Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Here are 13 interesting things about world religions:

1. According to the web site “Religious,” , Christianity has grown tremendously since 1900—from about 558 million to about 2 billion (by 2002).

2. Currently, the largest religious groups in the world are in this order: Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.

3. The same site says that in spite of this growth, Christianity is in a slow decline, as compared to the growth of the world’s population; it was estimated that by 2002, Christianity would be the religion of 33.1% of the world’s people, down from 34.5% in 1900.

4. The site also says that Islam is growing rapidly, but it is not as large, percentage-wise, as Christianity. However, at its current growth rate, the estimate is that it will overtake Christianity “later in the 21st century.”

5. According to the web site “Statistics for the Changing Church,” some good news is that George Barna’s research shows that recently, " there has been a rise in the proportion of adults who read the Bible..."

6. But some bad news, Barna says, is that Christians spend much more money on entertainment than on any spiritual activities.

7. And even worse, Barna’s studies show that “Although 2/3 of all teenagers say they know all the basic teachings... of the Christian faith, 2/3 reject the existence of Satan, 3/5 reject the existence of the Holy Spirit, and 1/2 believe that Jesus sinned....”

8. And, going along with those facts, we should know that witchcraft is growing, particularly Wicca. According to an article which may or may not be accurate, the lack of organization among Wiccans makes it difficult to track them statistically, so there are no dependable numbers. But this article might be from a more research-friendly source, and its author agrees.

9. A number of bloggers write about witchcraft, for example, “Tinkerbell,” a witch who lives in the Netherlands. She says that witches do not believe in Satan. Here is a web site maintained by “Ex-Witch Ministries,” where witches can exchange ideas with Christians without being pursued or criticized by them.

10. And with all this in mind, here is something Christians should pay attention to: Barna’s research shows that "Half of all unchurched and non-Christian adults admit that they are seeking meaning and purpose in their life - providing a meaningful entry point for evangelizers."

11. If at least half of non-Christians admit that they are on a search for meaning and purpose, then most of the rest of them are, too. In fact, I believe that this search has always been one of people’s most urgent needs—possibly the most important after survival needs are met.

12. A committed Christian should be aware of this need and be able to discern it in conversation with other people. I think God programmed us in the beginning to search for meaning so that we would seek him.

13. Christians should know with all their hearts that God, through Jesus Christ, is the only fountain of real love and therefore of meaning, purpose and fulfillment. They should be eager to share this understanding.

AND here is an interesting site for the rational seeker of meaning in life.


amy said...

Hey Judy, YOu have posted on one of my blogs before!!! Hi!
What an interesting post!!!

Colleen said...

As a woman with a religious background I agree that we need to have a more Christ centered life!

Sally said...

I didn't know that Christianity is the largest. I guess I thought with all those people in Asia, etc., that it would be something else. Cool!

Bubba said...

Even though other religions are growing...I personally take comfort in the fact that people are looking for something more than just the here and now.

And if they look...and use rational thought..I believe they will see that Jesus is the only way to God.

Thanks for a very informative list. Happy TT!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Informative list. Have a blessed Thursday.

Tink said...

Thanks for mentioning me here. I welcome everyone to my blog.

My TT is about frustration this week...

Barbara H. said...

Interesting list -- I especially agree with # 12 and 13.

Chelle Y. said...

That was very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Here's a great message by Voddie Bauckham about Jesus and Postmodernism. He hits the nail on the head, and it's extremely relevant:

just click "listen" to download


Judy Callarman said...

Thanks, Mark--I love John Piper.


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