In September, the Pew Research Center conducted a wide-ranging survey of some of the deeper questions of life – like What is the purpose of suffering? … Why do bad things happen to good people? … and Can you get to heaven even if you don't believe in God?
That last topic had some troubling results, according to Dr. Alex McFarland of Truth for a New Generation. According to the survey, 68% of Catholics, slightly more than half (56%) of mainline Protestant Christians, and a surprising 21% of evangelicals say it's possible for an unrepentant atheist to get to heaven. (Click on image for larger version)
"For a number of decades, pollsters have chronicled the drift among Protestants, Catholics, numbers of strata of Christianity, how people have ideas that really are contrary to what the Bible clearly says," McFarland tells AFN.
And while he's not surprised, the religion and culture analyst is tremendously disappointed at the number of evangelicals who have either left the authority of scripture or are wholly unaware of what the Bible says. The cure, according to McFarland, starts with evangelical pastors.
"It must start with the pulpit," he urges. "Ministers who shepherd flocks and pastor churches have got to reiterate to their people that we must know the Bible, believe the Bible, proclaim the Bible, and build all of our conclusions about life and eternity on the Bible."
The Bible is clear, says McFarland – "and Jesus Christ could not have been more clear," he adds, when in John 8:24 Jesus said "if you do not believe that I am the Messiah, you will die in your sins."
Image compliments of Pew Research Center