Americans Abandon Christianity, Study Shows

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | Tag Cloud

By Mary Priddy

HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA (Worthy News) -- More than half of Americans no longer consider Christianity as the nation's main religion while one in three Christians say "Jesus sinned while He was on earth," a new study claims.

The Barna Research Group, a leading Christian polling institute, says half of the adults interviewed for its nationwide survey agree that Christianity is no longer automatically accepted by Americans as their personal faith; 44 percent "disagrees", and six percent isn't sure.

Yet, even those calling themselves Christians no longer accept Christian teachings, according to the study obtained by Worthy News Tuesday, January 13.

One quarter of American Christians "dismiss" the idea that the Bible is accurate, almost half agree that Satan does not exist, and one-third say that "Jesus sinned" while he was on earth.

That contradicts Christian teaching which says Satan exists and although Jesus was without sin, He died for the sins of this world before his resurrection, so everyone who believes in Him as everlasting life.


In addition, two-fifths of those questioned say they do not have the responsibility to share the Christian faith with others, according to the study.

Despite the controversy, three out of four Americans say their "religious faith," whether Christian or other, has become "more vital" to them than in their past "as a foundation of objective and unfailing moral judgment."

There are over 200 Christian denominations in the United States, but the Barna Research Group study reveals that over 60 percent of Americans, including many 'born-again Christians' no longer look at churches or denominations to offer theological teachings.

Especially young Americans (82 percent) of 24 or younger believe that individuals should customize their believe as they see fit, the study shows.

Researcher George Barna suggests that the Christian faith "has become a faith that is defined through individualism." In a statement obtained by Worthy News, he also said that, "Americans are comfortable picking and choosing what their religious beliefs should be from the Bible and are disregarding the rest of the Bible. Many Americans are their own Theologian."


He is concerned that "Americans are holding on too their own random beliefs and not the whole picture, so to say. Of those individuals many believe that if you perform enough good deeds then that is enough to get you into Heaven."

Barna says the survey shows Americans are moving away from Christianity.  "In America’s past when most people were making up their mind which religious road to take for their lives, the answer was always Christianity. Today Americans are offering up non religious points of views against Christians points of views."

He says this has resulted in "overwhelming worldwide views based on individuals' personal combination of spirituality, drawn from different world religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism."

Barna warns that with Americans spending less time studying the Bible, "people are instead embracing the views of self reflection, dialogue, and observation instead of teaching. Many people now base their faith on their emotions."

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17 thoughts on “Americans Abandon Christianity, Study Shows”

  1. "They feel like a Christian, therefore they are". - Ivan Awefulitch

    First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. -- 2 Pet. 3:3

    None the less we must preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come [has come and is now] when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. -- 2 Tim. 4:2-4

    certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

    We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God. -- 1 Tim. 1:3-11


    I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

    Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. -- 1 Tim. 1:12-17

  2. Oh My!

    Every Man Does What Is Right In His Own Sight

    "How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
    These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit." Jude 1;18-19

    But God

    "But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." Romans 11:4

  3. Is it any wonder Satan is having such an easy time corrupting our country? We kick Jesus out of our schools, we gave him a practice kick off of our money, we kick him out of our courts, and we expect to go on as though he does not see. He's not the blind one, we are.

    Now we say that the sinless Lamb of God has sinned? If Jesus sinned while he was here on earth, then we are all dead in our sins and the lake of fire is where we are headed. No wonder Jesus said that because we are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, he would spew us out of his mouth. The very mention of America and the church as a whole leaves a bad taste in his mouth. We deserve hellfire. Jesus has said he will destroy this country. He is already doing it. He will not quit the work that he began.

  4. I would like the author to cite her statistic sources. Find a positive report. Break the mold of "worldly reporting" and encourage others. By the way, are you a believer?

  5. I speak as one who has been a member of the Worthy community for several years. The focus of Worthy News is to present issues to the Christian Community for the purpose of focusing prayer efforts. Thus articles about Christian persecution, the spiritual state of the nation, Israel, etc. are key items to report on. I hope that helps clarify the concern.

  6. The current situation that the World is in - is Grave. The Hour is now to Watch and Pray, especially, His faithful and obedient children for the Lord's Mercy.

    Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon your children who are living in darkness. Forgive them Father for they do not know what they do. Merciful Jesus, may your Light shine upon their lives and before they are doomed, let your lost children Realize their Sins, Repent and Reconcile with you Lord as YOU ARE THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. AMEN.

  7. RamseyII said.
    "Jesus has said he will destroy this country. He is already doing it. He will not quit the work that he began."

    It is not Jesus who will destroy this country. Where did you come up with this?

  8. It seems that some Christians idea of Christ is that he is a dictator. Sort of like " you folks MUST worship me or I shall kill you all. As a Jew I do not see Jesus as some sort of monster, but a kind, loving and man of great wisdom.

  9. I am a student of prophecy. Through reading the Old Testament God spoke to me about the spiritual state of this nation and what he is going to do about it. It is not that I think Jesus is a dictator, rather we have broken his heart and forsaken him for the last time. We have just elected a pro-abortion, pro- homosexual marriage, antichrist to be President. What else can the Lord do but judge us for our sins?

    • Where exactly in the New Testament is Jesus anti-gay and anti -abortion? And where does Jesus say that our new president is an anti-christ? Oh, that's right, you get your authority based on your own selfish opinions.

      Thank you and good day sir


  10. I found this study interesting but for a different reason. I came across a different study, by the bible society, asking how often Christians read their bibles. It was revealed that only a small percentage read their bibles every day.

    Yes, I think we should have a good report (as Lauren David above says) but sometimes the negative can show us the positive. You see when I realized how few Christians read their bible I came to understand why the church has lost its power. But on the positive side this also means we can get it back, doesn't it ?!?!?

    I think Rabbi Goldfarb made a very relative statement. Part of the problem is our view of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save sinners, not to judge. You might say why are sinners not being saved? I believe sinners will be saved once Christians know (I mean really know) their God. It is a relationship thing. We ought always be focusing on Christ, not in terms of judgement, but in terms of grace. We talk about John 3:16 alot don't we but we should also look at John 3:17

    I just want to say I was actually encouraged by this article because it helps me have more confidence in God seeing and understanding why the church is in the plight it is in.

    There is actually a church in Rolleston, Christchurch that I have heard good reports about. It has doubled in size since they have had a pastor that is committed to the word. He actually makes people bring their bibles to church. Its not actually a church that I attend but I am sorely tempted.

    Yes, God's word is spirit and life and we do well to pay attention to it. It has the power to save and set free and even continue the work of grace amongst believers as well. We should not underestimate the power of God's word.

  11. If the so called body can't even get the Sabbath day write, how can they withstand the enemy. We need to always ask the question WWYD/WWJD? If Yeshua did it than do it. If He didn't than don't. Once we begin this process then we begin to follow the truth. Not man made errors.

  12. I am praying that millions in America will believe in a gracious God who died for us, that they may live a good righteous life and end with eternity in Him. He has delivered this nation from many a destruction but as history fortells, every great nation (be it Rome, Mongolia, Greece, Assyria, or Persia) will have its day of undeniable judgement. I pray many will see Christ Jesus as the answer to life. I pray for all authorities in government (Rom 13:1-2; 1Pet 2:13), Obama, Clinton, Biden and whoever has yet to have a personal encounter with the Living God. I pray that my own life is as the Ancient of Days spoke,"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matt 5:16).

  13. Glenn Reid is closer to the mark. The Pastor of the Rolleston Church, in insisting on his congregation bringing their Bibles to the House of the Lord, will produce much healthier, and powerful people. As Jeremiah records,[Jer 1:9] God says "I watch over My Word to perform it".

    If we don't use His Word, He has nothing to work with, and if we don't have an appetite for His Word, we are starved for the very food that will cause us to grow strong in both faith, spiritual strength [and physical health].

    I encourage people, when testifying in the market place, to "use the Word of God" in their conversations. Why ? Because the Holy Spirit is waiting to perform it. The people of God have become progressively weaker in the past several generations simply because of "bad diet". The ministry from most pulpits lacks the Word of the Living God, so the people are aenemic both spiritually and physically. many spend more time and money with medical practioners then in the Word, which is "health to our bones"

    Check this out !! Isaiah 7:14,15 clearly promises that "the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel". This would be better spelt Emman-EL, not just "God with us", but "the Most high with us" El is the Most High, and the Archangel Gabriel confirmed that speaking with Mary,[Luke1:31,32]. Of Emmanu-El Isaiah says "butter and honey, [curds and whey if you will] shall He eat, [Notice this], that He may know to refuse the evil,[first up] and choose the good.

    A good diet of the unadulterated Word with signs and wonders is desperately required to produce vitally alive Christians. As Peter says [2 Peter 2;2], "desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby". Marks Gospel finishes with the key evidence, on which the early church was established, as the disciples of the day obeyed the Lord's commission. Chapter 16:20 records 'And they went out and preached everywhere, The Lord working with, [delete the italicized "them"] and confirmimg the Word with accompanying signs' What more could we ask ?
    When the disciples of Christ do that, they will see the fulfillment of John 14:12, "he who believes in Me [Jesus], the works that I do he will do also---.

    How is your "believing" ???

  14. I would agree with Rabbi Dinnerman & also Rabbi Goldfarb. Not only do the majority of people who revere themselves as a Christian (I prefer to call myself a believer or a Kings Kid) don't even understand YHVH's covenant with His people, The Commonwealth of Israel. See Ephesians 2:12 - the NKJV says "Commonwealth of Israel" and Messiah himself self said in Matthew 15:24 " I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." So where to start: Isaiah 56:1-8 is one place. Quick excerpt: Love the name of YHVH (Yahweh), Keep the Sabbaths, & hold fast to the covenant. Then go to the rest of scripture to find out what and how to do these 3 things (Messiah's disciples did). Some quick finds for you are: All of Leviticus 23 for the Sabbaths and Messiah told us the 2 greatest commandments at "Hear O Israel, Yahweh is Elohim, Yahweh is Echad (One). Love Yahweh, your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength....and You shall love your neighbor as yourself" - Mark12:29-31, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and by doing you learn what what pleases the Father, Obeying His Torah. The covenant promises are for the Commonwealth of Israel - so join like Caleb, Rahab & Ruth did. The winning side is with Israel for Yahweh is with & for Israel. If we are believers in Messiah, we NEED to do what He did. He kept Torah and He was an Israelite!

    Okay Workers, the fields are white and need to be harvested - John 4:27-38. Time is short and the Kingdom of Yahweh is at hand. We can't be found sleeping when our King returns - Mark 13:32-37. There is lots to do & many, many people to be talking to about the Kingdom. I encourage you all to join Israel and drop the concept of Christianity, because there are too many man made errors & false doctrines and there isn't much time left to study so you can know (not just take someone else's word for it) what is REALLY truth and what is false.

  15. We shouldn't be surprised about a falling away at all people.

    It isn't taking place because wanna be Jews of the circumcision say things about Saturday days of congregating, or fundamentalist whine about the King James only, or what ever human based argument.

    It is taking place because God said it was going to happen.

    There are two Israels.

    The Israel of Israel (men) and the Israel of God.

    There are two Churches (synagogues) those being the Church of Satan (synagogue) and the Church of God which Christ founded in Jerusalem (not Rome).

    Christians who keep kosher, keep the "law" do so according to scripture because they are well...cowards...but don't take my word for it read the Bible:

    Galatians 6:11-16 --

    11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

    12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. **The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.**

    13 Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.

    14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

    15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

    16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.

    Those Messianic Christians, Sabbatarians and Judaisers, who emphasis circumcision and all that it entails (kosher, saturday worship, and other traditions) keep it to fit in with humans where ever they are and not be "persecuted".

    REAL Christians are "new creation" made up "the Jew first and also the Greek" and they speak of the Cross in the open, they don't hide in caves, in the desert, in houses tucked away in that they don't hide by keeping the traditions of men to avoid being "persecuted".

    I know, it is hard to not get caught up in the pressure to keep kosher, for example, when you are in Israel, but God instructs us through the Bible in Galatians to not keep such traditions and think that saves us at all. The seed of Abraham (not seeds) is Jesus Christ. Israel belongs to Jesus, not Talmudim Massoretic Hasidim Orthodox Jews.

    In USA a similar kind of keeping of traditions, fitting in happens with this group emphasizing the KJV only, tongue only, Jesus only and no trinity, musical instruments, women's head uncovered/covered, women wear makeup/no makeup, and other silly doctrines of men.

    Those here who say the USA deserves wrath are asking for it on their self. The world is going to get wrath, period and those "who live ON the earth".

    Do you know what it means to "live ON" something?

    Living ON the earth means more than just simply being alive on the planet, it means living ON the earth. It means being all about earthly things: fashions, attire, traditions, movements, sayings, teachings, etc.

    The earth, dust, what the serpent eats. Satan's fodder.

    The book of Revelation is the iron clad against those who for what ever reason want to have their head cut off as the final salvation by works deed they just insist on doing to PROVE how worthy they are:

    Rev. 3:10-13

    10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

    11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

    12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

    13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

    Notice these two passages:

    10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

    11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

    Notice this phrase "I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth"

    Worthy News needs for one to stop parroting the secular media. Two, stop imitating the world, period. Three, partner with other Christian/Messianic organizations in order to present a clearer, balanced message that is less "bad news" and full of damnation like this one sides Barna Research Group report because I will produce counter evidence discrediting that

    Read page 28 "Most American's Pray" --

    Here is quote:

    Ms. Cadge and her colleagues based
    their findings on a very direct source
    —683 prayers gleaned from four
    journals handwritten by hundreds of
    hopeful, grateful or worried patients
    and visitors at Johns Hopkins University
    Hospital in Baltimore. The volumes
    had been placed near the main lobby
    over the years and are part of a
    collection of 40 books; hospital chaplains
    routinely have set out a blank
    book every two months since the

    And this:

    Prayer is the most commonly used
    “alternative medicine,” according to a
    survey of more than 31,000 adults
    released by the National Institutes of
    Health in 2004—more popular than
    acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga and

    Who are these people praying to:

    The pages are filled with the often
    straightforward thanksgivings and
    petitions of the passing public:
    “Dear Jesus, thanks for staying by my
    side. I love you,” one person wrote.
    “Dear Lord: I leave it in your hands,”
    noted another.
    A third simply declared, “Love U.”

    Get balanced Worthy News, research more or you may find yourself still on the back end of the news services. Raise the standard.

    Create a new one, pray about it and stop using the model of the world.

    You can't serve TWO MASTERS even in reporting the news, George, come on.

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