01: More than a quarter of American Mormons claim an evangelical, “born-again” experience, according to a Barna Poll.
Pollster George Barna has recently been finding large groups of believers outside of the evangelical mainstream–such as Roman Catholics. Now he finds that 26 percent of Mormons surveyed say they are born again by the following definition: they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, have confessed their sins and have accepted Jesus as their savior, thus assuring them of heaven.
While conservative Christians see Mormons as holding to heterodox beliefs, Barna explains in an article in Christian News (Oct. 13) that most Mormons, Catholics and Protestants are “unable to describe the basic doctrinal views of their church. Consequently, it is quite possible for people from any of these groups to possess theological perspectives which are inherently contradictory.”
(Christian News, 3277 Boeuf Lutheran Rd., New Haven, MO 63068-2213).
02: Promise Keepers, the evangelical men’s ministry, may be more socially liberal than many critics have claimed. In a Washington Post (Oct. 11) poll of 882 participants of the recent Promise Keepers gathering in Washington, DC.,, many of the demographics assumed for those involved were confirmed: largely white, evangelical, middle-class with Republican leanings.
Forty six percent of the Promise Keepers were Republican, 28 percent were Independent and only 15 percent were Democrat. But the stereotype of Promise Keepers as front-runners for the Christian Right and reflexive political conservatives was not always backed up by the poll.
When asked about the future of PK, respondents mainly agreed that there should continue to be stadium assemblies, but only 28 percent wanted the organization to become more politically involved. Ninety five percent wanted to expand efforts to help inner city neighborhoods and churches. Asked if they have favorable or unfavorable impressions of certain public figures, 32 percent said they had favorable impression of Bill Clinton, compared to 59 percent who had an unfavorable attitude toward the President.
Forty three percent had a favorable position on Newt Gingrich, compared to 38 percent unfavorable, and 19 percent who did not know or refused to answer. When asked who should make the big decisions in the family, 95 percent said they should be shared by both spouses. Opinion was about evenly divided (44 percent) about whether the men preferred their wives not to work outside the home.
03: The number of evangelical Christian schools is slowly but steadily growing in Germany, according to the news service Idea (Oct. 8). During the past 10 years, private evangelical schools have become increasingly popular, even among those from a non-Christian background, says Gottfried Meskemper of the Christian School Association in Bremen.
There are only 46 evangelical schools in Germany, but 10 years ago there were only eight such institutions. For many parents these schools “better social atmosphere and the low level of violence” are important factors in sending their children there, according to the article.
(Idea, e.V., Postfach 18 20, D-35528 Wetzlar, Germany)