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Posts tagged ‘Harris Interactive’

2013: God, Clergy and Congress Poll Numbers Down, Darwin’s Up: Who’s to Blame?.


Dan Cummins
Dan Cummins

Just days after Pope Francis was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, recent polls reveal that Americans are losing trust in their clergy and that belief in the existence of God is on the decline. CBS/DC and the Associate Press reveal that researchers at Gallup found that 53 percent of Americans have lost trust in the clergy – the worst ratings in 40 years.

When a nation loses trust in clergy compromised through scandals, the people lose faith in God and government. The nation suffers spiritually, politically and economically when its clergy are compromised. The latest Harris poll confirms this.

Susan Jones of CNSNews.com, reporting on the Harris findings, writes, “A strong majority (74 percent) of U.S. adults say they believe in God, but that’s down from the 82 percent who expressed such a belief in earlier years. Belief in miracles, heaven and other religious teachings also declined in the latest poll, as follows:

  • 68 percent believe in heaven, down from 75 percent;
  • 68 percent believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72 percent;
  • 65 percent believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, down from 70 percent.”
  • Gallup’s polling also revealed that Darwin’s theory of evolution had a resurgent of new converts – up 42 percent from 2005. When God is profaned by His priests, people turn to pseudoscience to find meaning to life. The societal fabric is not evolving but dissolving into an unfit culture in which no one can survive – fit or unfit.

Evolution is biological relativism – the antithesis to the absolute of divine creationism, which designed natural selection to be “after its kind” (Genesis 1:24). This is the expected natural outcome when society abandons the absolutes of God’s Word, both physical and spiritual, for moral relativism. This abandonment comes in the vacuum of sound reason created by a clergy who refuse to stand in their pulpits and the public square proclaiming the immutable Law of God.

As a result, God’s numbers are backsliding, the president’s numbers are in the tank – the lowest of any since Nixon (Washington Post/ABC poll released Tuesday) – while Congress is sharing the “bottom of the honesty and ethics ratings with lobbyists and car salespeople, the only three job professions to receive a single-digit rating.” Nicki Rossoll also reports that “Americans view members of Congress as some of the least honest and ethical professionals. But there’s a bit of good news for congressional lawmakers. One profession does rank lower: lobbyists.”

Any wonder the culture is in crisis, the economy collapsing and no one seems to have any solutions? America is being fundamentally changed, but who’s really to blame? No polling necessary here.

As the clergy goes, so goes the nation. It’s not the White House, Congress or Hollywood that’s responsible for America’s mess. The fault lies squarely at the foot of her pulpits. In the past 60 years, their voices have been silenced in the public square and their influence upon public policy absent – all in exchange for 30 pieces of tax-exempt silver proffered by the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment to the 1954 Senate tax overhaul bill.

America’s clergy have abdicated their roles as God’s “grand vindicators of the government of God.” They have perverted their prelacy to the role of executive administrator and CEO of their bi-coastal mega-churches, living in mega-mansion parsonages while feasting on the dainties of Babylon. Totally blind to the biblical worldview of their place and purpose for the nation, America’s clergy are no longer “sons of lightning and thunder,” but fair-weathered favorites on the talk-show circuit and friends to society’s darlings.

The Cross of Christ is the only hope for America. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently said, “The only hope for America is for her clergy to start preaching the Cross of Christ again.” He is right. If America is to be fundamentally transformed, it will be through the preaching of the hope found only through the Cross of Calvary. America’s next awakening will come at the foot of the Cross.

Rev. Charles Finney, the voice of the Great Awakening, challenged America’s clergy to proclaim the Cross some 140 years ago. His message is just as relevant today. “Has the offense of the Cross ceased, or is the Cross kept out of view? Has the holy law of God, with its stringent precept and its awful penalty become popular with unconverted men and women? Or is it ignored in the pulpit, and the preacher praised for that neglect of duty?”

Finney’s answer for America is not bipartisan cooperation on the debt-ceiling crisis, but rather that “we need more sons of thunder in the pulpit. We need men that will flash forth the law of God like livid lightning and arouse the consciences of men.”

Finney described the pulpiteers of the Great Awakening as “those old, stern, grand vindicators of the government of God (who) would have thundered and lightened till they had almost demolished their pulpits if any such immoralities had shown themselves under their instructions as are common in these days.”

Finney feared neither the press nor politicians’ reactions to his preaching. Political correctness, according to Finney, was biblical correctness. “Let us thunder forth the law and Gospel of God until our voices reach the capital of this nation, through our representatives in Congress. … Let us give the reporters of the press such work to do as will make their ears and the ears of their readers tingle.”

In response to today’s “seeker-friendly, hyper-grace gospel,” Finney’s thoughts: “Away with this milk-and-water preaching of a love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it. … Christ crucified for the sins of the world is the Christ that the people need. Such a collapse of conscience in this land could never have existed if … our preaching had not in great measure fallen out.”

Finney summed up his message, “The Decay of Conscience,” in New York, Dec. 4, 1873, to America’s clergy: “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”

If America’s clergy neglect their godly role to government and society through complicity and compromise to such, we will have lost any hope for America’s next awakening. The only solution would be a new order of priests like that of Zadok and Abiathar who remained faithful to David (1 Chronicles 12:1, 28) while those at Shiloh remained politically correct but spiritually compromised to Saul. Zadok’s and Abiathar’s son’s (as opposed to Eli’s uncircumcised brood) reaped the reward of faithfulness to the anointing with their appointments to “minister unto the Lord” in the holy place (Ezekiel 44:15) of Solomon’s Temple. Those complicit, compromised and uncircumcised “ministers” were restricted to the outer court and needs of the people. They could not come near unto the Lord.

May America’s Zadoks and Abiathars come forth, recognize and take up the mantle of their ministry and lead us to the anointing of Zion and another great awakening.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

DAN CUMMINS

Dan Cummins is founding pastor of Bridlewood Church, Bullard, Texas, and originator of “Washington, A Man of Prayer,” an historical event to be held in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol on May 7, 2014, honoring the 225th inaugural anniversary of President George Washington. The website is http://www.WashingtonAManOfPrayer.com

Are Americans Prioritizing Scrooge and Ralphie Over Jesus?.


'A Christmas Story'
A survey found that while 30 percent make a tradition of watching the 1983 film ‘A Christmas Story,’ only 15 percent say reading the Bible’s account of the birth of Christ is part of their holiday traditions. (Facebook)

A new Christmas poll finds less Americans are actually reading the Bible’s account of Christ‘s birth for Christmas, especially in comparison to those who make watching Christmas movies a tradition.

According to the results of a survey released Wednesday, 94 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. For most, this will be a time for traditions. Whether it is watching a classic movie, reading a Christmas poem or short story, or opening up the pages of Scripture, traditions will play an integral part of their holiday celebrations.

The new survey commissioned by the American Bible Society and conducted online by Harris Interactive in November among more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and up found that while 30 percent make a tradition of watching the 1983 film A Christmas Story and 28 percent look forward to watching a film or TV version of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, just 15 percent say reading the Bible’s account of the birth of Christ is part of their holiday traditions.

“There is nothing wrong with enjoying some of the great Christmas films that have been made over the decades,” says American Bible Society Chief Communications Officer Geoffrey Morin. “It is just important that Christians don’t make holiday celebrations more about Scrooge and Ralphie than about Jesus.”

The survey also found that knowledge of the biblical account of Christmas was lacking. Fewer than half of Americans (42 percent) were able to correctly identify what the Bible says brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth—reporting for a census. Worse still, just 28 percent of those ages 18 to 34 knew the right answer.

“Everything we know about Christmas comes from the pages of the Bible,” Morin says. “I hope these survey findings will encourage people to take a step back and consider making the biblical account of Christmas part of their celebrations.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

How to Keep Your Relationship Strong When One of You is on the Road.


Marriage is challenging enough for husbands and wives who can spend time together often, but for those who are regularly separated by the demands of business travel, it can be especially difficult to maintain a strong marriage. The stress that business travel creates on marriages is significant. When one spouse (or even both) must travel for work, couples face a wide range of relationship hazards – from loneliness and infidelity, to resentment and health problems.

A 2012 research study by Harris Interactive for the communications company ON24, Inc. found that nearly all respondents – a whopping 94 percent – admitted to engaging in unhealthy behaviors while traveling on business. Those behaviors included spending too much money, skipping exercise, going to bed too late, drinking alcohol to excess, using illegal drugs, and having extramarital affairs (a shocking majority – 66 percent – reported engaging in infidelity while on a business trip). Such behaviors place great strain on marriages, so it’s not surprising that 70 percent of respondents whose marriages had failed said that business travel was a contributing factor in the failure of their marriages.

Spouses who travel on business can suffer physically from the stress of their trips (a 2011 Columbia University study linked business travel to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity) as well as the emotional pain of missing time with their loved ones. Spouses who are left behind at home must deal with the extra demands of running households and parenting children alone, while missing their absent husbands or wives until they return.

However, despite all of these business trip road hazards, many jobs in today’s global economy require travel. So business travel is a reality for many married couples – like me and my husband Russ, who has worked for a large technology company for about 15 years so far. Russ must be on the road regularly (several times each month) to meet with the company’s business partners while I hold down the fort at home with our two children. His company has sent him on international trips (to nations as diverse as Australia, Brazil, China, and Germany) and many domestic trips across the United States.

The rigors of dealing with frequent business travel in our marriage have motivated us to turn to God for help keeping our marriage strong. In the process, we’ve discovered some ways to relieve the burdens of business travel, and even turn those burdens into blessings. Here’s how you and your spouse can do the same:

Shift your focus away from the negative impact of business travel on your marriage and toward the positive aspects of it. Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind so you can think positively about the business travel that you or your spouse’s work requires. In spite of the stress that business travel brings into your marriage, choose to remember the blessings that it brings – such as valuable opportunities for the traveling spouse to develop and use God-given talents, income that you need to support your family financially, and travel rewards that you can build up on business trips and use later for family vacations.

Help lighten the workload for the spouse who stays home. Prior to going on a business trip, the traveling spouse can prepare for his or her upcoming absence by doing any chores or errands that will make it easier for the at-home spouse to manage the household alone during the business trip.

Stay in frequent contact with each other. Try to communicate with each other as often as possible during business trips. The traveling spouse can describe how his or her trip is progressing (from sharing results of business meetings to interesting details about the city he or she is visiting) while the spouse at home can share moments from his or her day. Do more than just exchange facts to keep each other informed until you see each other again; aim to really connect emotionally during your conversations, however brief they must be.

Make a special effort to call each other at bedtime (even adjusting for time zone differences to have two different conversations at two separate times). It’s crucial to try to talk at bedtime, because that’s when you will each be the most tired and likely miss each other the most. Business travelers who end up engaging in unhealthy behaviors (from looking at pornography to going out to bars) are most likely do to so late at night, and at-home spouses can be vulnerable, too.

Pray for each other often. Stay connected through prayer, as well. Whenever a thought about your spouse pops into your mind during a business trip, say a prayer right then (even if you must pray silently) and be sure to include prayers for your spouse in your daily scheduled prayer times. The more you pray for each other, the more you invite God’s love to flow into your lives – even when you’re far apart.

Set and maintain routines while on the road. While traveling spouses are away from normal routines at home, they’re prone to losing healthy disciplines unless they’re intentional about keeping them on the road. But the more they stay disciplined, the less likely they are to fall into sin while away. So do your best while traveling to stick to the disciplines you practice at home. If you normally begin your days with prayer and Bible reading, pack a Bible in your luggage and set your alarm to get up early enough to have your morning quiet time during business trips. If you usually work out each day, choose hotels with onsite gyms and schedule time to use them on your trips.

Bring your spouse and family along on business trips whenever possible. Be creative about how you can accompany each other (and include your children, too) on business trips. Sometimes companies hold conferences at family-friendly locations to encourage employees to bring their families along (for example, my husband Russ’ company schedules conferences in Orlando, Florida at hotels operated by Disney) and enjoy time together in between conference sessions. Even if you can’t see each other during the day, you can plan to explore an area on your own while your spouse is working during the day, and then reunite at night. This strategy helped us fulfill a dream of visiting Paris, France together after Russ’ company assigned him to teach a course in Paris for two weeks one summer. The free airfare for one person and free hotel room while Russ was teaching made it possible for our family to afford a trip we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise – and in the process, we enjoyed many adventures.

Spend extra time together after returning from a business trip. Soon after one of you returns home from a business trip, go out on a date if possible to re-connect in an enjoyable way. If you have children, schedule a special family outing all together, as well. The traveling spouse can give everyone souvenirs from the trip and share interesting stories to help everyone better connect with his or her experiences there.

By Whitney Hopler

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels@aboutguide.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.

Publication date: February 25, 2013

Study: Americans Don’t Know the Facts About Jesus.


 

Jesus

Do you know Jesus? Do you really? Following the recent unveiling of a papyrus fragment in which Jesus reportedly says, “my wife,” many historians are now questioning what people know about the life of Jesus.

Aside from the bearded, longhaired, Sunday-school image of Jesus, a new poll reveals that Americans are not at all familiar with the impactful life of this man.

According to the poll, most people do not grasp Jesus’ influence on culture despite recognizing His image some 2,000 years after his death. Sixty-six percent believe Jesus is the most-recognized figure in history, but most were not able to correctly answer questions regarding His influence.

The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Zondervan to investigate the knowledge of Jesus’ continued impact on culture, also found that:

  • 41 percent of Americans believe that mans’ interpretation of Jesus’ teachings hurt women’s rights more than helped them, contradictory to the biblical account.
  • 89 percent of Americans do not know that Jesus pioneered the concepts of universal literacy and education; 27 percent believed it to be Socrates.
  • 47 percent of Americans do not know that Jesus was the first man to advocate the idea of societal inclusion and equality.

“We live in a world where Jesus’ impact is immense even if his name goes unmentioned,” writes Jesus expert John Ortberg, pastor and author of the new book, Who Is This Man? The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus.

“From christenings to weddings to sickrooms to funerals, it is in Jesus’ name that people are hatched, matched, patched and dispatched. It’s a shame that Americans don’t really know more about the most influential man in history.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

JENNIFER LECLAIRE

 

Survey: Donald Trump Trumps Bible for Financial Advice.


Donald Trump
(Donald Trump)

In a down economy, many Americans are searching for advice on how to manage their finances. But whose advice do they trust?

A new study shows more Americans are willing to take advice from Donald Trump (50 percent), a man whose companies have filed for bankruptcy at least four times, than from the Bible (32 percent), the best-selling book of all time.

Yet the Bible has more than 2,000 verses that relate to money and possessions.

God’s wisdom isn’t just for life and death or life’s moral conundrums,” says Lamar Vest, president of American Bible Society. “The Bible offers sound advice about managing money, avoiding debt and prospering in difficult times.”

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of American Bible Society, also found that one in 10 Americans age 18 to 34 would be most inclined to take financial advice from Kim Kardashian.

What’s more, 86 percent of Americans do not follow what the Bible says about money management. Another 24 percent who do not follow what the Bible says about money think they would have more money if they followed its advice. But a whopping 94 percent of Americans are unable attribute a verse from Proverbs about the rewards of work to the Bible.

By Charisma News Staff.

Christian Charities Look for Cyber Monday Donations.


 

Cyber Monday(AP Images/Paul Sakuma)

It’s Cyber Monday. That means millions of consumers will flood the Internet looking for online bargains in what has become the busiest Internet shopping day of the year.

 By some estimates, Cyber Monday revenue will top $1 billion again in 2011.

But virtual shoppers can give back while cashing in on Christmas deals—and Christian charities are hoping they do.

The charitable giving trend is expected to continue despite another holiday season faced with a struggling economy, according to a Harris Interactive study.

Of survey participants, 51 percent say they’re now more likely to give a charitable gift as a holiday present this year.

And 80 percent of adults say they’d prefer to receive a “meaningful gift” that would help someone else instead of a traditional holiday gift like clothing or electronics.

International Christian humanitarian organization World Vision is proving this study out.

More than half of the $32 million contributed through the organization’s annual holiday Gift Catalog were funds raised through its online catalog.

The virtual store features more than 250 untraditional holiday gifts including cows, chickens, mosquito nets and microloans that are purchased on behalf of families living in impoverished communities.

“This year, World Vision is issuing a challenge to all Cyber Monday shoppers to consider items in the Gift Catalog,” says Traci Coker, national director of the World Vision Gift Catalog.

 “We know times are tough but we also know shoppers are looking for gifts that are impactful.

As long as you’re going to be doing some shopping online, why not include a meaningful gift?”

Givers can make the purchase in the name of a friend, family member or business associate.

World Vision sends special cards to those individuals, describing the gifts and their impact on people in areas where extreme poverty is a reality.

Last year alone, the World Vision U.S. Gift Catalog helped provide assistance to more than 800,000 people around the world.

Since launching the catalog in 1996, World Vision has raised more than $162 million.

By Jennifer LeClaire.

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