The secular media frequently tell us that America's population is around 80% Christian. Often this assertion is made to justify discrimination against Christians and the erosion of their rights, the theory being that anything a "Christian" does may be seen as threatening to a minority while what a minority does is unlikely to pose a threat to such a strong majority. Even if America were 80% Christian this thinking would be way off base. But is America anything like 80% Christian? Christianity Today published the findings of a survey they conducted and they posit five kinds of Christians. Here they are:
Active Christians 19%
Believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ-Committed churchgoers-Bible readers- Accept leadership positions-Invest in personal faith development through the church- Feel obligated to share faith; 79% do so.
Professing Christians 20%
Believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ-Focus on personal relationship with God and Jesus-Similar beliefs to Active Christians, different actions-Less involved in church, both attending and serving-Less commitment to Bible reading or sharing faith
Liturgical Christians 16%
Predominantly Catholic and Lutheran-Regular churchgoers-High level of spiritual activity, mostly expressed by serving in church and/or community-Recognize authority of the church
Private Christians 24%
Largest and youngest segment-Believe in God and doing good things-Own a Bible, but don't read it-Spiritual interest, but not within church context-Only about a third attend church at all-Almost none are church leaders
Cultural Christians 21%
Little outward religious behavior or attitudes-God aware, but little personal involvement with God-Do not view Jesus as essential to salvation-Affirm many ways to God-Favor universality theology.
As soon as you read this survey one things stands out with startling clarity: the vast majority of those who claim to be "Christian" have, by biblical standards, absolutely no right to the name. In other words, America is far from 80% Christian. The truth is that America is a vast mission field. The vast majority of its citizens are not saved and desperately need to be saved. Those who are saved should seek to reach them with the gospel, bring them under the sound of the gospel and labor before God in prayer for the visitation of His Spirit with power to make their evangelistic efforts effective.
Christianity Today speaks of some things churches need to do, such as community-oriented service, to be effective in the modern setting. What they really need is the power of God falling on a people truly separated unto the gospel. In other words, it takes real Christians to reach the vast mass of empty professors who are trudging the broad road to destruction.