Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The Pew Forum (a reputable group) just released the results of a religion quiz it gave to Americans. The results are both surprising and disheartening.  For people who know loads about sports statistics and celebrity lives and song lyrics, we do not know much about religion. Worse yet, the atheists did better than the religious people and much better than those who are of mainline churches (Episcopal Church in this group.) It makes me sad. To see the results click here. To take a similar 15 questions test (theirs was 32 questions,) click here. I got a 100%. It was not too hard. I would have thought we could do better than getting half the questions correct. You too may have gotten 100%. Some did.


Here are the questions that arise in my mind (and heart.)  How can we love the Lord if we don't really know much except what we feel about God? I admit that religion and Christianity are about relationship more than fact but we know more about Paris Hilton (or the flex defense) than about God. Speaking of relationships, how can we love our neighbor if we have no idea who she is? If I know how many sacks Mario Williams has, should I know at the very least the basics about my neighbor, a fellow citizen.


What really is painful about these data is that it makes us so susceptible to bad information, innuendo and rumor about people who are not Christian and it plays into the hands of those who find us more culturally religious than true followers of Christ.  Talk radio and television exploit our ignorance. Christ is not served. Regardless of the religion, God cares about all his children. We who claim Christ are given a special mission to reach out to those who do not know Christ. To do so, we must know Christ ourselves and know enough about our neighbor to respect him as a person and not a project.


How do you feel about these results? How would you fare? What is your responsibility now that you know this? Open these questions to God and to your neighbor as well.

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