Jump directly to the content
Apr 12, 2013

New Research: Spiritual Maturity Tied to Strong Doctrinal Beliefs

Consumers in America are accustomed to having endless combinations of choices for every want in life. Biblical truth is radical because it teaches that eternal life is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ alone.

If churches stopped to assess their congregation on these biblical truths, many would be surprised to find out how many are struggling with basic doctrinal issues. Every church has a different mix of mature disciples and spiritual infants who still need a diet of the basic gospel message. A discipleship process must help every person take the next step in his or her spiritual journey. Too many churchgoers are stuck on square one.

A new LifeWay Research study on "Doctrinal Views" shows that among Protestant church attendees 81 percent say "When you die, you will go to heaven because you have confessed your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior," 26 percent agree "If a person is sincerely seeking God, he/she can obtain eternal life through religions other than Christianity." Fifty-seven percent disagree. These are people who actually attend church, not just those who claim to be Christians who attend Protestant churches.

That's not the only responses we got. Here are some of the others:

-- When you die, you will go to heaven because you have tried your best to be a good person and live a good life (selected by 7 percent of churchgoers).

-- You have no way of knowing what will happen when you die (5 percent of churchgoers).

-- When you die, you will go to heaven because God loves everyone and we will all be in heaven with Him (4 percent).

-- When you die, you will go to heaven because you have read the Bible, been involved in church, and tried to live as God wants you to live (2 percent).

-- There is no life after death (1 percent).

More from the release:

Churchgoers strongly hold to the accuracy of the Scriptures, the survey reveals. Eighty-two percent agree with the statement: "The Bible is the written word of God and is totally accurate in all that it teaches." Ten percent disagree and 8 percent neither agree nor disagree.

While the majority of churchgoers (75 percent) strongly hold the God of the Bible is not the same god worshiped in other world religions, 13 percent say the God of the Bible is no different from the gods or spiritual beings depicted by world religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. Another 12 percent neither agree nor disagree with the uniqueness of the God of the Bible.

The study also shows nearly two-thirds (71 percent) agree with the statement: "God is just and sin has to be punished." However, 13 percent of churchgoers disagree and 16 percent neither agree nor disagree with the statement.

To help pastors, churches and individuals measure spiritual development, LifeWay Research used the study's data to develop a questionnaire for believers, called the Transformational Discipleship Assessment (TDA), an online evaluation that delivers individual and group reports on spiritual maturity using the eight attributes of biblical discipleship. The TDA also provides helpful and practical suggestions for churches and individuals on appropriate next steps for spiritual development.

To learn more about the transformational discipleship research visit LifeWayResearch.com. The TDA is available at TDA.LifeWay.com.

You can read the full release with methodology here.

Related Topics:None
Posted:April 12, 2013 at 12:00 am

Comments

Please read our comment policy before you weigh in, and then feel free to comment.
To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.
or
Subscribe
or

More From This Blog

The Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy in Our Churches

The Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy in Our Churches

Small groups are key to studying and understanding Scripture.
Morning Roundup 7/6/15

Morning Roundup 7/6/15

Orthodox Church; Christians React to Same-sex Marriage Ruling; Past and Future Church
God and Country: Americans' Views of God's 'Relationship' with the U.S

God and Country: Americans' Views of God's 'Relationship' with the U.S

What do Americans think about the United States and God? Fascinating new data.
Three Scenes: The Open Secret in Christian Adoption Circles and Why it Matters to the Church

Three Scenes: The Open Secret in Christian Adoption Circles and Why it Matters to the Church

How will you and your church contribute to the ministry of adoption?

Follow Ed Stetzer

Exchange Logo

On this episode of The Exchange with Ed Stetzer: Jim Daly

Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, talks about compassion and changing our tone in a changing culture
Training from Former NFL player and Pastor Derwin Gray on vision building
NEW series from The Gospel Project: Eric Geiger on why small groups matter
Bad church signs

Cast: Ed Stetzer

Read ED Stetzer's Books

See All

Follow Christianity Today

Christianity Today
New Research: Spiritual Maturity Tied to Strong Doctrinal Beliefs