Christians from a broad spectrum, demographically and denominational, were asked six questions in random order. Results were balanced by gender; participants were only Christians and only regular Churchgoers. There was an unusually high 81% participation rate; normal or typical is about 60%.
“The Christian life is well summed up as ‘trying hard to do what God Commands”
57% Strongly Agreed
25 % Somewhat Agreed
82 % Agreement with the Statement.
Only 16% Disagreed with the statement.
Doing your best to be a good Christian and trying to keep God’s commands. Striving to avoid sin and doing what is right. Living a “good Christian life” does not get you to heaven and does not make you righteous or pleasing to God. This concept is more about what you do (doing) vs. who you are (being).
“I feel like I don’t measure up to God’s expectations of me.”
28% Strongly Agreed
30 % Somewhat Agreed
58% Agreement with the Statement
The difference between the 82% who agreed with #1 and the 58% who agreed with #2 is 24%. This 24% must feel they are doing a good job keeping the rules and obeying God’s Commands. (this is self-righteousness and legalism).
If the Christian life is about doing your best not to sin and please God, then a majority of Christians feel like they are not doing a very good job. Striving hard but not measuring up.
“Rigid rules and strict standards are an important part of the life and teaching of my Church.”
39% Strongly Agreed
27 % Somewhat Agreed
66% Agreement with the Statement
Churches are heavily into teaching Rules and Standards.
- “People at my Church are unconditionally loved and accepted regardless of how they look or what they do.”
77% Agreement with the Statement
19% Disagreed with the Statement
Some Good News!
- “Attending Church leaves me feeling encouraged and empowered to live the Christian life.”
71% Strongly Agreed
Many Christians are motivated on Sunday to Live the Christian life, but during the week, they feel like they are not measuring up. Many serve God because they feel duty-bound and seek God’s approval. And many are trying to please someone in the Church.
“I am motivated to serve God more out of a sense of Guilt and obligation rather than Joy and Gratitude.”
15% Strongly Agreed
10% Somewhat Agreed
25% Agreed with the Statement
59% Strongly Disagreed
11% Somewhat Disagreed
70% Disagreed with the Statement
Most Christians have a MIXED MESSAGE understanding of Grace and Works.