GLENDALE, AZ – The Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University released the 8th in its series of reports revealing results from its American Worldview Inventory (AWVI) this week. This edition uncovered Americans’ “Views of Sin and Salvation.”
Dr. George Barna, renowned Christian polling expert and Director of Research at the CRC, described the results as “discouraging, but consistent” with the previous reports in the study.
In fact, only those who have read the previous reports might be prepared for the results of this most recent one.
What the Previous AWVI reports revealed
The overarching conclusions drawn from the previous reports find that, according to Barna,
“Most people say that the objective of life is feeling good about yourself; that all faiths are of equal value; that entry into God’s eternal presence is determined by one’s personal means of choice; and that there are no absolutes to guide or grow us morally.”
His observation is based on the quantified results that have indicated that:
- 59% of Americans believe there is no absolute moral truth;
- 58% of Americans believe the basis of truth comes from sources other than God;
- 77% of Americans believe right and wrong is determined by factors other than the Bible;
- 59% of Americans believe the Bible is not the authoritative and true word of God;
- 69% of Americans believe that people are basically good;
- 79% of Americans believe the personal definition of success is not based on consistent obedience to God.
To learn more about the previous findings – and the surprising responses from professing Christians – click here.
What the Current AWVI report reveals
A 52% majority of self-described Christians adhere to works-oriented salvation.
A staggering number of “people associated with churches whose official doctrine says eternal salvation comes only from embracing Jesus Christ as savior believe that a person can qualify for Heaven by being or doing good.” That includes 46% of Pentecostals surveyed, 44% of mainline Protestants, 41% of Evangelicals, and 70% of Catholics.
By contrast, 100% of those who identified as “Born-Again Christians” professed assurance that they will go to Heaven only because they have confessed their sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Only a third of Americans identify as born again.
Equally disturbing is the finding that 63% of all respondents believe that having some kind of faith matters more than in whom or what that faith is placed.
What the survey says about Christianity in America
Dr. Barna concludes that the sum total of the eight reports released so far indicates:
“Most people say that the objective of life is feeling good about yourself; that all faiths are of equal value; that entry into God’s eternal presence is determined by one’s personal means of choice; and that there are no absolutes to guide or grow us morally.
“By abandoning our moral standards and traditions, and replacing them with inclusive and conditional preferences, we are losing the foundations that have enabled the ‘American experiment’ to succeed for more than two centuries. We can only hope that our critical moral institutions – particularly the family and churches – will wake up and help the nation to get back on track.”
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Source: The Cultural Research Center, AWVI 2020 Results – Release #8: Perceptions of Sin and Salvation