Truth is relative, say
Truth is always relative to people and their situations say adults by a 3-to-1
margin (64 percent vs. 22 percent), according to Barna Research. People were
asked if they believe moral absolutes are unchanging or are they relative to
circumstances. The perspective was more lopsided among teenagers, 83 percent
claiming moral truth depends on circumstances, and only six percent saying
moral truth is absolute.
The surveys also asked how people make their moral and ethical decisions. By
far the most common basis was doing whatever feels right or comfortable.
The chart shows results from the question: Do you believe there are moral
absolutes that are unchanging, or that moral truth is relative to the
ILLUSTRATION BY DALE GLASGOW
Source: Barna Research Online, February 19, 2002
A shift to the left
Todays college freshmen are more liberal than any freshmen since the early
1970s. The Los Angeles Times Rebecca Trounson reported on a UCLA study that
points to growing popularity of left-wing ideas. The poll found that 57.9
percent support gay marriage, 32.2 percent oppose capital punishment, more than
a third support marijuana legalization. A record 15.8 percent of freshmen say
they have no religious preference.
Source: World, February 9, 2002
You dont say!If people are allowed to wear bracelets
that say WHAT WOULD JESUS DO, they should be allowed to say WHAT WOULD SATAN
Tenth grader Ashley Williams, of Kaimuki High School in Honolulu, on the
schools ban on clothing promoting Satanism.
Source: Newsweek, February 18, 2002
The Gospel according to
When asked to name their religious preference on the 2001 British census, more
than 10,000 fans of the Star Wars movies wrote down Jedi Knight. The number was
substantial enough to prompt the census office to assign an official code for a
new Star Wars religion.
The census classification does not translate into a formal recognition of
The Force by the government.
Other faiths that have been assigned classification codes by the British
census include the Church of Free Love, the Wiccans and the Divine
Source: Citizen, January 2002
Growing diversity of American faithsAt least five
major and distinctive faith groups have been identified today in America by a
new Barna Research study. The findings suggest that many Americans have
developed a form of faith that is comforting but only vaguely Bible-related.
The faith groups are not based upon denominational lines but more along the
lines of beliefs.
The study surveyed 4,000 adults across the nation. Evangelicals make up
eight percent of the population; non-evangelical, born-again Christians are 33
percent; and notional Christians (defined below) are 44 percent. Atheists and
agnostics make up eight percent, and other faith groups have seven percent.
The largest of the five segments is one that Barna termed notional
Christians. These are people who consider themselves Christians but dont claim
to know their eternal destiny (whether they will experience eternal life,
eternal damnation or some other outcome). A majority of these individuals
believe they will have eternal life, but not because of a grace-based
relationship with Jesus Christ.
One of the smallest segments are the evangelicalsa group of individuals who
believe their relationship with Jesus Christ will provide them with eternal
life, and who accept Bible teachings as accurate and authoritative. The
non-evangelical born-again Christians also believe they have eternal salvation
through their relationship with Jesus Christ, but they do not believe in
various core Bible doctrines.
The evangelical segment includes 15 to 20 million adults in the United
States. Demographically, they are more likely than most other adults to have a
college degree (29 percent) and to be married (68 percent).
Source: Barna Research Online, January 29, 2002
The Christian Film & Television Commission reported that movies released in
2001 with a very strong Christian worldview earned nearly twice as much money
on average, $43,593,518, than movies with a very strong non-Christian or
anti-Christian worldview which averaged only $23,422,536.
Source: Christian Film and Television Commission, March 19,
Movies influence kids, duhA study shows children in grades 5 through 8, who were
allowed to watch R-rated movies, were three times more likely to smoke or drink
alcohol than those who were not allowed, according to Effective Clinical
Practice, published by the American College of Physicians and the American
Society of Internal Medicine.
An R rating means the material is restricted for people under the age of 17,
right? Amazingly, the study found that only 16 percent of the children surveyed
said they were never allowed to watch R-rated movies.
Source: ABCNews.com, February 19, 2002
Whos reading On
Mission?Almost all of On Missions readers (99.5 percent)
have talked to someone about believing in Jesus Christ or accepting Him as
Savior, according to a recent survey by the North American Mission Board.
However, only 38 percent were successful in their efforts by actually leading a
person to make a commitment to Christ.
The survey also found that six out of seven respondents (85 percent) attend
church two or more times a week. And seven out of 10 respondents (70 percent)
participated in a church-related mission project in their local community
within the past year.
About 53 percent of On Missions
readership are female. And 76 percent are married.
Source: On Mission Readership Survey, Research team, NAMB, January
Church on the goThe Armys
Natick labs has developed a containerized chapel to provide a place of worship
for military personnel on the field. Containing a 64-foot tent, the chapel kit
can be dropped from a cargo plane and put together in six hours.
The chapel can accommodate services for 100 Protestants, Catholics, Jews or
Muslims. Some kits allow for variations: the Jewish version includes camouflage
prayer shawls and yarmulkes. The kit also includes a television, VCR and coffee
maker for informal Bible study sessions. The chapels come equipped with altars,
podiums, offering plates and digital keyboards with 1,000 pre-programmed,
Source: Christianity Today, January 7, 2002
Pink slip survivorsA new report shows that a major
corporate downsizing can be tough on the survivors as well as those who are
severed. Research conducted by an Institute of Occupational Health in Finland
found that survivors experienced physical symptoms up to four years later.
Survivors were more than twice as likely to take sick leave and were six
times as likely to experience severe musculoskeletal pain.
Researchers suggest that possible explanations for the increased risk of
poor health include more job insecurity and increased stress due to a greater
workload and a decreased ability to participate in decision making.
Workers at many companies in the U.S. may be facing these risks as the
economy remains shakey, consumer confidence stays low and financial experts
talk of a recession with no end in sight.
Although Christians are not exempt from the painful consequences of
downsizing, we do have spiritual resources for dealing with the fear,
insecurity and stress. Consider hosting an evangelistic Bible study for those
affected by downsizing.
Source: Reuters Health, September 14, 2001; U.S. Department of Labor;
Screeching to a Halt, Newsweek, October 1, 2001
Editors note: See The Fear
Factor, January-February 2002 issue of On Mission, about starting an
evangelistic Bible study to help people deal with their fear and anxiety in a
society plagued by multiple crises.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC