People all across America were asked some basic religious en Bible questions in a recent study. Here are some of the results, as reported by CNN:
Those who believe the Bible to be the literal word of God, scored slightly under average, while those who say it is not the word of God, scored slightly better.How disturbing it is that people who would fight when it comes to defending the belief that the Bible is the literal word of God, scored worse than those who say it is not the word of God. How is it possible that they who do not believe, spend more time reading the Bible than those who claim that they believe God Almighty Himself inspired the Bible?
It's not evangelicals or Catholics who did best when it came to knowledge about what Christians and other religions believe --- it's atheists and agnostics.One of the worst traits Christians display is that we dismiss other religions without even trying to understand what they are about. Therefore, we as Christians are viewed as arrogant, ill informed and self absorbed.
The think tank also asked a handful of general knowledge questions - such as who wrote "Moby-Dick," and who's the vice president of the United States --- and found a link between religious knowledge and general knowledge.Thus they came to the conclusion that most atheists and agnostics have better general knowledge and were better educated.
Jews and Mormons were close behind atheists and agnostics as the group who did best overall on the religion questions, while white evangelical Protestants also tended to answer correctly more than half of the questionnaire.
Religions where the Parents are primarily responsible for the the religious teaching of their kids, are those that scored the best. Where "Sunday-school" or similar systems are used as the primary point of teaching kids about God and religion, those religions yielded the worst scores.
My opinion is that many people misunderstand one thing of great importance: religion is not the relationship between you and your knowledge, or you and the church --- it is the relationship between you and the God you believe in. I don't care how much anyone knows about some basic facts of religion --- if they don't understand its meaning, then it's pointless.
I suppose this study group feels that the more informed one is about religion(s), the more tolerant of other people and their religions one will be. Well, I don't have to do a study to find that this is not true. How often do the bad actions of a few cause most people to color the entire group negatively? Come on, be honest. It happens all the time. And for people who are trying to argue that religious people are better people than non-religious people (eg. atheist), and vice versa, that's a load of garbage.
One's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, have nothing to do with how good a person they are. It is not because of WHO YOU ARE, but WHAT JESUS DID FOR YOU; it is not BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, but BECAUSE WHO JESUS IS. Therefore, knowledge of the religion is not what is needful: all you need to do is to call out to Christ, and He will save you.
It is easy to accumulate a great amount of knowledge, but without passionately loving God, it is worthless. When loving God passionately, one cannot but help to love those around you. Loving people means that I have to respect them for who they are, and for what they believe. Only when I respect them, can I share my beliefs and faith in love. In such a loving, respecting relationship, the gospel rings true.
What do you think of this study's findings?