Fascinating Statistics

A joint poll by the American Bible Society and the Barna Group

By Dr. David R. Reagan

Lamplighter - November December 16

[read in Lamplighter (pdf)]

The Bible

The latest joint poll by the American Bible Society and the Barna Group showed:

  • 80% view the Bible as sacred literature (down 6% since 2006).
  • 64% believe the Bible has more influence on humanity than any other text.
  • 33% believe the Bible is not a sufficient guide for meaningful living (up 10% since 2006).
  • 44% claim to read the Bible at least once a month.

Barna’s conclusion based on these statistics and others: “While the majority of Americans hold the Bible in high regard, Bible skeptics are on the rise, including openly anti–Christian groups.”

Religion

The First Liberty Institute, America’s foremost legal defender of Christian values, reports that there were 1,285 attacks on religion in the United States during 2015. This includes attacks on all forms of religion, and not just Christianity. That’s a doubling of the number of attacks in three years, since 2012.

According to the Barna Group, 43% of Americans in general agree with the statement, “It doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons.”

Also, according to Barna, the combined number of unchurched people in America totals 156 million (out of 318 million), and the average churchless person is a white male who is less educated and unmarried.

Christianity

Recent Barna polls indicate:

  • 92% of Americans believe Jesus was a real person.
  • 56% believe Jesus was God.
  • 52% believe Jesus sinned.
  • 40% say they have repented of their sins and asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, claiming to be born–again Christians.

But only 9% of Americans can be classified as “Bible–believing Christians.” These are people who say they believe all the following statements:

  • Absolute moral truth exists.
  • The Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
  • Satan is a real being or force, not merely symbolic.
  • A person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or by doing good works.
  • Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth.
  • God is the all–knowing, all–powerful Creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

Among Americans in the 18–23 age group, only 1% qualify as “Bible–believing Christians.”

Though the vast majority of Americans (78%) claim to be Christians, most have stopped attending church. Less than 20% make it to church in a typical week, and almost 4,000 churches are closing in America each year. Half of all churches in the U.S. did not add any new members to their ranks in the last two years.

The Barna group pegs the average Protestant church size in America at 89 adults. 60% of Protestant churches have less than 100 adults in attendance. Only 2% have over 1000 adults attending. Forty percent of those who identify themselves as “Born–again Christians” believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Society

The Federal Education Department reports:

  • The homeschool movement in America has grown by 62% in the last decade, now representing 3.4% of school–age children.
  • 91% of parents cited concerns about the environment of public schools.
  • 64% of parents said they wanted their children to receive religious instruction.

Regarding abortion:

  • In the past four decades, 336 million children have been aborted in China, more than the total population of the United States (318 million).
  • 58 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the legalization of abortion in 1973. That’s over 3,500 per day and over 1.3 million per year.

Regarding the cultural revolution in the United States:

  • According to the latest Gallup poll, only 3.8% of Americans identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The same poll showed that Americans believe that the number is 23%.
  • The latest Barna study shows that 65% of Americans now believe that it’s a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married. A Gallup poll showed that more professing Christian couples are also cohabitating before marriage.
  • A recent Barna poll showed that 74% of the younger Millennial Generation agree with this statement: “Whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know.” Only 38% of the eldest generation agreed with this statement.