Friday, October 20, 2006

Survey Results

Here are the results of the survey of I posted earlier this week, with my brief comments:

Inerrancy of the Bible – Essential 71.4% - Preference 28.6%

Salvation in Christ Alone – Essential 100%

Polygamy is immoral – same as adultery – Essential 14.3% - Preference 42.9% - Negotiable 42.9% - (Polygamy is not the same as adultery, though it is not God’s ideal for marriage. However, God did allow it in the Old Testament)

Muslim believers should not remain in the mosque – E- 14.3% -P 28.6% - N 57.1% - (Great debate in missiological circles)

Baptism by immersion only – E 14.3% - P 28.6% - N 57.1%

Women cannot teach or lead a congregation – E 14.3% - P 28.6% - N 57.1% - (Women, even teen-age girls, lead many congregations in restricted access countries.)

Truth is only found in God’s Word – E 14.3% - P 57.1% - N 28.6% - (Is all truth is God truth?)

Do not eat food used in Hindu ceremonies – E 0% - P 28.6% - N 71.4%

Forbid teaching from the Koran or other holy books – E 14.3% - P 28.6% - N 57.1% - (If all truth is God’s truth, even if it is found in other writings, can God not use it for His purpose?)

(For Christians) Allah is not an acceptable name used for God – E 14.3% - P 28.6% - N 57.1% - (Another debatable issue…is Allah merely a noun or is the connotation of the name the greater issue?)

The response to this survey revealed a couple of things. First, those who live outside the US usually score higher in the N category. Cross-cultural workers who live with the issues tend to make more allowances for culture than those who reside in the U.S. Second, many of the respondents who read this blog understand the cross-cultural issues more than the average North American pastors who took this survey.

The challenge, for all of us, is this…what is really important as we communicate the Gospel to people of other cultures and religion? Thanks to those who took the survey. Keep working through the issues as you develop your thoughts as how best to a be a “bridge” for those who don't yet understand the message of Christ.