The Loudmouth Protestant

October 15, 2008

Weak Protestants

Filed under: christians,God — nickisym @ 12:52 am
Tags: ,

According to a study conducted by Brad Waggoner, vice president of B&H Publishing Group, Protestants are failing in the arena of spiritual formation. The numbers are staggering and almost sickening. Here are some of the stats from Waggoner’s study which was done by way of a Spiritual Formation Inventory.

— Only 16 percent of Protestant churchgoers read their Bible daily and another 20 percent read it “a few times a week.”
— Just 23 percent “agreed strongly” with the statement, “When I come to realize that some aspect of my life is not right in God’s eyes, I make the necessary changes.”
— Among evangelicals, 70 percent have identified their primary spiritual gifts through a class, spiritual gifts inventory or some other process.
— In the past six months, 29 percent of respondents said they shared with someone how to become a Christian twice or more, 14 percent did so once and 57 percent did not share at all.
— A full 47 percent of Protestant churchgoers admitted to often just “going through the motions” during the singing and prayer portions of worship services. One-quarter strongly disagreed that their worship is routine.
— Fasting is perhaps the most neglected spiritual discipline, with 80 percent of respondents saying they had not fasted during the past six months.

It’s a scary thing to see these numbers because it means the majority of people who go to church are simply going through the motions in the faith. They feel obligated to go not because they have a real relationship with God, but because their parents told them they should go or their significant other drags them. They are in church because they grew up in church and don’t know any other way. They only crack open their Bibles when the pastor tells them to do so. Fasting is something they do as a dietary measure. Evangelizing is only done for public figures.

I don’t write this to condemn anyone but I always wonder why some people insist on coming to church Sunday after Sunday but never changing. I wonder why someone would gloat about their faith and not actually live it. I wonder why one would superficially build their lives around Christ but not actually take up their cross and follow him. I wonder…

More on Waggoner’s study


1 Comment »

  1. Sad to say, we probably don’t grow until we’re forced to. That is, we may not respond until some crisis forces us to change. An interesting connection: I recall reading about an intervention technique that sought to bring addicts/alcoholics to a sense of crisis before they really hit rock bottom so they could get help more quickly. The method acknowledged such people don’t usually ask for help until they’re past the end of their rope, so it sought to induce that feeling sooner. Is this the sort of thing it would take for us to move higher on the spiritual formation scale?

    Leroy Hurt

    Comment by Leroy Hurt — December 27, 2008 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

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