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Thursday, June 26, 2008 

Thoughts On The Many Paths Up The Mountain Story, Part Deux

From Gene Veith’s post found via Necessary Roughness’ contribution:

That’s worth a chuckle, but the Lutheran Kantor finds disturbing numbers:

The survey classified the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) to be an Evangelical denomination. Based on the survey results of the 588 LCMS respondents, the LCMS is very open minded and tolerant. So open minded and tolerant that 78% of the LCMS respondents believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life.” We beat the national average! That’s not something to be proud of.

Other statistics about the 588 surveyed:

Only 84% are absolutely certain there is a god;
12% are fairly certain.
9% seldom go to church;
2% never do.
Only 42% said the Bible should be taken literally.
28% believe there is one correct way to interpret scripture.

For all our efforts to divide the human populace between “churched” and “unchurched” for programmatic and spending purposes, this data shows that we cannot take the beliefs of the “churched” for granted.

As someone who sits on a mission board it always hurts my brain when I have to listen to other members say we “need to meet the people where they are at” as well as the criticizing of the insertion of Word and Sacrament into the purpose of the church mission statement as useless wordsmithing.

I’ve never understood how we can claim to care for the unchurched if we go out of our way to appear nonchurched ourselves. As I’ve said ad nauseam; if we present ourselves as no different than the local high school glee club how can we claim that we are in fact any different. When are we going to tell them why there is a Church to begin with?

If the study is accurate then the people who accused me of being too focused on church stuff might be better understood. Maybe “meeting people where they are at” should be reworded to “meeting people where we are most comfortable.” If the study is accurate of course.

Part 1 is here.


I've been saying for a long time that 'people don't know what they believe and even fewer know what their church believes'. I too was shocked to learn how widespread the problem was within our beloved synod. This was demonstrated to me again recently when I discovered a lay leader of a local LCMS congregation taking part in the -- let's be honest and call it what it is -- mid-service snack, at a local ELCA gathering this past Sunday. As shocking as this and the study results are, should we really be surprised? People are so concerned about being "PC" in this life that they are willing to risk the feast that has been prepared for them in the next. Oh, let's not offend the jews and muslims by admitting that they are on their way to hell! Where else could they possibly go?
There is only one way up the mountain. The path is narrow and only Christ leads the way.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
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