Archive for September, 2010

Yet another survey has been released that reveals how shockingly little Americans know about religion in general and Christianity in particular.  It is called the “U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey” and it was conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.  According to the survey, 86% of Americans believe in God or at least in some form of “higher power”, but when it comes to the specifics of what various religions actually believe, most Americans are blindingly ignorant.  Perhaps this should be no surprise considering the rate at which our society is becoming secularized, but you would think that the American people would still have a little basic knowledge about Christianity and some of the other major religions around the world.  But they do not.  On average, respondents of the survey answered half of the questions wrong.  Only 2% of those surveyed were able to answer at least 29 of the 32 questions correctly.  And the sad thing is that these were not difficult questions.  They were the kind of questions that any half-educated numbskull should be able to answer with ease.

But today most Americans do not care about religion or about God.

In fact, while most Americans still identify themselves as “Christians”, the truth is that most Americans are seemingly complete dunces when it comes to even the most basic facts about the Christian faith.

In fact, do you want to know what group scored the highest on the survey?       

Atheists and agnostics.

Not that they did incredibly well – it is just that everyone else was just shockingly ignorant.

The following is a sampling of what the survey found….

*Only 19% of all U.S. Protestants knew the basic Christian tenet that salvation is through faith in Christ alone.

*Just 55% of respondents knew that the Golden Rule is not one of the Ten Commandments.

*Only 45% of those responding to the survey could name all four of the gospels.  The correct answer: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

*45% of all Roman Catholics did not know that, according to Catholic doctrine, the bread and wine used during the Mass is not just a symbol, but rather literally becomes the body and blood of Jesus.

*Over half of all Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the individual that inspired the Protestant Reformation.

*Only 8% of all respondents knew that Maimonides, one of the most famous rabbis in history, was Jewish.

*Just 54% of the respondents could identify the Quran as Islam’s holy book.

*Fewer than half of the respondents correctly knew that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist.

How disturbing is that?

Most Americans know all about American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and their favorite sports teams, but they can’t correctly answer even the most basic factual questions about faith and religion.

We have a major, major problem.

So was there any question that almost all respondents got right?

Yes, 89% of those surveyed knew that public school teachers cannot lead their classes in prayer.

Isn’t that sad?

If there is one thing that Americans know about religion it is that it must be kept out of the classroom at all costs.

That is how far we have fallen as a society.

And the truth is that we are losing younger Americans at a staggering pace.

According to a survey by America’s Research Group, 95 percent of 20 to 29 year old evangelicals attended church regularly during their elementary and middle school years. However, only 55 percent of them attended church regularly during high school, and only 11 percent of them were still regularly attending church when they got to college.

Yes, you read the correctly.

11 percent.

When young evangelicals finally have the opportunity to decide things for themselves, they are deciding to leave our churches in droves.

In fact, young Americans are abandoning all religions in unprecedented numbers.

According to the American Religious Identification Survey by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society & Culture at Trinity College, 46% of Americans between the ages of 18 to 34 say that they have no religion.

46 percent.

Overall, only 15 percent of Americans say that they have no religion.

So for 46 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 to 34 to say that they have no religion is extremely troubling.

We are losing an entire generation.

The Christian faith is in a state of deep, deep decline in the United States and it is time to stop denying it.

So what do you think about all of this?  Feel free to leave a comment below with your opinion….

Giving Away East Jerusalem?

Has the Israeli government already decided that they will be giving away East Jerusalem to the Palestinians in peace talks? Unfortunately, there is every indication that is exactly what is going to happen and that Israel plans to give up control over the holy sites in Jerusalem as well.

In an absolutely shocking interview with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper on the eve of the peace talks in Washington, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak made the following statement….

“West Jerusalem and 12 Jewish neighborhoods that are home to 200,000 residents will be ours. The Arab neighborhoods in which close to a quarter million Palestinians live will be theirs. There will be a special regime in place along with agreed upon arrangements in the Old City, the Mount of Olives and the City of David.”

It is important to note that this is not some minor official in the Israeli government talking here.  This is Ehud Barak – the Israeli Defense Minister.

He seems to have a very clear understanding that the Israeli government is fully prepared to give up East Jerusalem.

And the truth is that the Palestinians will absolutely not accept a “peace agreement” that does not include East Jerusalem, and both the EU and the United States both assume that a peace agreement will include handing over East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

Not only that, but Barak said that he believes that the holy sites in Jerusalem will be administered by a “special regime” after a peace agreement is reached.

Now what in the world does that mean?  There have been rumors for quite some time that the holy sites would be turned over to international control of some sort or another, and it now seems that the Israeli government is more than willing to give them away.

And for what?

A promise of peace by the Palestinians?

When have they ever kept their promises before?

The stunning concessions that Barak believes the Israeli government is prepared to agree to are absolutely mind blowing.  The following is a brief excerpt from the interview with Barak in Haaretz….

What are the principles of a peace deal that you believe can be agreed upon by the conclusion of the talks?

“Two states for two nations; an end to the conflict and the end of all future demands; the demarcation of a border that will run inside the Land of Israel, and within that border will lie a solid Jewish majority for generations and on the other side will be a demilitarized Palestinian state but one that will be viable politically, economically, and territorially; keeping the settlement blocs in our hands; retrieving and relocating the isolated settlements into the settlement blocs or within Israel; a solution to the refugee problem [whereby refugees return to] the Palestinian state or are rehabilitated by international aid; comprehensive security arrangements and a solution to the Jerusalem problem.”

So that’s it?

The Palestinians get a Palestinian state?

The Palestinians get East Jerusalem?

Israel gives up control of the holy sites?

And Israel gets a promise of peace that is not worth the paper it is written on?

Already it seems as though progress is being made in the negotiations that are taking place in Washington.  The Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to work towards a “framework agreement” over the next few months as a “first step” to a full peace treaty.

According to U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, the purpose of the framework is to establish the compromises which will be made by both sides….

“The purpose of a framework agreement will be to establish the fundamental compromises necessary to enable them to flesh out and complete a comprehensive treaty that will end the conflict and establish a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Or in other words, the “framework agreement” will set forth the very deep concessions that Israel is making and only require the Palestinians to offer a vague promise of peace.

At this point, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to hold another round of meetings on September 14th and 15th.  It is believed that these meetings will be held in Egypt.

Isn’t that fitting?

Israel always seems to want to go back to Egypt.

Israel always seems to want to give away parts of the promised land.

The upcoming September talks are also going to include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell.  The United States is playing a central role in this “peace process” and that is a very bad thing.

For example, has anyone noticed that Hurricane Earl has been raging just off the east coast of the United States as these negotiations have been taking place?

Oh, you think that this is just a coincidence?

Well, the reality is that whenever the U.S. government has been involved in negotiations to carve up the land of Israel bad things have happened.  If you doubt this, just please see all of the other examples of this phenomenon that we detailed in a previous article entitled “Did The Oil Spill In The Gulf Of Mexico Happen Because Barack Obama Is Trying To Divide The Land Of Israel?”

The truth is that God gave the land of Israel to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob forever.

No man has the right to ever give it away.

Anyone who tries to give it away is coming directly against God.

Psalm 105:8-11 says the following….

He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance

The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel.

Any effort to give it away is foolish and will only bring the wrath of God.

In the end, the people of Israel will have all of the land that God has promised.

But in the meanwhile, Jerusalem will continue to be a “burdensome stone” and the land of Israel will continue to be carved up by world leaders.

Please pray for the land of Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem in these last days.