Changing Beliefs

Survey Says

A recent study by the Barna group found that 71% of U.S. adults develop their own religious beliefs rather than accept the teachings of a particular church or denomination.  That statistic goes hand in hand with 45% who are “willing to try a new church” and 64% who are “completely open to carrying out and pursuing your faith in an environment or structure that differs from that of a typical church”.

So What?

These statistics suggest that we are living in a postdenominational Christian culture.  People not only change churches often, but are inclined to consider a new church home based on factors beyond brand (denominational affiliation).  Far too many articles are being written about the problems about the so-called lack of loyalty issue (increasing number who leave a given local church or a specific denomination) and far too few about the positive aspect of this new trend.  Does this reality make closing the back door (the way members leave a church) harder? Absolutely. Does this mean some who change their church affiliation (it is rarely ever about membership any more) often are consumer oriented? Certainly.  More importantly, it suggests that disciples of Jesus are serious about their faith.  No longer will they do church the Baptist or Lutheran or Methodist way simply because they belong to a church and feel obligated to match their beliefs to those of that denomination.  The reformation lives and should be a welcome part of the larger life of the church.  Christians who know what they believe (rather than knowing what some external humanly constructed entity wants them to believe) and who are committed to living out that faith are a blessing to the Christian community and to the world.

Americans are Exploring New Ways of Experiencing God. June 8, 2009.  Barna Group.

Comments

  1. Jen Cardenas says:

    It’s a mixed blessing… I think the traditional “belonging” to a particular church family serves a basic need as people to feel part of a group and to feel loved and accepted. However, I do agree that sometimes people can become clouded and confused by their allegience to a particular church or denomination. After all, bottom line, it’s about Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us. We shouldn’t get too hung up on petty differences such as which hymnal we use, in what order we say our prayers, etc. Sometimes, I bet, God must be up there just rolling his eyes! Ha!

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