Monday, June 30, 2008

The Pew Report

Survey Shows U.S. Religious Tolerance

Sweet Land of Tolerance

LifeWay study adds doubt about Pew poll's claims regarding evangelicals' 'universalism'

There is a debate brewing tied to the polls and speculation that Democrats can win over Republican voters in the 2008 elections. Behind the debate in a research study by the Pew Forum that looks into the beliefs of the so called Evangelical person; their views on faith and politics or the relationship between their political thought and their faith. Pew conducted a very large poll, 35,000 people from May 8 to Aug. 13, 2007.

The study was published in the New York Times as a political side line. It was commented on by Chuck Colson on the Break Point website. Mr. Colson has a different concern about the implications of the survey than The Times. He sees the report as a source of concern that the supreme value of our culture, tolerance, is wearing away the ability of people of faith to hold true to their doctrinal beliefs. People of all faiths seem to be sliding into an undefined, noncommittal approach to faith because of politics. Instead of the definition of tolerance being allowing others to freely express their faith be it different from mine, tolerance has become having no real belief system at all, both in matters of religion and morals.

The Baptist Press sees a problem with the study and has their own more defined questions for the more defined evangelical, but with far less of a range of respondents. Where it may seem they want to argue the validity of the Pew report, there is instead a real concern with the question, who is sitting in the pew? There should be a real concern whether doctrine in being taught or not. There should be a real concern that if it is being taught to what effect. Why is it important for those who sit in the pews each Sunday to know what they believe? The answer is more important than the implications to the election. It has implications to the elect that are eternal.

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