According to a new survey from Probe Ministries, almost 70 percent of born-again Christians believe one can get to Heaven through Jesus Christ or another religion.
The newest release of the Religious Views and Practices of American Adults survey focuses on how often people witness to their faith and the reasons why some refrain from doing so. About 3,106 Americans ages 18 to 55 from all religious groups, including 717 respondents who identify as born-again Christians, participated in the study.
When it came to witnessing, fewer than 1 out of 5 religiously affiliated Americans strongly disagree with the statement that Muhammad, Buddha, and Jesus all taught valid ways to God. Concurrently, 60 percent of them said they share their beliefs with others at least once a year in order to convert them.
Regarding born-again Christians, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said they share their faith at least once a year.
When asked what prevents them from communicating their faith to unbelievers, close to 70 percent of born-again Christians say there are other ways to Heaven aside from turning to Christ for salvation. According to the survey, this response is known as pluralism, which states that “There are other ways besides my way, and I don’t need to impose my way on others.”
“If you think that there are multiple ways to Heaven, why would you want to go out of your way to convert someone to your religion? Of course, you could be sharing with an unaffiliated person who needs to choose a valid religion,” Steve Cable, senior vice president of Probe Ministries, explained in his response to the data.
“At first glance, this may seem surprising. But in a culture where pluralism is a dominant part of all religious groups, it begins to make sense,” he noted. “And the pluralistic reasons were dominant, attracting around two-thirds of the population across all religious groupings.”
In combating pluralism, Cable stressed that pastors and church leaders must make the exclusivity of Christ in salvation “a recurring and prominent theme in our teaching.”
“This is not a topic to tiptoe gingerly around,” he argued. “Rather, we need to boldly proclaim, ‘There is salvation in no other name under Heaven other than the name of Jesus Christ.’ God would not have planned from before the beginning of time to sacrifice Himself on the cross for our salvation if there were any other means to reconcile sinful men and women to Himself.”
“God will not force reconciliation on us. We can choose to reject His grace,” Cable continued.
“But as Paul tells us in Romans, ‘How are they to believe in one they have not heard of?’ If we think we can slough off our responsibility to tell others, we do not understand the grace of God and our role as citizens of Heaven living on this Earth.”
Probe Ministries, which was founded in 1973, is a non-profit whose mission is to present the Gospel to communities and to equip the Church to engage the world for Christ.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.