knee.

According to IFBs, men should not have hair that touches the back shirt collar – not a mullet to be found in IFB, which may be a good thing. Secular music and television is sinful and should always be avoided.

IFBs have other legalistic rules for just about every aspect of life.

IFBs are vehemently anti-Roman Catholicism as well as anti-Calvinism.

Continue reading “No Man’s Land – Part 2 – On Post Evangelicals or Ex Christians or Liberal Christians Ignorantly Hopping Aboard Belief Sets They Once Rejected”