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Lyle Schrag D.Min.

Gird Thy Loins With Truth – Ephesians 6:14

I’ll freely confess that I had serious hesitation about add this bit of news to the weblog. It’s not as if there isn’t enough bad news circulating around to cultivate a sense of cultural anxiety and spiritual nausea. But, just when I’ve been tempted to just turn off the news, I got the latest survey data from George Barna.

Since 1995, the Barna group has been monitoring the level of "Biblical Worldview" held by adult Americans through an exhaustive nationwide survey. When I read the results of his first survey, I was depressed. The latest results have taken my depression to a new and lower level.

Why? What’s the big deal? The reason, as Barna wrote in 2003 [Think Like Jesus, p. 56] is that "you become what you believe." Expand that axiom to a larger level, and the cultural consequences are staggering. We are becoming what we generally believe, and bit by bit, the data shows that the mind of Believers is being torqued in dangerous directions.

Consider some of the findings [you can read even more at: www.barna.org – March 9, 2009]:

The survey found that:

  • One-third of all adults (34%) believe that moral truth is absolute and unaffected by the circumstances. Slightly less than half of the born again adults (46%) believe in absolute moral truth.
  • Half of all adults firmly believe that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches. That proportion includes the four-fifths of born again adults (79%) who concur.
  • Just one-quarter of adults (27%) are convinced that Satan is a real force. Even a minority of born again adults (40%) adopt that perspective.
  • Similarly, only one-quarter of adults (28%) believe that it is impossible for someone to earn their way into Heaven through good behavior. Not quite half of all born again Christians (47%) strongly reject the notion of earning salvation through their deeds.
  • A minority of American adults (40%) are persuaded that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life while He was on earth. Slightly less than two-thirds of the born again segment (62%) strongly believes that He was sinless.
  • Seven out of ten adults (70%) say that God is the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe who still rules it today. That includes the 93% of born again adults who hold that conviction.

Differences among Demographic Segments

The research data showed that one pattern emerged loud and clear: young adults rarely possess a biblical worldview. The current study found that less than one-half of one percent of adults in the Mosaic generation – i.e., those aged 18 to 23 – have a biblical worldview, compared to about one out of every nine older adults.

The challenge facing an authentic, unapologetic, Biblical, Christlike ministry is immense, and imperative. The Gospel is more than a private affection. It is, in Jesus’ words, light and salt. And, I have to believe that it is the only reliable element standing in the way of "the complete demise of our culture, the loss of meaning and purpose in life, and the rejection of all that God holds dear and significant. [Think Like Jesus, p. 57] So, I take those thoughts to heart, and "gird my loins."

1 Response to “Gird Thy Loins With Truth – Ephesians 6:14”


  • Hey Lyle,

    Good words.

    I tend to not get too worked up or depressed about our “culture” going to pot. The fact of the matter is that the road is wide that leads to destruction, and narrow is the way that leads to life, so it comes as no surprise that many reject the notion that you can be saved by your deeds among other Christian truths.

    It is sad that so many people (even what Barna calls “born-again” Christians) don’t understand the truth of Scripture and Jesus like they should.

    Anyway, I like what you had to say at the end of the post there…”The challenge facing an authentic, unapologetic, Biblical, Christlike ministry is immense, and imperative.” YES! IMPERATIVE!

    We (pastors and teachers) must not be about pulling punches when it comes to truth-telling and Bible-preaching. This is not some just-for-fun sparring match with worldly ideas…we are in an all-out war against Satan and his buddies and the lies that they spread.

    Bottom line is, we live in a broken, dying, sinful, fallen world filled with people who are contributing to this sorry perdicament and the fact is that the ONLY thing that can make any difference is Jesus.
    People need to hear about Jesus LOUD and clear, not with abstract illustrations and confusing words, but with just like you said, “authentic, unapologetic, Biblical, Christlike ministry.”
    ‘Nuf said.

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