One third of the US adult population believe in some higher power that is not God of the Bible. 100% of the US and global population needs to be schooled by Jesus. ◊
There is a pervasive theme in today’s global culture that spirituality is a good thing. Very few people would actually object to being spiritual; that is, caring and loving people, animals, the planet – an overall kind and sensitive person.
Who would say no to that?
Whether one be Christian (roughly 33% of global population) or Muslim (24%) or Other Religion (31%) or No Religion (12%), most would say they try to be a nice person and care for the world and humanity around them.1
That would mean that almost 90% of the world’s population believe in God. Interestingly enough, recent Pew Research reveals that here in the US 80% of adults would say Yes to the question: Do you believe in God? 2
- Do you believe in God? Answer: Yes = 80%
- Do you believe in God as described in the Bible? Answer: Yes = 56%
- Do you believe in some other higher power/spiritual force? Answer: Yes = 24%
- Do you believe in God? Answer: No = 20%
- Do you believe in some higher power/spiritual force? Answer: Yes = 9%
- Do you not believe in any higher power/spiritual force? Answer: Yes = 10%
Jesus Called It
I believe that 100% of the US and global population needs to be schooled by Jesus. He actually laid this all out beautifully in his intriguing Parable of the 4 Soils, better known as the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9, Mark 4:1-9, and Luke 8:4-15) which not only points out our reluctance to believe in God of the Bible (Rocky Ground), but also calls out our ability to even hear about God of the Bible (Path).
But that’s only the half of it.
Jesus accurately acknowledges the existence of those that hear and believe, but many of these “believers” in God of the Bible get caught up in the weeds (Thorns) and distractions, worldly pursuits and entanglements. They may even be somewhat productive Christians in their church and community, but according to Jesus, “they do not mature.”
It’s interesting that many of us in the world, even in the Christian community, put a lot of emphasis on “believing.” Actually, Jesus wants more than belief from His real followers. He wants maturity and fruit production that He lovingly fuels and directs. Jesus/God of the Bible wants a fully abiding relationship with people that not only hear the Word of God of the Bible, believe it wholeheartedly, but have also established deep set roots (in Good Soil) that stem from a firm connection to Jesus, who is the Vine (John 15). And out of that deep relationship, way beyond belief, comes forth fully blossoming, multiplied fruit, nourished and blessed by the Lord God of the Bible.
Anything less is lost and disconnected.
Yes, It’s More Than Believing
So it’s interesting that we in all of our sophistication look at even Christian research and lament percentages about simple belief in God or even a belief in a higher power, let alone belief in God of the Bible. How light and foolish have we become?
The real issue, per the call of Jesus Christ, is people’s need to get over several hurdles to the real deal:
- Hear about God of the Bible – an easy hurdle
- Believe in God of the Bible – also an easy hurdle; even the demons believe in God
- Grow in relationship with God of the Bible – a difficult hurdle in light of our worldly pursuits
- Produce multiplied fruit as a sole result of that Holy Spiritual relationship with God of the Bible – the end goal of the true, fully mature Christian, only achieved through an abiding/daily connection with the Lord Jesus/Holy Spirit/God of the Bible.
Yes, belief in God is only the beginning. Even acknowledging a higher power/spiritual force is a start. But coming under the tutelage of Jesus and hearing, believing, reading, praying, abiding and following His lead and guidance in a deep and personal relationship, is getting to the essence and purpose of this life.
Are you being schooled by Jesus?
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind [by the Spirit of God], that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:3
1 Changing Global Religious Landscape, Pew Research Center, http://www.pewforum.org/2017/04/05/the-changing-global-religious-landscape/, April 5, 2017.
2 When Americans Say They Believe in God What Do They Really Mean?, Pew Research Center, http://www.pewforum.org/2018/04/25/when-americans-say-they-believe-in-god-what-do-they-mean/, April 25, 2018.