David Barton, Glenn Beck and A Flawed Poll by George Barna on What It Means to be A Christian & Christian Divorce Rates



Welcome to the program.  Glad you are with us.  I talked yesterday on Crosstalk, not on this program, but on Crosstalk, about David Barton being on Glenn Beck the other day and giving some stats, and as I watched him give these stats at the chalkboard, I was extremely uncomfortable.  In fact, I don’t even think the word uncomfortable. 


I physically became nauseous, because what I saw was such a check in my spirit that what he was doing, and I believe it was unintentional, but I thought, “What he’s doing is such an attack on the gospel.  What he is doing is such an attack on biblical truth.”  He doesn’t even realize it, I’m sure, but nonetheless, that’s what it was.


Now, that’s, again, an issue that all of us have to be careful of, myself included, but as I watched these stats being rattled off by David Barton on Glenn Beck about how atheists have a lower divorce rate and lie at a lower rate and all and use pornography at a lower rate and astrology at a lower rate and all these things that were being said about “born-again Christians,” it really, really just grieved me, because I just knew what was happening was that the unsaved world is being told that this is what it – this is what it means to be a Christian.  These are the fruits of a true believer, and, indeed, they’re not.


The book of 1 John says that, “This whole book was written that you may know you have eternal life,” and those are not the hallmarks of someone who has eternal life.  Again, as I said yesterday, I’m going to play some audio clips for you in a minute, one by John MacArthur, and read from you – read for you a newspaper clipping from the Baptist Press that shows that David Barton was giving absolutely bogus stats, bogus stats, proven to be 100 percent unreliable.


But please don’t misunderstand.  I’m not talking about salvation through works.  I’m not talking about a sinner – a Christian being someone who doesn’t sin.  I even believe Christians can fall into gross sin.  Look at David.  But I believe that a true believer is grieved over his sin.  Even while they’re committing the sin, I believe they will be miserable.  I believe they, if they’re truly a believer, they will be miserable. 


They will be under conviction, and I believe at some point they either, as I said yesterday, A, will have to or will repent and turn from their sin, B, they will be taken home by God, because they’re being such a horrible testimony, or, C, we have to question whether they really knew the Lord to begin with based on the hallmarks of 1 John.  Now, sometimes that’s hard to know, because someone who gets taken home to be with the Lord we never really got to see what they were going to do, continue in that deliberate, wanted, rebellion against God for months and years to come, or were they maybe going to repent and walk in the way of obedience?


So that sometimes is very difficult when you go to that kind of person’s funeral, but the reality is Christians sin.  Let’s not claim that they don’t, but to claim again that a “born-again Christian,” as David said, is a – you’ve got Christians.  You’ve got evangelicals.  You’ve got born-again Christians.  That’s your very serious Christians.  That’s, of course, not even what it means to be born again.  A born-again Christian is not someone who’s a very serious Christian, but the whole fact is that these stats were bogus.


Now, I’m gonna play a John MacArthur clip for you in a minute, but here first is the Baptist Press dated February 15, 2011.  Isn’t this interesting that this came out right before David Barton gave these clips on Glenn Beck’s program last Friday, the 25th of February?  So this was out.  This article was out a full ten days before David Barton used those stats on Glenn Beck’s program.


Here is what Baptist Press author Glen T. Stanton, Colorado Springs, Colorado, “Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world.”  It’s one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today, and it’s perhaps one of the most inaccurate.  Based on the best data available, the divorce rate among Christians is significantly lower than the general population. 


“Here’s the truth.  Many people who seriously practice a traditional religious faith, be it Christian or other, have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population.  The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice. 


“Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behavior and attitudes, attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly, pray privately and together generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples but serious disciples, enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public, and unbelievers.”


Now, he goes on to say Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church that 60 percent of these have been divorced.  Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced.  Other data from additional sociologists of family and religion suggest a significant marital stability divide between those who take their faith seriously and those who do not.


W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and Director of the National Marriage Project, finds from his own analysis that “active conservative Protestants” who regularly attend church are 35 percent less likely to divorce compared to those who have no affiliation.  Nominally attending conservative Protestants are 20 percent more likely to divorce compared to secular Americans.


Professor Scott Stanley from the University of Denver, working with an absolute all-star team of leading sociologists on the Oklahoma Marriage Study, explains that couples with a vibrant religious faith had more and higher levels of the qualities couples need to avoid divorce.  “Whether young or old, male or female, low income or not, those who said they were more religious reported higher average levels of commitment to their partners, higher levels of marital satisfaction, less thinking and talking about divorce, and lower levels of negative interaction.  These patterns held true when controlling such important variables as income, education, and age at the – and age at first marriage.”  These positive factors translated into actual lowered risk of divorce among active believers.


So he concludes by saying this.  “The takeaway, the divorce rates of Christian believers are not identical to the general population, not even close.  Being a committed follower, being a committed, faithful believer makes a measurable difference in marriage. 


“Saying you believe something or merely belonging to a church unsurprisingly does little for marriage, but the more you’re involved in the actual practice of your faith in real ways through submitting yourself to a serious body of believers, learning regularly from scripture, being in communion with God through prayer individually and with your spouse and children and having friends and family around you who challenge you to take marriage seriously, the greater difference this makes in strengthening both the quality and longevity of our marriages.  Faith does matter, and the leading sociologists of family and religion tell us so.”


Now, again, I’m not saying that I would agree necessarily with everything he said in the article, nor would it be the way I would phrase everything in the article, but the point is I wanted to bring you that article that was out ten days before the Glenn Beck show February 25 and where these stats were used that Christians have a higher divorce rate – born-again Christians have a higher divorce rate – than that of atheists. 


That’s not true.  It’s bogus, and, in fact, we will also see when we come back from the break that the basis for those stats, being George Barna, and I’ve been highly suspect of George Barna for years – have I used some of his stats and stuff?  Yes, but anyone who heard me, has heard me speak regularly knows that I often throw out a disclaimer that quoting Barna’s stats does not mean I agree with the methodology of George Barna. 


I think he’s a little on the margins in some areas theologically and doctrinally, and as we will see in a minute, the stats that he came up with that were clearly consistent with the status being given on the Glenn Beck program tell us they were coming from George Barna, and the survey is flawed.  The survey was flawed based on the questions being asked to determine whether one is truly saved.


And I told you yesterday, as I was sitting in a house in ________, recovered this topic that if I had the opportunity to visit with folks, having been a false convert for many, many years, I could ask questions, I believe, from the scriptures that would allow me to determine rather reasonably accurately whether they were truly saved or not.  And I said yesterday one of them would mean what do you mean by Christian? 


What do you mean by being born again?  What does that mean?  Why are you a Christian?  What makes you a Christian?  If you were to stand before God today and he were to say, “Why should I let you into heaven?” what would your answer be? 


If they say things like, “Well, I lived a good life,” I would have to say, “Really?  So that is the basis for what you’re getting into heaven?  You’re calling yourself born again, but the basis on which you’re getting into heaven is your good works.  Hmm.”  So there are many questions we could ask to weed out those who are using the Christian-ese and the jargon that we see and hear so often in our culture, and that is exactly what I believe happened with this George Barna report. 


Now, I’m gonna play an audio clip after the break of John MacArthur that someone sent me this morning addressing this very issue and revealing the bogus status of Barna, but the reality is one reason why my spirit was grieved when I saw my friend David using these stats on Glenn Beck’s program was because I saw it, whether – and I believe it was completely unintentional. 


I saw it, whether it was something he knew he was doing or not, I think it was something he didn't intend to do, nor did he even think that he was doing it, but I saw it as being really an attack on the gospel.  I told you that.  I saw it as being criticism of the gospel, and, again, that’s not his intent. 


I know that was not his intent, but I believe that’s what happens when we start throwing out to the unsaved world what it means to be a Christian or born-again as a serious Christian, which is, again, not a good definition, for sure, but then to say then a born-again Christian has higher divorce rates than atheists, all of that seems to show that really being a believer, a true follower of Jesus Christ, has no transformation in your life.  In other words, there is the – left the impression that being a believer and following the word of God really doesn’t make a difference.


In other words, you could say that scripture is not sufficient, that being a believer and studying the Bible does not really tell you a whole lot about how to have a good marriage and how to live a good Christian life.  Now, again, that’s not the message that’s intended, but that’s the message, I believe, that is left to the world.


Remember, we have to oftentimes, particularly when we’re dealing with the unsaved world, we have to write and we have to speak at a third-grade level.  Do you realize that?  Your newspaper print is written at a third-grade level, and the average person who is watching television is generally doing something else, too. 


They’re either reading the newspaper while they’re watching, reading a magazine while they’re watching, watching their kids while they’re watching the TV, you know, maybe ironing while they’re watching TV, maybe cooking dinner while they’re watching TV.  Who knows what they’re doing?  Putting together a jigsaw puzzle while they’re watching TV, but generally you have to assume that most people are not just watching television and paying intently – paying close attention.


And when we’re talking to the unsaved world specifically, we have to be ever clever and clear and discerning in what we’re saying, because they’re picking up messages that we probably don’t mean to convey, and that was what grieved me about what I saw take place on the Glenn Beck program, even though I’m gonna repeat it once again.  I don’t believe that was done intentionally, but it is nonetheless what happens when we start to fall into the trap of really, I believe, unbiblical definitions of what it means to be saved.


Now, when I come back from the break, I’m going to play for you the soundbite by Dr. MacArthur explaining why these quotes by George Barna and why his stats are absolutely based on a false study.  The questions, all you would have to do is gone to Barna’s website, print out the study, print out the reports, studied what they were asking, how they were asking, the questions they asked to determine who’s born again and realize it’s completely bogus. 


It’s completely bogus.  We already see from the Baptist Press article February 15, 2011, the Christian divorce rate compared to unbelievers is a myth, but we’ve got more.  Don’t go away.  Thanks for listening.





Welcome back to the program.  Glad you’re with us. 


Now, I want to play an audio clip someone sent me this morning of, ironically, Dr. John MacArthur explaining the fallacy of this study by George Barna that Christians have a higher divorce rate than unbelievers, as the case was made on Glenn Beck the other day.  And it really disturbed me when I watched it, and I think it disturbed many of you from what I’m hearing and the feedback we’re getting on our Facebook page, which you can join that discussion at Facebook.com, and then type in Brannon Howse and join it.


So I want to make it very clear, though, before I play this clip.  Please do not take my passion or my zeal, whatever you want to call it, my hyperactivity – I don’t know what you want to call it, but I call it my passion. 


Please don’t take my passion on these issues, my very black-and-white perspective on these issues as being arrogance.  I don’t mean to convey that, and if I have or do, I apologize, but please hear what it is.  It’s not me trying to slam people or skewer people that I disagree with.  It is simply trying to say, “Look, this is what is going on in a public arena.”


Now, if this had been a private conversation or something that was done privately, we wouldn’t be talking about it, but, folks, it was done on a television that has ten million viewers, reportedly.  This is a huge issue, but please do not take my very clear, black-and-white passion on this topic as being an attack or being arrogance.  That’s not what it’s meant to be. 


It’s meant to warn that we have to be very careful, because when we go after attacking what it really means to be a Christian and the transformation that’s supposed to take place in one’s life when they are calling themselves a Christian, then really we’re ultimately, I believe, we’re attacking the scriptures, whether we mean to or not, and that’s something I have to be aware of.  I have to always be on guard to make sure everything I’m saying is in no way undermining the gospel, underlying the credibility of the gospel or painting a false picture or giving false perspectives about the word of God. 


That is why there is such a heavy weight on people who are teachers, and that is why people who are teachers are held to such a higher standard, and it’s something we all have to be very, very careful of.  And then when we do that, if we do, indeed, say something in a way that lowers the gospel or gives a false impression about the gospel or the scriptures, then we’ve got to be very quick to do our very best to correct it or at least to never repeat it again.  So I want to make sure that this is understood in the right spirit in which it’s intended.


Now, here’s John MacArthur speaking on this very issue, ironically, on the very George Barna research that I believe was being used, because it lines up with the very stats and figures that were being used on Glenn Beck the other day, that Christians have this higher divorce rate than atheists.  Listen to what Dr. John MacArthur says about this issue.


John MacArthur:         The survey indicated that the divorce rate among evangelicals is about the same or worse than the divorce rate among unbelievers.  Any of you hear about that?  Here’s what he writes, this author.


                                    “The large practical matter that has influenced my thinking about the matter of the sufficiency of scripture has been the publication of findings that the evangelical divorce rate is roughly the same as that of unbelievers.  If we ask why evangelicals divorce at the same rate as those who do not necessarily recognize the Bible as a source of authoritative guidance, the answer must be something like this,” and then he goes on to quote what I said, that scripture is manifestfully not sufficient to teach people how to attend that end.”


                                    I’m not even arguing that point, which I think we would all argue.  Two spirit-filled people walking in Christ are probably gonna get along okay.  The writer goes on to suggest that believing in the sufficiency of scripture probably will work against the success of your marriage.  He writes, and I quote, “I would suggest that part of the reason our unbelieving friends succeed as often in marriage as we do is that they are never hoodwinked by any misunderstanding of the sufficiency of scripture.”


                                    Where did he get this survey?  Well, it came from the Barna Research Group, and it was released in December of ’99 with a press release titled “Christians Are More Likely to Experience Divorce Than Non-Christians.”  Press release had the following statistics:  27 percent of born-again Christians have been divorced compared to 24 percent of non-Christians who have been divorced. 


If I may add a footnote, there was nothing in the survey, because I went back through all of it, through all of their organization to get this information.  Nothing in the survey, first of all, indicated whether these people had the divorce after or before they became Christians, so the statistic is useless, anyway, but let’s take it at face value. 


Twenty-seven percent of born-again Christians have been divorced compared to 24 of others, and the survey also added that the divorce rate of atheists and agnostics was only 21 percent.  So they seem to have better ability to stay married than born-again people.


And, you know, I began to follow this, because I was called by a newspaper and asked to respond to it when it came out, and I said, “I don’t believe it.  I don’t believe it.  I don’t believe.  I think that’s impossible,” and I’ve done a little research since that time.  I went back to find out how do you determine who’s born again.  Fair enough?  And so I got their information off the website.


Two questions.  Question #1:  Have you ever made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in your life?  If you answered yes to that, you move to Question #2.


Question #2:  When I die, I will go to heaven, because I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.  They said yes to the first question and chose that second answer out of several choices.  They could check a box off.  They were categorized as born again.


Obviously, in a culture where language about accepting Jesus Christ as personal savior has become cliché, the answers to those two questions certainly don’t give sufficient warrant to classify someone as genuinely born again.  In case you wonder about that, 45 percent of those people who were born again agree that Satan is not a living being but only a symbol of evil, so they don’t believe the Bible. 


Thirty-four percent of those born-again people believe that if a person is good enough, they can earn their place in heaven.  Twenty-eight percent agree that while He lived on earth, Jesus committed sins just like everybody else. 


Fifteen percent of these born-again people in the same study claim that after he was crucified and died, Jesus Christ did not return to life physically.  Twenty-six percent stated it doesn’t matter what faith you follow, because they all teach the same thing.


I can understand the folly of the survey.  I can’t understand denying the sufficiency of scripture and rewriting the Westminster Confession off of that.  Folks, that’s friendly fire, but that’s deadly stuff.  That’s deadly stuff, and I don’t care who it is. 


I don’t care if it’s Billy Graham or Robert Schuler or whoever when these guys get together and talk about how God has a wider mercy than just the gospel and there are people who never heard the gospel, have never read the Bible, don’t know the name of Jesus, and they’re going to heaven.  And they may call themselves evangelical, and well they may be, but that’s deadly friendly fire, devastating to the truth of God and literally annihilates discernment.


Now, let me just give you some categories of –


Well, he’s absolutely right.  I mean, 34 percent of these people who claim to be born again said a good person can earn his way to salvation.  We’re gonna play that again after the break, that small little part where he’s giving these stats. 


Twenty-eight percent believe Jesus committed sins while on earth.  Fifteen percent did not believe Jesus was physically raised from the dead, and 26 percent basically believe in pluralism, because all religions are the same.  That’s pluralism.  He didn’t use the word “pluralism,” but that’s what it is when 26 percent say all roads lead to God.  That’s pluralism.


Now, if we can take these stats, and those are the very stats that lined up with what was being given on Glenn Beck’s program, and you look at the analysis of the people being surveyed, what it meant to be born again by the questions they’re asked, and then what these born-again people said they believed, you have to come to the conclusion they’re not born again, not according to me, because who really cares what I think?  It’s according to the book of 1 John and other parts of the – other books of the Bible but the book of 1 John particularly.


Chapter 1 says, “This whole book was written that you may know you have eternal life,” and one of the ways you know you have eternal life is you proclaim that Jesus is God incarnate.  You believe in Jesus as God incarnate.  You believe that he’s God.  He does not sin.  If He sins, he is not God, so when you say Jesus committed sins, you don’t really then believe in the deity of Jesus Christ.


When you claim 34 percent of those who said they’re “born again” that a good person can earn their way to heaven, they’re accepting false teaching.  1 John says that a true believer rejects false teaching, same thing with pluralism, so clearly these people are not “born again.”


I hate to say this, but when Christian leaders get up there and use these stats, and this is what they believe is born again.  We have to really question some of their other research, and in particularly, if this is what it means to be born again to this person, then I have to question how can they tell me many of the founding fathers were Christians, because if this is their definition of Christian, then I have to go back and look and see if they really know what they’re talking about.


[Worldview Weekend Training Institute Spot]


Welcome back to the program.  Glad you’re with us.  Brannon Howse here.  I’m gonna try to go back here and find this spot where he was just rattling off what these people believed and kind of, you know, break it down one more time.  So let me see if I can queue this spot up here for you.  Just be patient with me while I do this.  Here we go.


John MacArthur:         When I die, I will go to heaven –


That’s not it.  That’s not it.  Let’s roll forward.  All right.  Here we go.


John MacArthur:         I went back to find out how do you determine who’s born again.  Fair enough?  And so I got their information off the website.


Two questions.  Question #1:  Have you ever made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in your life?  If you answered yes to that, you move to Question #2.


Question #2:  When I die, I will go to heaven, because I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.  They said yes to the first question and chose that second answer out of several choices.  They could check a box off.  They were categorized as born again.


Now, here’s the part that’s very disturbing.


John MacArthur:         Obviously, in a culture where language about accepting Jesus Christ as personal savior has become cliché, the answers to those two questions certainly don’t give sufficient warrant to classify someone as genuinely born again.  In case you wonder about that, 45 percent of those people who were born again agree that Satan is not a living being but only a symbol of evil, so they don’t believe the Bible. 


Particularly when you go on to ask these questions.


John MacArthur:         In case you wonder about that, 45 percent of those people who were born again agree that Satan is not a living being but only a symbol of evil, so they don’t believe the Bible. 


Thirty-four percent of those born-again people believe that if a person is good enough, they can earn their place in heaven.  Twenty-eight percent agree that while He lived on earth, Jesus committed sins just like everybody else. 


Fifteen percent of these born-again people in the same study claim that after he was crucified and died, Jesus Christ did not return to life physically.  Twenty-six percent stated it doesn’t matter what faith you follow, because they all teach the same thing.  I can understand the folly of the survey. 


Okay, so that’s absolutely staggering, and so this is the basis, then, upon which we get on national TV and say born-again Christians have a higher divorce rate than atheists, and this is the stats.  Well, again, these people are not born again.


Do you not see that?  Again, I believe it was non-intentional, but do you not see that when that is presented on television to a largely predominantly unsaved audience that that is not ultimately an attack on the gospel, an attack on the inherency of scripture, the attack on what it means to really be a Christian?


Do you see that?  Do you believe that?  Let’s roll the clip of David presenting these facts.  Let’s roll that clip.


Glenn Beck:                And the Christians, where are they?  David, show these numbers.


David Barna:              These are numbers that deal with Christians.  Of course, there’s about 72 percent of the nation that says it’s Christian.  Then you’ve got the categories of born-again Christian, evangelical Christian, all the different groups. 


Born-again is considered to be a really serious Christian by most accounts, and so what you have is when you look at divorce rate in America, the divorce rate in America for born-again Christians is 27 percent.  For the rest of the country, it’s 24 percent.  For atheists/agnostics, it’s 21 percent, so the highest divorce rate is among born-again Christians, and the lowest is among atheists. 


Where is the faith?  Because the scripture is really clear.  God doesn’t like divorce.  Jesus repeats that several times.  New Testament, Old Testament, it’s all over, and, by the way, 87 percent of Christians who got – 87 percent of those who got divorced became Christians before they got divorced.  In other words, 87 percent got divorced after they became Christians.  That’s not good numbers for living our faith.


Lying, over the past month only 35 percent of Christians say they have not deliberately told a lie in the past month.  When asked why they would lie, reason number one was, “Well, if I told the truth, it would devastate my friend, so I’d rather lie than tell the truth,” and they were so scared of offending.  So reason number one is if I told the truth, it would devastate my friend.


Reason number two is, “Well, it’s a lie, but it’s only a little thing, and God doesn’t care about little things,” so we kind of brush that aside.  Reason number three for Christians is a terrible reason, but the third reason was, “Well, I lied.  I know it’s a sin, but that’s why Jesus died for me, so since my religion covers that, I’ll just keep ____ bad stuff.”


Two hundred and fifty thousand abortions a year are performed on born-again Christians, and the scriptures are really clear on positions of abortion.  There’s actually a poll in 70 different moral behaviors that have been checked, and there is no substantial difference between Christian moral behavior and those that are not Christians’ moral behavior. 


About 50 percent of Christians participate and actively use porn, physical abuse, about the same numbers, adultery, about the same numbers.  There is no difference in Christians who use astrology and fortune telling, et cetera, and those who are not, so it’s just really no substantial difference, and that’s not living our faith.


Well, it’s not not living your faith.  It’s, again, a serious red flag that they’re not even “born again.”  Now, could a Christian tell a lie and still be a Christian?  Sure.  Christians sin, but you’re talking about people who are having – committing murder, having abortions, committing murder. 


Did David commit murder?  Was he a believer?  He not only committed adultery, but he committed murder.  He had to murder Bathsheba’s husband, and then he committed adultery with her.  Was he a believer?  The scriptures lead us to believe that indeed he was, and he repented, but the key was he repented. 


Yes, someone had to come to him and show him his sin, but the point I’m making here is to say to the unsaved world without classifying, describing as I’m doing now today, this – “You can live like this.  You can be like this.  You can believe like this and really be called a Christian,” that is not necessarily true.


Can Christians commit gross sins?  Yes, but does a true Christian continue in a wanton lifestyle of disobedience and rebellion, jumping in with both feet?  I don’t see that in the scriptures.  I see, again, A, they can be involved in gross sins, but eventually they will be so convicted, they will be so miserable when they’re doing it, by the way.  That’s another thing.  Can they do it without any remorse?


If you know someone who is involved in an adulterous affair and you meet with them, and you believe they’re a believer and they are clearly miserable while they’re engaging in their sin, clearly miserable, but they are still continuing, but they’re miserable, they’re under conviction, that’s actually a good sign for them.  The ones who can wantonly sin without any remorse or conviction, those are the ones you have to seriously question, because a true believer is gonna come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit that what they’re doing is a sin, and it’s wrong.  You need to quit it.  You need to repent.  You need to get back on the straight and narrow.


So I believe, number one, as I said yesterday, a true believer is gonna have remorse.  He’s gonna feel guilt.  He’s gonna be under conviction, and eventually, Lord willing, he’s going to repent of that and then get back on to walking the path of an obedient Christian who is surrendering to the lordship of Christ.


If they don’t, look out, because if they indeed are a true believer but yet who is maybe so public in their sin, God may not even give them a chance to do B, because the testimony they’re showing is so poor.  And then, C, if they are allowed to continue to live, because they are really not a believer and so they’re just allowed to continue in their sin, that will bear itself out, as well, long-term.  I don’t believe a true believer will live for multiple years, month after month, year after year, in an absolute rebellion against God.


Do Christians commit gross sins?  Yes, but I’ve just given you clear understanding.  That’s not what happened the other day on the Beck program.  I want to take your calls and get your feedback on this.  1-800-347-9829.  1-800-347-9829.  1-800-347-9829. 


Again, the other issue is then all you have to do is look at the survey and see again people who were calling themselves born again, 34 percent believe a good person can earn his way to heaven.  Twenty-eight percent believed Jesus committed sins while on earth.  Fifteen percent do not believe Jesus had a physical resurrection after his death.  Twenty-six percent believe all roads lead to God, pluralism.  Forty-five percent don’t believe Satan is real.


This is a bogus report.  1-800-347-9829 is the number.  1-800-347-9829.  1-800-347-9829.  Get your comments or your questions on this.  Let’s listen real quick to how the rabbi responded to this.  The rabbi came right away and responded.  Daniel Litvin responded pretty quickly about this when he got the chance.  Let’s hear what he had to say.


Daniel Litvin:              I really do believe that that statistic is a little flawed, David, with respect.  I believe it’s a little flawed, because I think there’s a bias towards depicting those of faith, particularly Christians, in a bad light, and the reason that atheists show such a low divorce rate is because atheists have a very low marriage rate.  When the question is asked, “Have you ever been divorced?” obviously a whole lot of people say no, because the question doesn’t say, “Have you also been married?”


Yeah.  Well, and, of course, the survey, if it indeed was from Barna and all the stats were being given line up with the stats that MacArthur was giving that were also from Barna, so it has to be Barna’s research.  I mean, the stats were identical. 


So Barna wouldn’t be conducting, I don’t think, a survey deliberately to show Christians in a bad light, but what I do think, and this is why I’m highly suspect of Barna, is that these guys don’t define a Christian the way I do when I study my Bible.  And that’s when, if any of you have heard me speak and I quote Barna, I often have actually added – in any of my books when I cite his material, I often say a “self-professing Christian.” 


Now, Barna doesn’t say that.  I do.  I’ve added that, yes, because I’m trying to show that Barna is saying that a born-again Christian, you know, can do this and does that.  I’ve added that Barna’s research reveals that a “self-professing Christian” says and does this, because I’m trying to make the case that these are what Barna says Christians are.  I’m trying to say this is what a self-professing Christian is saying they believe. 


Notice the word is “self-professing.”  They’re not really Christians, many of them.  They’re false converts.  They’re what Jesus spoke about in Matthew 7.  “Apart from me I never knew you, you worker of iniquity or you worker of lawlessness.”


So, in one respect, the Barna research helps us to see how people in the “church” today believe themselves to be believers.  Now, why is that?  Because we have done such a poor job largely in America, in American churches in the last 30, 40 years of defining what it really means to be a Christian biblically.


In other words, we’ve given up oftentimes on theology and doctrine, so we just offer them, “Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life.”  They all get baptized, which I did as a child and was a false convert until late 2001.  So if you think I’m passionate about the issue, uh-huh, because there are too many people dying and going to hell because we have defined what it is to be a Christian in such sloppy ways, they have no reason to question whether they’re saved when they should be. 


Let’s go to the phone lines.  Let’s go to Tom in Fort Scott.  Tom, welcome to the program.  Thank you for calling in.  Tom, go right ahead.


Amen to that.  You know, maybe he called up – maybe he called up the people who go to Rick Warren’s church or Bill Hybels’ church.


Yeah.  Very good comment.  Thank you, Tom, and I’m not being sarcastic when I say maybe he surveyed people from Rick Warren’s church or Bill Hybels’ church, because look at what Hybels and Warren are all about.  Tony Blair Faith Foundation, who’s on the Advisory Board?  Rick Warren.  Who has brought Rick Warren to his church to speak?  Bill Hybels.  Who’s brought in Brian McLaren?  Bill Hybels.  Who’s brought in Rob Bell?  Bill Hybels.


The kind of people they’re serving are the kind of people that go to Rick Warren’s church, Bill Hybels’ church, and this, what was it, Granger Community Church in Indiana, where they did a survey and were shocked to find out their own congregation members believe much of the ways that these other “born-again” Christians believe about Jesus committing sins and salvation is not the exclusivity of Jesus Christ but a wide path.


It’s the seeker-sensitive church people they’re interviewing, and where did that come from?  What I call the communitarian church growth movement, those who have been co-opted by the Druckers.




Welcome back to the program.  I’m glad you’re with us.  You know, again, I have to say that if this is what Christian leaders are willing to accept as what it means to be born again, we have to go back and ask if some of these same Christian leaders who have been trying to tell us all these years that the founding fathers were, you know, overwhelmingly Christian, we have to start to question whether that’s true. 


I’ve actually, I told you last week, I’ve been starting to do my own research, and I’m not convinced that so many of the founding fathers were believers.  I’m starting to find out that some of these guys that we were told were believers, turns out a couple of them, at least, were very hostile to the gospel.  Did they like to quote the Bible?  Did they believe in God?  Yeah, but you have to ask yourself, “Well, what do they mean by God?”


I’m finding that many of them were Universalists, Unitarian, New Age.  They’re very much like Glenn Beck.  They want a good moral, civil society.  They like the Bible and like to apply some biblical principles to society, have a good, orderly society and freedom and liberty and economics, but in other areas they’re hostile to the gospel.


Really, what I’m finding in my research, and I’ll be presenting this to you sometime soon, is that the battle that’s going on today is the battle that was going on then at the time that America was founded between those who are the Universalist, New Age, Masonic type, Unitarian type, and those who are truly believers. 


I do believe there were some definitely solid born-again, truly born-again Christians who were involved in the founding of our nation, but I also believe that we’ve painted with too wide a brush some of them who I don’t think indeed, as it turns out, were Christians.  Were they Christian-friendly to Christian principles and ideas?  Yes, but were they hostile to the gospel, salvation through Christ alone?  Some of them, yes.


So we have to then say, “Okay, what do we mean, then, when we say some of these founders were Christians?  What do we mean by that?”  You can be Christian-friendly in some areas but yet still be very hostile to the actual concept of the gospel, and that’s what I’m concerned about, and that’s why I’m doing my own study to try to make sure that I’m on the right path when it comes to what I’ve been saying for years about the meaning of our founding fathers.


Let’s go to the next caller.  Let’s go to Mike in Wisconsin.  Mike, welcome to the program.  Thank you for calling in. 


Wow.  Thank you, Mike, for your testimony, appreciate your calling in and being so forthright today.  Let’s go to Zoe in Illinois.  Zoe, welcome to the program.  Thank you for calling in, Zoe.




Definitely not.


Well, it helps us to – thank you, Zoe, and it helps us to understand why we receive such opposition when we speak and we – I don’t even mean we.  I’m saying you and I, listening audience.  When you present things to people in your church and they’re hostile to you, this is why. 


You’re dealing with people who largely, many of them, are not saved, so that’s why it’s a comfort.  That’s why Zoe’s saying part of it is the comfort.  It helps us to understand.  Why would they respond that way?  Why are they hostile to people that give them the word of God? 


They give them the gospel, defend the gospel.  They defend the exclusivity of Jesus Christ, the _________ of scripture.  They don’t buy into the tolerance and the “Judge not, lest you be judged,” Matthew taken out of context.


Well, many of them get hostile, become hostile to us, because they are not saved.  How do we know that?  Because of the fruit of their doctrine.  Jesus said, “You’ll know them by their fruits,” the fruit of their doctrine.  Absolutely.


Let’s go to Phyllis.  Phyllis, welcome to the program.  Thank you for calling in.  Go right ahead.


Amen.  You’re so right.  You know, one of the closing points of one of the talks I’ve been giving on the road is that we have got to become biblical worldview teachers.  The scriptures speak about those who should, in Hebrews, should be eating meat but are still drinking milk. 


We see in Colossians that we should all be teaching, and there are so many Christians today who aren’t teaching, and people say, “Well, I don’t have the gift of teaching.  I’m not a teacher.”  Well, I do believe there are those who have the spiritual gift of teaching, but whether you have the spiritual gift of teaching, we’re all called to make disciples, so don’t say, “Well, I don’t have the spiritual gift of teaching.  Therefore, I’m not gonna do that.” 


Okay, don’t get up in front of a group, then, and teach, but you can certainly one-on-one share the gospel.  You can one-on-one teach people what a biblical worldview is all about, how we should respond biblically with biblical principles to all the issues of the day, how we should biblically defend the scriptures.  That’s what this dear caller who has called in before is saying.  That’s discipleship.


You know, we talk a lot about biblical worldview training.  Another word for it is old-fashioned discipleship.  That’s all it is.


Let’s go to Tom real quick before we run out of time.  Tom, go right ahead.  Make it real fast, sir.


It could be.  It could be, but I know this survey was based on people, again, who were being asked specific questions.  We see the generality of those questions, but then we see the backdrop being, okay, what does a born-again person “believe”?  Thirty-four percent believe a person can earn his or her salvation.  Twenty-eight percent believe Jesus committed sins.  Fifteen percent believe he didn’t physically raise from the dead.  Twenty-six percent believe in pluralism.  That’s not a born-again person, 1 John.




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