Response to the Columbus Dispatch Article Titled:
"24 million Americans shun organized religion, study says"

In order to avoid possible copyright infringements, we do not quote the entire Columbus Dispatch article in our response. To obtain a copy of original Dispatch article, click here.

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our responses = black

On November 19, I spoke by phone with Dr. Guido Stempel III, one of the professors at Ohio University familiar with this study. Dr. Stempel was very generous with his time, and I'm grateful to him for the time spent with me answering my questions.

One of every nine American adults does not belong to any organized religion.

This is no surprise to creationists. We expect this number to continue to climb as long as proselytizing for the false religion of evolution continues unchecked in the public school system. One of the questions I asked Dr. Stempel was if participants were asked why they don't belong to any organized religion. He said that the study did not include asking that particular question. In fact, I have been unable so far to find any scientific survey that addresses this particular issue.

There does seem to be a lot of circumstantial evidence, though, to suggest why this is occurring. I've read many books, watched many videos and listed to many audio tapes concerning the creation/evolution debate. One thing I keep hearing over and over again is that many people have become Christians after hearing the "creation evangelism" message. In other words, many people, especially young people, have told creationists who witnessed to them that the theory of evolution was the main obstacle to them accepting the Bible's message of salvation. They believed that "science" had proven the creation story in the book of Genesis wrong. And if Genesis was wrong, then how could the rest of the Bible be trusted (see Ken Ham's video The Genesis Solution, or his book the Lie : Evolution for more information about this)? Once they were shown the glaring problems with evolution, and once they correctly understood it to be a false religion that has its roots in atheism and humanism, they were then able to accept the Gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. For example, consider this letter to the editor by an 18-year old young man, which was published in the June-August, 1996 issue of Creation ex nihilo magazine:

"Dear Editor,
I contacted you last year asking permission to use articles from Creation magazine for a talk I was giving to my class at college. The talk, on the lack of evidence for evolution, was one of the hardest things I have done, as only 8-10 months ago I was one of the most dedicated believers in evolution and the 'big bang' theory. But a lecture discussing evolution and creation really made me think. So I did some research, and about a week or two later I gave my life to God. Since then I have been deeply studying creation, to the point where some of my friends don't want me to talk casually about it for fear of not shutting me up, which is a definite possibility, and also what happened when I gave my talk at college. Instead of a 15-20 minute talk I turned it into a 45-50 minute lecture, and that's not including the time I spent answering questions. Despite this I recently found out I was awarded a merit+/distinction for my talk, which was joint highest in the class, and I just thank God for helping me with it. I hope you would print this letter in the hope that it would provide encouragement to others.
Andrew Bassingthwaight (18), Dudlye, West Midlands, England"

Testimonies like this are quite common. The public school education system and their willing accomplices in the liberal news media are doing everything in their power to prevent the opposing view to evolution from being heard. We suspect that if a scientific survey were done to ask why people don't participate in organized religion, that one of the major reasons would be the stumbling block that the false religion of evolution has created. We also believe that if more students were exposed to books like Refuting Evolution, or videos like A Question of Origins Creation or Evolution, that the numbers of young people rejecting evolution and favoring instead a personal relationship with their Creator would steadily climb. For an interesting perspective on this, see How to build a bomb -- in the Public School System.

There are other reasons that would rank pretty high up there with evolution in terms of what's keeping people away from organized religion, and Christianity in particular. Unfortunately, as far as Christians are concerned, many of these other problems are self-inflicted wounds the church has brought on itself. While I suspect that evolution is the biggest stumbling block to people accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior, I do not mean to suggest that evolution is the only problem. For example many churches today are moving away from being places where people can come for solid preaching. Rather than to deal with important issues like the false religion of evolution, many churches are instead becoming entertainment centers. Sound doctrinal teaching has become a casualty of this shift from teaching to entertainment. Many of these misguided pastors and church elders could benefit greatly from reading John MacArthur, Jr.'s book titled Rediscovering Pastoral Ministry.

Worse yet, many Christians today have compromised with evolutionists by allowing sound Bible interpretation to be negatively influenced by evolutionary doctrine. These Christian false doctrines come in many flavors. A list of some of the more common ones include theistic evolution, progressive creationism, the gap theory, and the day-age theory. These false doctrines have weakened the strength that Christianity once enjoyed when most Christians were more united by their young Earth creationism beliefs. Humanists and atheists have made great progress against Christians by attacking the credibility and authority of the Bible through evolution. While they will one day answer to God for what they've done, so too will the Christians who have engaged in Bible interpretation back-flips (for the purpose of compromising with evolutionists) in an attempt to explain away the clear meaning of scriptures. These Christians who are fighting Satan's influences with a dull sword are not going to enjoy the same kinds of success that Christians of prior generations had.

The study found that education has little or no impact on religious affiliation.

My first concern after reading this sentence is that it would be interpreted by some to mean that evolution, which is taught as if it were a fact in the education system, has no bearing on whether or not people belong to a religious organization. I asked Dr. Stempel about this. He said that this part of the study dealt with whether or not education had any bearing on what "denomination" of a church the participants in the study belonged to (i.e. Catholic, Protestant, etc.). This sentence should not be interpreted to mean that evolution has no bearing on the issue. The issue of evolution never came up in the study. In fact, participants were not asked why they chose to avoid being involved with organized religion. Dr. Stempel said that asking someone a question like that during a survey is a very sensitive issue. He said that it can be worded in such a way to make it less threatening, but that they hadn't done anything like this in their study. So evolutionists can't point to this study as proof that evolution is not harmful. In the meantime, creationists are certain to continue experiencing testimonies like the one above as they work through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help a misguided world find its way back to the truth.

Dr. Stempel gave us permission to publish more of the results of the study on our web site. He sent the information below in an e-mail message containing more information. Some of the results of the study won't be published until later, and he's asked us to wait until the week after Christmas to put the rest of what he sent us on our web site.

National survey of 1,015 randomly selected respondents in September and October of 1999.

63% said Christianity will remain the dominant religion in the next millennium.

42% went to a religious service in the past week.

Religious affiliation:
Protestant 40%
Catholic 22%
Other 22%
None 9%
Jewish 2%
Mormon 1%
Muslim 1%

77% of those who say they were born again say Christianity will remain dominant.

Where all this leave us is that we can't stereotype those who were born again or Protestants or those who have no affiliation. There are tendencies and probabilities, but any profile should be stated in those terms, not in terms of absolutes.
Guido Stempel

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