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Christians: No One Path to Salvation

June 24th, 2008
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From TIME magazine today, with thanks to Dr. Veith for more details, provided below. This is a very significant report, perhaps nothing new in it, per se, but a lot of details and documentation. Let's just say we continue to more than have our work cut out for us.

Americans of every religious stripe are considerably more
tolerant of the beliefs of others than most of us might have assumed,
according to a new poll released Monday. The Pew Forum on Religion and
Public Life last year surveyed 35,000 Americans, and found that 70% of
respondents agreed with the statement "Many religions can lead to
eternal life." Even more remarkable was the fact that 57% of Evangelical Christians
were willing to accept that theirs might not be the only path to
salvation, since most Christians historically have embraced the words
of Jesus, in the Gospel of John, that "no one comes to the Father
except through me." Even as mainline churches had become more tolerant,
the exclusivity of Christianity's path to heaven has long been one of
the Evangelicals' fundamental tenets. The new poll suggests a major
shift, at least in the pews.

The Religious Landscape Survey's findings appear to signal that
religion may actually be a less divisive factor in American political
life than had been suggested by the national conversation over the last
few decades. Peter Berger, University Professor of Sociology and
Theology at Boston University, said that the poll confirms that "the
so-called culture war, in its more aggressive form, is mainly waged
between rather small groups of people." The combination of such
tolerance with high levels of religious participation and intensity in
the U.S., says Berger, "is distinctively American — and rather
cheering. "

Read the rest of the story here.

From Dr. Veith's Cranach blog:

There is a new Pew survey of Americans’ religious beliefs. For the full report go here.

Much of it confirms what other polls have noted: 92% of Americans
believe in “God or universal spirit”; 40% of Americans say they attend
a religious service every week.

There are some additional facts I had not known before: 20% of
Americans speak in tongues. 60% pray daily. 63% believe their holy book
is the word of God. 79% believe in miracles.

The biggest revelation, as it were, is that for all of Americans’
religiosity, some 70% believe that people who hold to other religions
can find salvation.

My favorite fact of the study: One out of five ATHEISTS believe in
God or a universal spirit. And nearly half of all AGNOSTICS (defined as
someone who does not know whether or not God exists) report believing
in God or a universal spirit.

The non-believing community, like other religious groups, needs to
better teach and enforce their doctrinal orthodoxy. Or at least stop
calling their adherents “brights.”

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  1. Steve Newell
    June 24th, 2008 at 21:22 | #1

    Another thing I noted about this survey. The word “God” is used in a generic way. No where is Christ or the Holy Spirit mentioned. This definition of God is not the Trinity. This is the same definition what is on our money. A generic God that any American could love.

  2. Will
    June 30th, 2008 at 18:25 | #2

    It is very disturbing to think that so many Christians believe that other religions can lead to eternal life. However, I think it is also important to keep in mind that some of the 57% of Evangelical Christians that said, “Yes, other religions can lead to salvation,” may have been thinking other denominations can lead to eternal life, not other religions.

  3. July 16th, 2008 at 14:22 | #3

    ‘If’ that survey is true, it just goes to show how ‘quickly’ God’s Word is being fulfilled by today’s standards. So-called ‘Christians’ saying there is no one path to salvation? May God have mercy on their souls for as the Word says in Acts 4: 10-12 primarily verse 12. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among man, whereby we must be saved.” Which name is that, the name of Jesus Christ.
    Romans 3:3,4 verse 4: “God be true, but every man a liar”. In other words, whose word are these ‘Christians’ standing on, God’s or their own?

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