Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Evangelicals are more happy than others, research says
By Erin Curry
Aug 28, 2002

"The more deeply committed to Christianity a person is, the more likely they are to experience greater self-confidence, peace and fulfillment."
George Barna

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Evangelicals are the most conservative, most satisfied, most spiritually inclined and least stressed of all U.S. adults, according to a poll by the Barna Research Group, while those who claim to be atheists and agnostics are more stressed out, more lonely and less satisfied with their lives.

"The more deeply committed a person is to evangelical Christianity, the more at ease they report being with their life circumstances," said George Barna of the California-based research organization. "On the other hand, individuals who are indifferent or hostile to all faith systems are notably less relaxed and fulfilled with life."

The study, released Aug. 26, was based on telephone interviews this year with more than 3,000 randomly sampled adults in the 48 continental states.

Researchers divided the survey into five faith segments in order to explore the relationship between faith views and self-descriptions. The five segments included evangelical Christians, non-evangelical born-again Christians, notional Christians, adults affiliated with a non-Christian faith, and atheists and agnostics.

The study found that just less than 7 percent of the respondents claimed to be evangelical Christians, and of that 7 percent, 99 percent said they were "happy." The Barna news report noted that "these individuals have become a political lightning rod and are routinely caricatured by the media" for their conservative views. Even so, 91 percent of evangelical Christians reported they were satisfied with their present life.

Of all five groups, evangelicals were least likely to say they are lonely, in serious debt or stressed out. The poll found 98 percent of them to be concerned about the moral condition of the country, though only 54 percent said they were worried about the future.

The group classified as non-evangelical born-again Christians were those who had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and believe they will experience eternal life because they have sought and received his forgiveness, but who do not share other central theological beliefs of evangelicals. One-third of the adults surveyed claimed to be non-evangelical born-again Christians.

Of that group, 73 percent described themselves as "deeply spiritual." They also listed themselves as concerned about the moral condition of the country and "absolutely committed to Christianity." Even so, the group was indistinguishable from non-Christians and nominal Christians in terms of stress, debt or addictions.

Nearly four of every 10 adults surveyed classified themselves as notional Christians, which means they consider themselves to be Christian but either do not have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ or do not believe that they will experience eternal favor with God based solely on his grace and mercy.

Notional Christians were most concerned about the future and the moral state of the nation, but their faith ties seemed to make little difference in relation to stress, debt, addictions, happiness or life satisfaction. They were also tied with atheists and agnostics in being the most lonely.

One of every eight adults surveyed said they are associated with faith groups other than Christianity. Of those, 57 percent described themselves as deeply spiritual. They were also among the least likely to be concerned about the future or the moral condition of the United States.

Atheists and agnostics comprised less than 8 percent of the adults surveyed and were the most likely to be stressed out, concerned about the future and lonely. Only 4 percent described themselves as politically conservative, and 71 percent claimed to have traditional or family oriented values.

"The data suggest that the more deeply committed to Christianity a person is, the more likely they are to experience greater self-confidence, peace and fulfillment," Barna said.

The maximum margin of error for the survey was 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

The Barna Research Group is an independent marketing research company located in southern California that has been studying cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Psa 19:1-14 NASB
(1) For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
(2) Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
(3) There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.
(4) Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
(5) Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.
(6) Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
(7) The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
(8) The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
(9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
(10) They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
(11) Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.
(12) Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
(13) Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
(14) Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

"Faith is the act of our soul that turns away from our own insufficiency to the free and all-sufficient resources if God." --John Piper, Future Grace

I thought this article was interesting. Not necessarily true, mind you, but interesting.

I won't link it because of the problems with HTML links getting messed up that I've been having, but you can copy and paste the link:

Friday, August 16, 2002

I have a T1 line!!! The Sprint guy, who returned to fix all the problems, which we found out were caused by the customer service lady not giving the right information, said that they installed fiber optics in my apartment complex, and are testing out the higher speed lines on us. I tested just at T1 speed. How lovely.....

Yesterday was orientation. It was a zoo, like I expected it to be.

We first met in Binkley Chapel. Well, I didn't exactly go to most of that. The Sprint guy was supposed to come and install our DSL line. I won't go into that; I am sure all of you 2 people who actually read this are familiar enough with the joys of phone and cable guys... Anyway, I caught the tail-end of it, thank goodness, because it must have been 50 degrees in that building. I was an icicle after just 2 minutes.

So, we got put into groups according to our degree program, and I was thrilled to meet 2 other girls in my program. There is only one who was here before, so that makes a total of 4 of us in the MDiv Advanced Biblical Studies program. We got shuffled though advisement (made ok by having Dr Black as our advisor, who is one of the main reasons I chose to come to Southeastern), lunch (with a seminar about a pastor referral program which is somewhat useless to me), registration, parking, financial aid, payments, and finally an expo with 2 main highlights: lots of candy, and a chiropractor with his massage therapist do free adjustments and massages. We ended up being late for the library tour because we just couldn't resist a massage.

Then, last night, a reception with Dr. and Mrs. Dr. Patterson (who was wearing a lovely Indian tunic), and assemblies for single and married students. I was a little worried about the single assembly, after way too much indoctrination about the horrors of not being married at Liberty ("I met my mate at LU and I know you will too..."), but it was actually pretty good. The Browns, our downstairs neighbors, invited us over for homemade ice cream after that, and Susanne and I had a nice time chatting with them and Amy's parents, who were visiting.

Not to mention that I got a job yesterday! The one I wanted, too! Yippee!

Monday, August 12, 2002

Last night Susanne and I got up at 3am to watch the Perseid meteor shower. We walked to a gravel driveway not too far outside our apartment building, and sat our chairs under the stars. Susanne's friend Jaime called my cell phone from Nashville and treated us to a very piercing rendition of "Somewhere Out There" (I was thinking he shouldn't quit his day job, but Susanne told me that teaching people to sing IS his day job, so I will just have to pray for him then... ;), as he watched the meteor shower there. We discovered meteors are different in North Carolina than Nashville.

We saw about 15 meteors. One meteor was outstanding. When we were about to go back inside, it brightened the entire sky as it burst into flames and left a glowing trail behind it.

"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained..." (Ps. 8:3)

The effects of waking up have taken their toll on me today however, and as I am writing this, I am about to fall asleep at my computer. Time for bed.

(Minor disclaimer: much to my chagrin, some of my earlier posts have gotten messed up, supposedly due to some bug in the blogger system. It messes up any post when I put html code in it. I have been so frustrated that I haven't posted lately. I won't post any html for awhile though.)