Survey: Most regular churchgoers hold close to traditional teachings

Survey: Most regular churchgoers hold close to traditional teachings

Survey: Most regular churchgoers hold close to traditional teachings

Pastors, your sheep are listening. That's what a recently released report by the Family Research Council leads one to believe.

The 84-page document ("An Introduction to Worldview: Refining the Lens Through Which You See Everything") emphasizes the worldview – a set of fundamental beliefs and convictions that shape the way a person lives – from a biblical perspective but also explores other prominent faiths. It considers different responses to some of life's most important questions – e.g., the origin and purpose of life, the existence of evil, the nature of hope and what happens after death – and seeks to find what church-going Christians believe.

That's a different designation than when a group might be labeled "Christian" for the purpose of political polling.

Though the Church has been around for thousands of years, it's a valid question given what many see as society's hyper-sexualization. Some mainline denominations have struggled with questions of respecting the pronouns of transgender people, the role of homosexuals in ministry or whether women should serve as lead pastors.

It was time to check in with churchgoers, says the author of the FRC document.

Closson, David (FRC) Closson

"You had to attend church at least monthly to qualify to take our survey," David Closson, director of FRC's Center for Biblical Worldview, explained on Washington Watch Wednesday. "The goal was to do this extensive nationwide survey to really see what the most devout Christians in our country actually believe on basic doctrinal questions as well as social issues."

Seventy-two percent of survey responders were in church not monthly but weekly, and other findings were encouraging. For example:

  • 88% said they thought it was "really important" to have a biblical worldview.
  • 75% said the Bible is clear on the definition of marriage.
  • 70% said the church should provide more instruction on the issue of life and abortion.
  • 68% wanted to hear more from the church on the issue of sexuality.

"The number-one thing that stood out to me is that 88% of people who regularly attend church told us it is really important for Christians to have a biblical worldview for that fundamental perspective that they have to be informed by God's Word," Closson told show host Jody Hice.

"I was also encouraged to see how many active churchgoers are looking to their church and pastor for guidance on how to think through all the moral issues that we're dealing with in culture," he added.

The seven beliefs every Christian needs

The survey also identifies seven beliefs it says must be present to possess a biblical worldview:

  1. An orthodox, biblical understanding of God.
  2. All human beings are sinful by nature.
  3. Sin can only be forgiven by Jesus Christ.
  4. The Bible is true, reliable and relevant.
  5. Absolute moral truth exists.
  6. The ultimate purpose of human life is to honor and glorify God.
  7. Understand that success on Earth is found with consistent obedience to God in thoughts, words and actions.

The survey found that Christians who spent more time reading the Bible scored higher in terms of having a biblical worldview.

"It absolutely did," Closson said. "It seems so basic – but if you can just get your people to read God's Word and show up weekly at church, they are much more likely to have a biblical worldview on all issues."

The FRC report concludes with what it calls "the moral of the story":

"If a person's worldview is inconsistent with the Bible, or if biblical truth is inconsistently applied in one's life, that person is in danger of falling like the house built on the sand. We can avoid this fate by building our metaphorical house on the rock. This means knowing God's Word, applying it to our daily lives, and having 'the mind of Christ' in everything we think, say, and do."