Scepticals of the Bible

Most people do seem to forget that man does not live on bread alone. Material gain is for most the highest priority in their life. Though all that money and all those interesting gadgets do not seem to make them very happy. Contrary we can see much more unhappiness by those who should be lucky  and happy that they have so much.

In several countries where there is not much good food and not much good drinkable water, people not having good housing, they do find a way to enjoy life and not to worry to much. And there where there are fights going on, rebels making life very awkward, there are many who still manage in those bad conditions to find the straw for life. Mostly it is because they know where they can find the best treasure. Often they are convinced that they can find the best food for them by every word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God. In the industrialised world many have forgotten that they need daily spiritual nourishment from God’s Word in order to withstand the challenges and temptations that bombard us on a daily basis.

According to the fourth annual State of the Bible survey by the Barna Group there are just as many Americans sceptical of the Bible (19 percent) as there are engaged with the Bible. the 2014 research reveals six trends in Bible engagement: from the Bible’s continued role as a cultural icon, to increased digital Bible reading, to a rise in scepticism toward Scripture, particularly among Millennials.

The number of those who are sceptical or agnostic toward the Bible — who believe that the Bible is

“just another book of teachings written by men that contains stories and advice” —

has nearly doubled from 10% to 19% in just three years. This is now equal to the number of people who are Bible engaged — who read the Bible at least four times a week and believe it is the actual or inspired Word of God.

sign at front gate

sign at front gate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The trend of scepticism is even more pronounced among the Millennial generation (who range in age from 18-29), two-thirds are 48 or younger (28% Millennials, 36% Gen-Xers) 68% male opposite 32% female. According to the State of the Bible report, Millennials are

  • Less likely to view the Bible as sacred literature (64 percent in comparison to 79 percent of adults),
  • Less likely to believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to lead a meaningful life (35 percent in comparison to 50 percent of adults), and
  • More likely to never read the Bible (39 percent compared in comparison to 26 percent of adults).

What we in Europe might find surprising is that those Bible sceptics are more likely to identify as Catholic than any other single denomination or affiliation (30%) and are the most-likely segment not to have attended church (87%) or prayed (63%) during the previous week. They are also most likely not to have made a commitment to Jesus that is important in their life today (76%).

From the surveys been taken last year we must not that lots of those trinitarians ( 71% of Americans) did not read the Bible and those who went to Sunday service or mass only heard those verses or quotes from Scripture given by the pastor or priest.  In many countries nearly a quart of those interested in religion watches religious programs on television,  (23% of U.S. adults said to have watched a religious TV program in the past week, 20% listened to religious talk radio).

In the United States 35 Protestant denominations may try to attract those interested in religion. Though with the Roman Catholic Church they may represent 45% of the U.S. population in 1968 and 35% in 2012, they are not able to get a 62% of non-Christian Millennials to read  the Bible.

The Americans seem to be not such passive Christians as the Europeans. From the Millennials there where  81% of practising Christians who posted Scripture online in the past year.

As can be found in the rest of industrialised countries almost 1 in 5 people under 40 in the U.S. now describe themselves as
spiritual but not religious.

Barna, like different Christian denominations are seeing how there is more need of teachers or preachers proclaiming the good News.

David Kinnaman of Barna contends Christians should be challenged to reach out to those who are searching. Those people, he says, are looking for a church that “makes a difference” in the community, including taking care of the poor.

“And a lot of churches are doing that,”

says Kinnaman.

“So part of that is getting outside the walls of the church and doing the things the gospel compels us to do.”

The study also reveals that a vast majority of churchless Americans have attended church but don’t embrace what it means to live out the Christian faith. the American Christians should be aware that they still need to make work to have some of the 10 percent who have never attended a church-service to have them come to look at such a service.

Kinnaman says the challenge is for people to make church more than a “weekly ritual” by making attending church an opportunity to participate in what God is doing in the community.

The churchless are primarily men and in America tend to be less educated, white and unmarried. Churchless confirms that the world has, indeed, altered in significant ways during the last few decades. It’s not just your imagination. Real data confirm how drastically the moral, social and spiritual lives of Americans have changed and are changing. Europe has the idea that most Americans are ‘over-religious’, but about 156 million U.S. adults and children are churchless which mean that churchless Americans = Bigger Than Canada, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa & New Zealand . . . Combined. Only China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the churchgoing half of the United States are larger.

When we look around us and see the youngsters their actions it is not surprising to hear that the younger the generation, the more post-Christian it is. Nearly half of the Millennials qualify as post-Christian (48%), compared to two-fifths of Busters or Gen-Xers (40%), one-third of Boomers (35%) and one-quarter of Elders (28%). Tracking data allows us to trace the increase of anti-church attitudes and behaviours over the past 50 years.

Those most aware of the necessity to do missionary work in the industrialised countries are the non-trinitarians like the Jehovah Witnesses and Christadelphians, though lots of the latter group become so disappointed by the reaction of trinitarians and non-believers that they give it up. After having disappeared from the scene for some time in Europe the Mormons are the other group which still does missionary work in the capitalist countries.

2015 findings of 2014 Barna Group study. About 156 million U.S. adults and children are churchless in 2015.

2015 findings of 2014 Barna Group study.
About 156 million U.S. adults and children are churchless in 2015.

The Bible has been making its way onto box office screens and home TV screens over the year 2014: from Noah to Son of God, people have been watching the Bible, but the 2014 research reveals six trends in Bible engagement: from the Bible's continued role as a cultural icon, to increased digital Bible reading, to a rise in skepticism toward Scripture, particularly among Millennials.

The Bible has been making its way onto box office screens and home TV screens over the year 2014: from Noah to Son of God, people have been watching the Bible, but the 2014 research reveals six trends in Bible engagement: from the Bible’s continued role as a cultural icon, to increased digital Bible reading, to a rise in skepticism toward Scripture, particularly among Millennials.

 

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Additional reading:

  1. When you don’t know what to do and hate yourself
  2. A time for everything
  3. Faith and trial
  4. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  5. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  6. Tapping into God’s Strength by Waiting on Him
  7. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  8. Determine the drive
  9. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  10. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  11. God should be your hope
  12. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark
  13. A new year with hopes and challenges
  14. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  15. Be like a tree planted by streams of water
  16. Better loaves when the heart is joyous
  17. The thought of losing rekindles the joy of having
  18. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  19. Joy is not in things, it is in us
  20. Give your tears to God
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  22. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  23. Appointed to be read
  24. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  25. Building up the spirit of the soul
  26. Daily portion of heavenly food
  27. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  28. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  29. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  30. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  31. Do Christians need to read the Old Testament
  32. Feed Your Faith Daily
  33. We should use the Bible every day
  34. The manager and Word of God
  35. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  36. Be an Encourager
  37. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood

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Please do find to read:

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  • Excuse My Scepticism (pastorcharleschipere.wordpress.com)
    In our Christian Faith, we are taught to believe rather than to be a doubting Thomas. We are taught to trust rather than mistrust. We are taught to give a person the benefit of the doubt before we dismiss them. But my journey of faith has had some encounters with reality leading me to embrace some sceptical attitude towards some things I have observed in the land of the living.
  • Cultural Fast Facts (garyrohrmayer.typepad.com)
    • 82% of U.S. adults have at least one credit card, including 40% who have 3 or
    more. Just 16% have none.• 50 million Americans have trouble putting food on the table, according to
    Feeding America, a food bank network.• Millennial moms are far more likely than moms of any other generation to be
    raising their kids near or even in the same house as their extended family.

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1 in 5 pregnancies in
    the U.S. ends with abortion.

    • There are now 3.9 billion urbanites in the world.

    • 80% of U.S. adults believe it is more common for grown children to live with
    their parents now than 20 years ago.

    • 30% of the U.S. population are auditory learners vs. approximately two-thirds
    who are visual learners.

    • 12- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. send or receive an average of 60 texts per
    day.

    19% Bible Lovers/19% Bible Skeptics.

  • The State of the Bible (reflectionsintheword.org)
    This year’s research reveals that skepticism toward the Bible continues to rise. For the first time since tracking began, Bible skepticism is tied with Bible engagement. The number of those who are skeptical or agnostic toward the Bible – who believe that the Bible is “just another book of teachings
  • Skeptical about skepticism (louisproyect.org)
    On Salon.com you can find an article titled “Bill Maher is right about religion: The Orwellian ridiculousness of Jesus, and the truth about moral progress” by Michael Shermer that is an excerpt from his book “The Moral Arc”. He draws a contrast between what some have called “the sky religions”, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam that are tribal in nature rather than universal, and all those great conquests of Modern Civilization such as goodness, justice and truth.
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    Oddly enough, for an outfit so devoted to science and reason, there is little engagement with the science of genetic modification itself. This is not surprising since this intellectual current seems either totally innocent of ecological science, or determined to sweep it under the rug. The moniker Prometheus that Kurtz has given to his publishing outlet suggests an unreconstructed vision of 19th century Progress. Needless to say, this dovetails neatly with the kind of philosophical pragmatism he embraces, which appears totally at home with the agenda of US imperialism.The other big mover and shaker in the world of skepticism is Michael Shermer, who is much younger than Paul Kurtz and is the publisher of Skeptic Magazine. While targeting all the usual suspects (UFO’s, Bigfoot, ESP, etc.), Shermer has also investigated bogus history. He is the author of a book focusing on the libel case against David Irving, a holocaust denier.Just as with Kurtz, Shermer casts a wide net in his crusade against the forces of anti-scientific darkness. Such forces include those who believe that there is a Gulf War Syndrome and that silicone breast implants might be harmful.
  • Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix (consciouslifenews.com)
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, December, 2014, 1 in 5 of the Millennial generation (birth years from early 1980s to early 2000) live in poverty and have lower rates of employment compared to their Baby Boomer parents of a similar age in the 1980s, one of the most prosperous eras of American history.Obviously, the Millennials need a place to live (besides with their parents), clothes on their back, food to eat and resources to care for their children. Not to mention time and money for travel, and doing fun things, as well. Oh and then there is saving and investing for the future.
  • Good News, Millennials: You Don’t Have to Save the Church (christianitytoday.com)
    We find ourselves facing into “millennial anxiety” as well as concern about the “rise of the nones” (those who do not identify with any religious tradition, a cohort that is apparently growing in the West). Like some reverse Paul Revere, many ride through the fiber optics of the Internet and into church basements shouting, “The millennials are leaving! Watch out for the rise of the nones!” Simply put, millennial anxiety—a concern shared by both mainline and evangelical churches—is the fear that those between ages 18 and 25 have little interest in the church, and that the church has failed to convince them to stay.
  • Millennial Men: Risk Takers or Dupes? (talentzoo.com)
    Well, according to a study by Creditcards.com, Millennial men are “more easily swayed” by advertising than Millennial women. Yes, men of this generation are much more likely than the general American population to trust advertising.Now does that make them idiots or trusting?We (though obviously biased) would like to consider our generation as the latter.
  • Did you hear? Millennials will overtake Baby Boomers in Population this Year (theposhboomer.com)
    Millennials are defined as being between ages 18 to 34 in 2015. Boomers are now ages 51 to 69.Census data says that there are a projected 75.3 million Millennial’s this year. This year Millenial’s are surpassing the 74.9 million Gen Xer’s (ages 35 to 50). Millenial’s are projected to outnumber us Boomers by 2028.
  • Fully Satisfied (culturalatheist.wordpress.com)
    It began about the time this age cohort reached adulthood, with the 1999 publication of Saving the Millennial Generation: New Ways to Reach the Kids You Care About in These Uncertain Times. It accelerated when some polls in the mid-2000s began to suggest millennials’ waning interest in church. Enter “millennials and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are leaving church.” The latter article quickly garnered some 100,000 page views not long ago.This past October, the 2014 Alignment Conference featured Barna’s David Kinnaman and pastor and church planter Dave Ferguson talking about millennials, who present a “game changing moment” for the church. Gen2 Leadership Conference is meeting this month with the theme, “Fighting for the Heart of the Millennial Generation.”We find ourselves facing into “millennial anxiety” as well as concern about the “rise of the nones” (those who do not identify with any religious tradition, a cohort that is apparently growing in the West). Like some reverse Paul Revere, many ride through the fiber optics of the Internet and into church basements shouting, “The millennials are leaving! Watch out for the rise of the nones!” Simply put, millennial anxiety—a concern shared by both mainline and evangelical churches—is the fear that those between ages 18 and 25 have little interest in the church, and that the church has failed to convince them to stay.
  • The Millennials Are All Right (blackchristiannews.com)
    Millennials are both high tech and high touch. They have less faith in religious and political institutions.  It extends to the private sector, too: 71 percent of Millennials would rather go to the dentist than step into a bank branch. As many one-third of millennials are willing to switch banks in the next 90 days. What would encourage them to join your organization or become a customer?
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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Scepticals of the Bible

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