When I read the statement below, I immediately thought of one quote in particular in the recent post American Christianity:
“America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception! Seventy percent of her citizens identify themselves as Christian.” (Pat Boone)
Read this exchange between Rush Limbaugh and a caller on his program; I’m afraid this represents a huge part of those who are included in that extremely bloated statistic of 70%:
CALLER: Yes. Could I ask another question, not related to this issue?
RUSH: By all means, since you’re here.
CALLER: Yes, sir. I used to live down in Cape. I had met your dad on a couple occasions, and wondered if you have any knowledge about how your grandfather became a Christian. The reason I’m asking that is I knew that way back in the twenties and thirties when your grandfather was in that area, they had Billy Sunday revivals in Cape Girardeau, and you know Billy Sunday was kind of the predecessor of Billy Graham today.
CALLER: I wondered if you knew anything about how he became a Christian?
RUSH: Born that way.
RUSH: No, no. Born and raised a Christian.
RUSH: He was a Methodist through and through, was a standing member of the Centenary United Methodist Church. He was on the board for many, many years, great fundraiser and donor to the church and so forth, so I don’t remember him saying anything about Billy Sunday and whatever influence that Billy Sunday might have had on him. But I know that he was born into Christianity. He was just like I was, our whole family was born into Christianity. (link)
My mind staggers (and my heart grieves) at the sheer number of Americans who must believe like Rush, they are Christians because, 1) they, or in this case a family member, sat on a Church board, raised money (even for a good cause), and gave financially to the Church, or 2) they were from birth, born into Christianity.
Its not just Pat Boone who believes 70% of Americans are Christians, its many of the pollsters who for years have made similar claims.
Religious Tolerance: “The proportion of the [American] population that can be classified as Christian has declined from 86% in 1990 to 77% in 2001.” (ARIS Study)
Largest Religious Groups in the United States of America; Pew Research Council: “As of 2002, Christian 82%”—Top Ten ORGANIZED Religions in the United States: 2001, Christianity 76.5% — Year 2000 (Harris poll) Christianity, 71.7%”.
Globally, is this a Western phenomena? I have to believe it is. The real question is why….
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:1-6