Saturday, December 27, 2008

...a recent Pew survey may just surprise you

This is a most disturbing and yet revealing article. Not to surprising that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone) has been so distorted, accommodated and dumbed-down today that most American Christians, and therefore possibly most churches, do not affirm its efficaciousness as the only hope for the lost for eternal life. Even an atheist, according to Pew survey, will somehow get to glory though he/she rejects the very existence of God! Unbelievable (pun intended). Is it any wonder why I keep saying that the gospel matters; that truth matters; that doctrine matters; and that theology matters.

How wide do you think is the narrow road? Let me know your thoughts.

The reason for the season,
John 14:6


Scott Shaffer said...


This is troubling, but hardly surprising. Here's one thing that gets me: Do you know anyone who admits that these heresies are taught in their churches? It's the stick your head in the sand sydrome - public schools are failing, except for the one my kids attend; congressmen are crooks, except for mine; churches have abandoned the truth, except mine, etc.

~Mark said...

"Love" has taken the place of LOVE as we try to be so considerate of everybody's feelings that we do something any good doctor would be fired for: we ignore the disease that's killing people in order to make them comfortable.

Plus, I don't think enough of us remember that Satan is at work in the midst of us and we need to hold to God's accurate Word like a man in the ocean holds to a life preserver!

LivingDust said...

ONLY the blood of ONE particular person was acceptable to God for the remission of our sins. That ONE person is Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Lamb of God. There is none other. Thank You Jesus.

Granny in the Pew said...

Steve: Sadly many in the pew do not know what they believe so are not ready to give an account of the hope that they profess ie/witness or discern fact from fiction.

Lots of excuses too busy too tired no time...the list goes on.

My husband and I are short term missionaries in a Muslim setting. We have a group of faithful 6 that come to read the Bible in English. Their level of English comprehension is high also we have an interpretor when needed. We have been reading Romans and after finishing the first eight chapters I shared your post on Romans 5:1-2 and we all received such a blessing. Thank you for these words that have now reached new ears.

SJ Camp said...

Very true. It is very difficult for any church or for that matter any individual Christian to take objective stock of itself or oneself.

And that is why we must be Bereans who will weigh these things in light of Scripture alone rather than personal bias or by inner church political motives.

Thanks for your comment here.

SJ Camp said...


Love and truth walk hand in hand. Both are essential and both are important.

SJ Camp said...

I was thinking of Acts 4:12 as well on this theme:

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Salvation is only through the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

SJ Camp said...

Granny In The Pew
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words this morning.

I agree that many in the pews don't know what they believe today. Partly because of the teaching that they hear from week to week; and partly do to lack of personal study as well.

May the Lord give us both: great men of God who are faithfully teaching His Word from week to week; and everyday Christians that will have a hunger to further study its truths in their own personal lives as well.

Grace and peace to you,

Arthur Sido said...

"Do Christians believe that salvation is through Christ alone or through other religions too?"

Christians believe that Christ is the only way because Christ knew that He was the only way. Those who deny this deny Christ and His cross and are therefore not Christians. They may be members of churches, they may serve in those churches, they may even be "pastors" but they aren't Christians. They are spiritual adulterers and put the cross to shame. We have built a system by which people can put on a false religiosity and gain a false sense of salvation because they are never challenged with the Gospel.

Darrin said...

It appears that, for the article's author and for most of those surveyed (including those in churches), the definition of "goodness" is "what makes the most people the happiest", and not "what brings the greatest glory to God". Of course we know the latter occurs according to His prescription, not ours. How darkened are our minds without the Word! Thank you for continually exhorting for doctrinal precision.

J. K. Jones said...

A very scary post.

To those who do not believe that Jesus is the only way, I offer a question once posed to me by R. C. Sproul in his book "Reasons to Believe":

Why is there any way to God at all?

He does have the right to leave all of us in our sins, judge us according to His law, and send us all to hell outright. It is a strong picture of His mercy and grace to even offer a way to Him at all.

donsands said...

"He explained that in our society, we meet so many good people of different faiths that it’s hard for us to imagine God letting them go to hell."

That's the human wisdom which runs through our culture, and churches today.

Isn't the Dalai Lama a wonderful peaceful man, who was honored for his efforts. And so he was invited to pray in the National Cathedral a year ago.

As long as your nice you go to heaven. God is a nice God, and He loves everyone, and so He doesn't mind if we all join Him in His domain.

I can understand why people in the world think this way. I can understand why Christians would have to struggle against these kinds of notions.
But I can't believe when a Christian says, "Christ isn't the only way to the Father, and is the only way to receive forgiveness of sin".

I hope the Holy Spirit moves upon His people with a strong conviction. This watering down of the love of Christ,-- His sacrificial love, which was displayed on the Cross,--surely grieves the Holy Spirit, when it happens within the Body of Christ.

And surely God's white hot holy wrath is being stored up for all who pervert the Gospel of grace.

Thanks for sharing this Steve.

Beethovensings said...

Just another example of the "feel good-ism" that so pervades American culture, and why we are to be be salt and light in this pseudo-polythesitic world.

The Final Word said...

How Narrow?

I am walking on the precipice of a cliff. There is only room for one foot in front of the other. My hands are holding onto a rope. One missed step and I am off that cliff and falling into sin. I make it around that edge of the cliff and fall into the arms of the man holding the other end of that Lord Jesus Christ!

Rick Frueh said...

Two men start to walk across a 300 foot bridge that spans a mile deep chasm. One man walks confidently and makes consistent progress while the other steps catiously and nervously, starting and stopping along the way. Which of the two reach the other side?

Both. The integrity of the bridge remains the same for both men and is the only reason for there successful crossing.

There is only One Bridge with the eternal and redemptive integrity that will carry a sinner into God's presence. His name is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the Living God.

SJ Camp said...

Great analogy - thank you!

And though you didn't mean it with this emphasis, isn't it a great example of Arminianism compared with Calvinism.

IOW, Arminianism focuses on the integrity of the men and how they choose to navigate across the bridge; while Calvinism focuses entirely on the integrity of the Bridge that can only give safe passage to man across the great divide.

Rick Frueh said...

You couldn't resist, Steve, but in the spirit of the New Year I will resist the temptation - but a New Year is coming!! :)

Have a blessed New Year and perhaps next year around the Lamb's supper table!

SJ Camp said...

You are right - I couldn't resist. But I do think u r right on target with my application (if I can say it that way).

Merry New Year 2 U 2.

J. K. Jones said...

Rick Frueh,

Thanks for the bridge analogy.

I'm going to post the quote on my blog (Let me know if you have a problem with that.).

Rick Frueh said...

Use it any way you desire, it was meant to glorify Christ and the glory of His redemptive integrity.


Rick Frueh
(an Arminian who continues to appreciate Calvin's showcasing of God's sovereignty!!)

BTW - an addition to my analogy is this:

When each man reaches the safety of the other side, they find living quarters with their names engraved on the door. They are amazed to discover these homes were constructed long before they were even born. It seems as if the owner had been expecting them all along.

J. K. Jones said...

Rick Frueh,

Thanks again, from a Calvinist who still has a good theory of free will / agency.


Puritan Lad said...

A sad state of affairs, but not surprising. When pastors such as Joel Osteen and Billy Graham publicly state such, this can be expected.

SJ Camp said...

It seems as if the owner had been expecting them all along.

That's because He chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world!

I knew you were really a Calvinist. :-)

Merry New Year!

SJ Camp said...

Puritan Lad

randy said...

What was it that compelled these two men to undertake such a risky venture, especially the man who crossed with such fear and trembling? And why was their friend not compelled to join them on their crossing, even when they called out from bridge? Questions for next year, perhaps.

May your New Year be blessed with the Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ!


Darrin said...

Rick's analogy is reminiscent of Great-Heart's story of escorting Mr. Fearing in The Pilgrim's Progress. As much difficulty as the latter had, he "would not go back" as was often said. God provided his calling, perseverance and safe passage, though he was quite a contrast from others strong in faith in that book.

Romans 9:16 - "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy."
So whether one runs, walks confidently, or barely walks, salvation is of the Lord. Sola gratia.

Rick Frueh said...

In previous presentations of my analogy I added this: All the sinners on the side which was being threatened by an approaching fire were quadraplegics and confined to wheelchairs, unable to push themselves across. The Owner of the bridge would come across and push them across one by one.

A Calvinist would say He pushed those He chose. An Arminain would say He pushed those who asked Him to. The truth is most likely perfectly in the middle and will one day be known to us as we are known.

For now we can all agree, as Darrin noted, salvation is of the Lord.

randy said...


For a Calvinist, these groups are one and the same. All who call upon the Name of the Lord are saved. No one who wanted to cross the bridge would be denied and the bridge is sufficient to rescue all if perchance all would would desire to cross.

But a Calvinist would also put the cause of those wanting to cross the bridge in God's first choosing them to belief. Those who 'chose' not to want to cross the bridge do so because they are blind to the oncoming fire. Even when they are warned about it they refuse to believe and suppress the truth by their denial to heed the warning.

My testimony is this. He found me when I was not looking for Him. Salvation is of the Lord, from first to last! On this I think we agree.