What does it mean to be “born again”? Do Christians truly understand this concept?
According to research from the American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI), many Americans call themselves “born again,” but fewer than 30 percent provided answers that would support that claim. And if so many think they are born again, why aren’t these Christians impacting the culture, asks the American Pastors Network.
“If a majority of Americans think they are born-again Christians, one has to wonder where the cultural disconnect is, as the moral fiber of our nation continues to erode,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who is host of the APN radio ministry, “Stand in the Gap Today.”
This summer, “Stand in the Gap Today” hosts have discussed these findings on two separate programs with George Barna, renowned social science researcher and head of ACFI.
In pondering life after death, the ACFI research found that just 30 percent of those surveyed say they are born again with the reasoning that “after I die I know I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.” Another quarter say they don’t know what will happen when they die.
“Some shocking findings of this survey indicate that many—75 percent—believe that mankind is not made up of sinners and that man is basically good,” Rohrer said. “Just barely more than half believe that Jesus lived a sinless life, and 42 percent believe that Satan is not real, but more a symbol of evil. Based on these findings, how healthy can we say the American church really is? How can salt be salt and light be light when we don’t believe those things?”
“According to these numbers and what we know from history, in real life, many, if not most of those who say they’re Christians are really not Christ-followers,” Rohrer said on the program. “We’ve also heard, for example, that up to 80 percent of Congress is Christian, but I look at that number with some skepticism. Just like there are Republicans In Name Only—RINO—there are also many Christians ‘in name only.’”
Rohrer also pointed to Matthew 7:22-23, where Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (KJV).
“There is perhaps no more clear example than these words of Christ Himself to perhaps describe these survey findings, which are evidence of what some Christians believe about themselves and what is actually real and true.”