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Kevin Bonham
25-12-2009, 12:30 AM
A writeup here (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2009/12/23/politics-and-faith-a-nielsen-poll/#more-6766) (may need to scroll up).

The writeup does have a few bugs - the misspelling of "Angels" as "Angles" (corrected in comments) and also the use of the term "Intelligent Design" for a range of beliefs that is most likely considerably broader.

However, some key findings:

* Universal susceptibility. This is something I have noticed in other polls on the issue some time ago too - basically if a person believes one spiritualist/paranormalist belief then they are more likely to believe another, even if it is dubiously consistent with the first. In this case, believers in "God or a universal spirit" (presumably overwhelmingly God) are more likely to believe in psychic powers and ESP (by 22 points!), UFOs, astrology etc.

* Believers are split on whether the captain of the small team exists or not. 52% believe "The Devil" is real. Curiously, 6% of nonbelievers in God/universal spirit also believe in The Devil. Whether they were thinking metaphorically or of the Tasmanian variety is unclear.

* All the paranormalisms surveyed are more believed in by females than by males, with the gender gap peaking at 22 points for "heaven" (but only 6 points for "hell"). I say all the paranormalisms because belief in UFOs (in which males lead females by eight points) is not necessarily paranormalist.

* Respondents were offered the choice of evolutionism, Young Earth creationism and "Human beings developed from earlier forms of life over millions of years in a process guided by God". The breakdown is evolution 42, YEC 23, the other one 32.

* Outside capital cities, if people are not evolutionists then they are about as likely as not to be YECs. Within capital cities, most non-evolutionists have an intermediate position, but evolutionists are not commoner (perhaps rarer even though the difference isn't stat sig)

* Male evolutionists outnumber female evolutionists about three to two.

* Under 40s are far more likely to be evolutionists than intermediate, and intermediate than YEC. For over 40s the order is the same but the gaps much smaller.

There's more (including on politics) but those interested can read the link.

Spiny Norman
26-12-2009, 07:01 AM
George Barna (USA) has just posted his "year in review":
http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/325-barna-studies-the-research-offers-a-year-in-review-perspective

Here are his findings summarised (with the bold comments being my personal views as a comparison)

o Just 50% of adults contend that Christianity is still the automatic faith of choice in the US (TSK: no opinion)

o Nearly nine out of every ten adults (88%) agreed either strongly or somewhat that their religious faith is very important in their life (TSK: YES)

o 74% said their faith is becoming more important in their life (TSK: YES)

o Substantive awareness of other faith groups is minimal; even simple name awareness of some groups, such as Wicca, is tiny (only 45% have heard of Wicca) (TSK: I have some knowledge of the major religions)

o Most self-identified Christians are comfortable with the idea that the Bible and the sacred books from non-Christian religions all teach the same truths and principles (TSK: Some moral similarities, but that's all)

o Half of all adults (50%) argue that a growing number of people they know are tired of having the same church experience (TSK: YES)

o About half of all adults (45%) say they are willing to try a new church or even a new form of church (TSK: YES)

o 71% say they will develop their own slate of religious beliefs rather than accept a package of beliefs promoted by a church or denomination (TSK: YES)

o Three-quarters of adults (75%) believe that God is motivating them and others to connect with Him through different means and experiences than were common in the past (TSK: YES)

o Barely one-third of self-identified Christians (36%) strongly agree that it is important for followers of Christ to maintain positive relationships with people who are not Christians (TSK: YES, I agree, makes me a minority)

o Two-thirds of adults (64%) are willing to experience and express their faith in new or different environments or structures than they have in the past (TSK: YES)

o Only one-third (34%) believe in absolute moral truth (TSK: I do, however this question is too simplistic, as only some moral truths are absolute)

o 68% of self-identified Christians have heard of spiritual gifts, a decline in the past decade; a minority (roughly one-third) can actually identify a biblical spiritual gift they claim to possess (TSK: YES to both)

o Less than one out of every five born again adults (19%) has a biblical worldview, which is unchanged in the past 15 years (TSK: YES, so I am a minority again)

o Just half of all self-identified Christians firmly believe that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles (not the facts, just the principles) that it teaches (TSK: YES)

o Barely one-quarter of adults (27%) are confident that Satan exists (TSK: YES)

o Less than four out of every ten self-identified Christians firmly accept the teaching that a person can be influenced by spiritual forces, such as angels or demons (TSK: YES)

o An overwhelming majority of self-identified Christians (81%) contend that spiritual maturity is achieved by following the rules in the Bible (TSK: YES)

o Only 4% believe that poverty is an issue that is primarily the responsibility of the Church (TSK: NO ... the problem is using the word "primarily" ... it is an issue that is "a responsibility" of the church in my view)

Desmond
26-12-2009, 07:30 AM
Barely one-third of self-identified Christians (36%) strongly agree that it is important for followers of Christ to maintain positive relationships with people who are not Christians

Not a very friendly bunch are they.

Oepty
26-12-2009, 07:47 AM
Barely one-third of self-identified Christians (36%) strongly agree that it is important for followers of Christ to maintain positive relationships with people who are not Christians

Not a very friendly bunch are they.

I was surprised by this. It seems to me to be a fundamental part of the Bible that Christians should strive to maintain good relations with everyone.
Scott

Spiny Norman
26-12-2009, 01:20 PM
Barely one-third of self-identified Christians (36%) strongly agree that it is important for followers of Christ to maintain positive relationships with people who are not Christians

Not a very friendly bunch are they.
Rather sad reflection of the state of the church I think. There's an 'ark' mentality that many seem to have. They are apparently at least somewhat afraid to mix with non-Christians, for fear of being "polluted by the world". It was this same mentality that (years ago) used to manifest itself often in behaviours/beliefs such as "can't go to the movies; they're evil" and "can't dance; its evil" and so on.

The other factor, which I have both observed at close hand AND have also found myself subject to, is that church life is just very, very busy nowadays. There are any number of activities to participate in. Its not just church on a Sunday ... there are mens/women's groups, home groups, ministry teams (e.g. I was a guitar player for many years on our church's worship team, which involved practice oncea week), etc etc. It doesn't take all that long for one to find that all one's friends just happen to be Christians. Since I also worked for the organisational arm of a church for 5 years (2003-2008) that only exacerbated the situation.

antichrist
29-12-2009, 05:36 PM
I have come across theses surveys before, in secular groups that even paid money for fine details - and always considered them a waste of time and money.

The biggest news re church recruiting is the Anglican Church in Sydney losing about $160m in the GFC - they were promising all kinds of programs of recruitment that required money.

The most significant event in Aussie religion is the leap of charismatic and evangical religions imported from USA. They are anti science and antimodernism and so a big disappointment.

jhughes
05-04-2010, 12:11 PM
I was surprised by this. It seems to me to be a fundamental part of the Bible that Christians should strive to maintain good relations with everyone.
Scott
Depends which verse(s) your getting your info from. Luke 6:27-36 seem alright, telling you to love your enemy. But I highly dislike psalm 137:9, which claims that smashing children against rocks can make you happy :evil: