Is Sister Christian sitting next to you in Sunday service a closet New Ager? Is your pastor tapping into new spirituality? Are you believing a new thought lie?
I was simply shocked to read the results of a new Barna study that shows only 17 percent of Christians who consider their faith important and attend church regularly actually have a biblical worldview. But I was decidedly dismayed by the subsequent revelations in the report.
In a nutshell, Barna found many Christians strongly agree with worldviews that compete with biblical teachings. In other words, many believers are believing flat out lies. Consider these startling stats about practicing Christians:
38 percent are sympathetic to some Muslim teachings
61 percent agree with ideas rooted in new spirituality
54 percent resonate with postmodernist views
36 percent accept ideas associated with Marxism
29 percent believe ideas based on secularism
Yes, really—and Millennials and Gen-Xers are the most likely to fall for these deceptions. Males are more likely to fall away than females. City-dwellers more apt to stumble into these lies than suburban or rural residents. And Americans of color are more likely than white Americans to buy into wrong beliefs.
The Great Falling-Away Is Underway
Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit clearly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith and pay attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
Some have indeed departed from the faith because they have engaged with deceiving spirits and embraced doctrines of demons. We’ve witnessed more than one man of God with a major ministry platform bow a knee to doctrines like universalism, deceiving and being deceived with this deadly heresy. Despite many in the church lifting their voice against heretical teachings, these deceived ministers hold fast to their demonic doctrine.
We’ve also watched famous pastors speak lies in hypocrisy—lies that left many hurt, wounded and disillusioned—and yet they remain adored and adorned in the megachurches that made their name great. Clearly, the conscience of some influential church leaders has already been seared with a hot iron (see 1 Tim. 4:2). Some have become the proverbial blind leading the blind.