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America is viewed as a Christian nation, but a recent poll done by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that many so-called Christians are ignorant about the very things they are claiming to believe.
Not only is this a sure sign of the downward spiral of religion, but also of the evangelical church’s inability to properly educate believers of the most basic foundations of faith.
A faith without a strong foundation will fail. Jesus, the figurehead of Christianity, speaks on this issue in the Bible and tells believers they must be sure of what they believe in order to stand against the Devil’s schemes.
If the ultimate leader of a religion demands knowledge of the beliefs, and the followers don’t learn them, that religion is empty and meaningless.
Religion in America has become a ritual, held onto for traditional purposes and as a hope to gain moral correctness, but is, for the most part, actually pulling people further away from God through ignorance than it is leading them closer to holiness.
Another issue the poll brought to light was that most atheists and agnostics know more about the evangelical religion they don’t believe in than do the people who claim it as the most important factor in their lives.
One example of religious ignorance from the survey was reported by The New York Times, which explained that “Fifty-three percent of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the man who started the Protestant Reformation.”
Maybe there is a fear among evangelicals that knowledge leads to atheism.
Dave Silverman, the president of American Atheists, believes that increasing education is the case. He told The New York Times, “Atheism is… not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”
But if evangelicals are claiming to be Christians, a faith that demands a person’s complete dedication and life, do they even know what they are agreeing with or pretending to believe in?
Or what if atheists confront Christians about their beliefs? One main responsibility of Christians is to witness and share their own faith.
Would they even know enough to tell the atheist or agnostic what they believe?
This then, is not true faith. A faith that is as simple as believing without any effect on the person’s life is not genuine.
This is fire insurance faith. Something a person claims and clings to in times of trouble. A hope to not end up in hell after death. A dream of everything ending well and living in heaven in a nice house with all desires met.
The fact that non-believers know more about Christianity than those whose lives are supposedly centered around it shows that religion is falling fast.
The church used to provide an opportunity for education but now, it seems to be a black hole of meaningless liturgy and routines for some.
There is no major effort to teach believers the basic principles of their faith because it is assumed that everyone knows already.
Religion is no longer taught in homes as it once was, and now churches have abandoned that responsibility as well, leaving Christians drowning in false security and embarrassing ignorance.