Skip to comments.What Do Americans Really Think About the Bible?
Posted on 04/02/2013 8:21:11 AM PDT by daniel1212
...The Bibles Place in Society
If the Bible has such resonance with television viewers, then it stands to reason the awareness of the Christian Scriptures is high in America. And indeed, nearly nine out of ten (88%) Americans actually own a Bible. Despite such a high number, thats declined since 1993, though only slightly, when 92% of Americans owned a Bible. On average, American Bible owners have 3.5 Bibles in their home, and one-quarter of Bible owners (24%) have six or more.
In terms of demographic breakdowns, about eight out of ten (79%) Mosaics (people aged 18-28) own a Bible, compared with nearly all (95%) Elders (who are ages 65-plus). And while it might not be surprising that religiously devoted Christians own Bibles, the study finds that six out of ten Americans (59%) who have no faith or who identify as atheists own a Bible. Despite many aspects of society that are secularizing, penetration of Scripture remains high in 2013.
Add to that, eight out of ten (80%) Americans identify the Bible as sacred literature, without any prompting from interviewers. That proportion has also dipped from 2011, when 85% of respondents affirmed this perspective of the Bible. Americans overall belief in Scriptures sacredness may also explain why almost two-thirds (61%) of American adults also say they wish they read the Bible more.
Compared to the large number of people believing the Bible to be sacred, fewer than one out of ten Americans (8%) said they thought the Koran was sacred, and only half that many (4%) identified the Torah as holy literature. Perhaps connected to the swelling ranks of the religiously unaffiliated, one out of eight adults (12%) do not regard any book to be sacred text. This percentage has nearly doubled in two years, when the proportion was 7%.
Does Society Need the Bible?
So, how does the broad base of the Bibles awareness play out on the national stage of public opinion? For many, the moral stature of the country as well as political realities are determined based upon Bible engagement. Just over three-quarters (77%) believe the values and morals of America are declining. And when asked what is to blame for this decline, one-third of Americans (32%) attribute that shift to a lack of Bible reading. This is a greater percentage of people than point to the negative influence of media (29%) or corruption from corporate greed (25%). Similarly, nearly six out of ten adults (56%) believe the Bible has too little influence in American societythats more than four times the percentage of people who think the Bible has too much influence (13%).
However, the number of American adults who are friendlyor, those who believe the Bible to be inspired and infallible but dont read the Bible as oftenhas gone down (from 45% to 39%). Those who are neutralthe people who rarely read the Bible and believe the Bible to be inspired but containing errorsnumbered 25% of American adults in 2011, and is about the same in 2013 (23%). The biggest jump of any group are those American adults who are antagonistic to the Bible, meaning they believe the Bible to just be a book of stories and teachings written by men, and they rarely or never read the Bible. That group stood at one in ten adults (10%) in 2011. In 2013, their ranks have grown to 17% of all U.S. adults.
First premise, I do not believe that any person that God created perfectly can in anyway shape or form, be 100% evil, no matter what they do or say.
Then you are denying Scripture because it declares the opposite many times over: “There is not one who does good; no not one.” Many other verses confirming this have been quoted here as well. So your problem isn’t with me, it’s with Scripture. Again, you are interpreting “light” to equate it with the Holy Spirit when Scripture does NOT teach that unbelievers have the Holy Spirit. They simply do not. That’s clear from Scripture. Those who have a “light to so shine before men” are the believers. Context is crucial when reading Scripture. To whom are the verses addressed? It’s quite clear that it’s not to the general public — especially since throughout Scripture it’s made very plain that the unbelieving public have no light to “so shine”. Indeed, Christians are told to let THEIR light shine — since they are the ones who have the light — on the darkness of the world: i.e. the unbelievers. We are also called to be “salt”. That’s not a general command to everyone, but only to believers. What salt does the unbeliever possess? None. Does the unbeliever possess God in the form of the Holy Spirit? No. Scripture is very clear on this point. You are, of course, perfectly at liberty to deny Scripture and believe what you want to believe, but it’s an untenable and un-authoritative position since Scripture, God’s Word, teaches otherwise. I will pray that the Lord opens the Truth of His Word to you but I will remain with His Word.
So you equate someone disagreeing with you on the authority of God’s Word as “being slammed”? Doesn’t take much to feel like a victim, does it? That’s being a bit extreme. I take issue with your conflation of “light” with the “Holy Spirit” as I would anyone’s misrepresentation of the Word. If that offends you, then please be more cautious with your use of God’s Word, because believers will take issue with it being used in a fashion inconsistent with what is said. The stakes are simply too high to allow “universalism” (under any name it’s all the same) to be represented as Scriptural. It simply is not.
As for “labeling” you, I did no such thing, but to be perfectly frank— if your position is that everyone has the Holy Spirit, then you are preaching a different Gospel and that cannot go unanswered. It does not make me “feel” one way or the other, but yes, I will refute heresy when it appears here or elsewhere because God’s Word is not to be taken lightly and as a believer I take it very very seriously. Misrepresenting His Word (regardless of the label one puts on it) does not glorify Christ. Hence the need to be very very careful with what one says and examine Scripture carefully because it never contradicts itself.
As always, you have misquoted me and seek to blame me saying things I did not. I said you cannot offend me. You didn’t. Okay. All is well.
Likewise, I did not say that everyone has the Holy Spirit. I said and I gave Scriptural proof that everyone has the foundation thatJesus Christ himself laid. the light of which is in all men. All build on this foundation. Please read the words.
Once again, I will say to you, of what use is a light that shines in darkness? Does Scripture not state that if spiritual light shines in darkness, how great then is the light?
The Holy Spirit was sent to remind and to teach everything that Jesus taught. likewise, the Holy Spirit, brings to light the light which is the foundation of all men. How else can the light that shines in darkness begin to shine in light and truth, if not for the Holy Spirit?
Truly, read the words, read them and mediate on them. Pray for understanding. All you are refuting is your own words, because I have said nothing that I have not given full Scriptural proof. Are you so uncomfortable in your own belief that the only way you can shore it up is to misrepresent?
Refute all you like, spend your life looking down on others who do not share your views. I am perfectly fine with this, if this is who you are then God has made you this way for a reason. The reason though is not for me to know or surmise, rather it is to always search for common ground and that ground always is love and where there is love, there is light, the foundation of Christ himself.
I will agree with you 100% Scripture cannot contradict itself. I know this and can reconcile the entire Scriptures from beginning to end. The end does not end with Revelation, that my friend is only the beginning of the end.
From the Darby bible: John 12:32. and I, if I be lifted up out of the earth, will draw all to me.
How great then is the light should have been how great then is the DARKNESS.
SORRY about that
OK. One last post and then I’m done because we do not appear to be using the same terminology with the same meaning behind it. You claimed in your very first post that everyone has the spirit of Jesus (aka - the Holy Spirit since Jesus IS God and obviously part of the Trinity). Now you are claiming you did NOT say that everyone has the Holy Spirit. Clearly you are saying one or the other. FYI - I have misquoted nothing, but you are changing your tune from one to the other — which I strongly suspect is because you are confusing much of the terminology and perhaps it’s not clear even in your own mind. No idea. In any event, you claim I have “slammed” you, “looked down on you” and are now playing the victim card. I’m frankly not interested in continuing this charade since you are not seriously engaged. You know nothing about me and presume quite a bit when you claim what I’m feeling, doing, and need to do before God. You might want to return to Scripture and look again at the verses and WHO the ADDRESSEE is. Yes, Christ sent the Holy Spirit — but not for everyone. For His Followers. Ergo, not everyone has Jesus living in them. The “light” to which you keep referring — when addressed to the UNBELIEVER — refers to what God has given mankind through His creation. People should be able to look around and see that a Creator designed what they see. They have the Scriptures, they have creation, they have been shown enough. The Holy Spirit draws those who will be His unto Himself, but please don’t mistake that everyone “has” Jesus “living in them” because they do not and Scriptures do not teach that, regardless of the interpretation and spin you are putting on them. That would be a contradiction in terms. Others here have said the same thing I am saying but for whatever reason you have chosen to believe I am the only one who has done so. Whatever. I’m done here. This is completely unproductive because your motivation does not appear to be legitimate. I will pray the Lord opens your eyes.
BTW, one cannot “have Jesus” and still be hell-bound. Hence, the charge of “universalism”. If everyone “has Jesus living in them” as you have claimed in your very first post, they are all Heaven-bound, which we know is not true from Scripture. Only the believers have Christ. This IS Scriptural. Somewhere along the line you have confused the term “light” with “Jesus” or the “Holy Spirit” and are in error. Scripture does not teach that everyone has Jesus. Scripture teaches that all NEED Jesus for salvation. If they already have Him, what need to go any further? Everyone’s already saved! (This view is a type of “universalism”, by the way, and is completely anathema to the Scriptural view.)
I have shown you in Scriptures where mankind is completely inherently sinful. You have chosen to believe otherwise - which you have stated in one of your posts —which is your “right”, but do not expect those who rest on the authority of God’s Word to agree with you on it because that notion is not Scriptural.
One last post from me on this too. No hard feelings ok.
Of course God is Spirit, and nothing is more Holy than He. Christ is also Spirit, who by scripture we learn that he laid the foundation that EVERYONE builds on. (See to it you build well) we are warned.
Lastly, the Holy Spirit by the definition of Jesus is a Counsolor or as sometimes refered a Comforter. It is this aspect of the Holy Spirit that brings one to the Light of all truth.
Deny the Scriptures at your own peril.
If I have offended you then please forgive me, it was not my intention. If you feel I was crying wolf, then likewise I apologize. The only person that can upset me, anger or frustrate me, is me, myself and I.
You are not responsible for anything I say or feel, okay.
I pray that you can find it in your heart to look to examine your own faith and belief system.
For I have shown you where damned or not damned, Christ will indeed draw all to him.
Lets look at I Tim. 4:9-10 in any context you wish:
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who IS THE SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN, specially of those that believe.
Specially those that believe, which means of course the ‘all’ means those that DO NOT.
A faithful and true saying, believe what you will. I trust in The Lord my God and Father whose words I just quoted.
which means of course the all means those that DO NOT
Should have been
which means of course the all INCLUDES those that DO NOT.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.