(By Morgan Lee, Christianity Today). They identify as Christians, attend church at least once a month, and say their faith is very important in their lives. Barna Group calls them “practicing Christians.”
But according to a new report by Barna and Summit Ministries, in addition to their Christian beliefs, many practicing Christians have embraced beliefs from other ideologies.
Among these practicing Christians, Barna claims:
Nearly 1 in 3 practicing Christians strongly agree that “if you do good, you will receive good, and if you do bad, you will receive bad.” Barna suggested that these beliefs appealed “to many Christians’ sense of ultimate justice.”
“Another Barna study found that 52 percent of practicing Christians strongly agree that the Bible teaches ‘God helps those who help themselves,’” the report stated.
While most “practicing Christians resist scientism and a Darwinian belief … a larger contingent of practicing Christians are more inclined toward materialism,” Barna stated. The report found that 1 in 5 practicing Christians believe that “meaning and purpose comes from working hard to earn as much as possible so you can make the most of life.”
While most practicing Christians reject postmodernism’s claims about subjective truth, 1 in 5 practicing Christians strongly agree that “no one can know for certain what meaning and purpose there is to life.” A similar number (23%) of practicing Christians strongly agree that “what is morally right or wrong depends on what an individual believes.”
While very few practicing Christians would support communist (0%) and socialist (3%) political candidates, 1 in 10 practicing Christians strongly agree that “private property encourages greed and envy.” Barna also found that 15 percent of practicing Christians strongly disagree that “if the government leaves businesses alone, they will mostly do what’s right.”