A recent poll reveals that our fellow Americans are growing progressively more skeptical of the existence of God and do not believe in other key principles taught in the Bible.

While the May Gallup Poll indicates that a large majority of Americans deem that there is a God (86 percent), that belief is shrinking (90 percent in May 2004).

Other findings in the poll indicate that many individuals’ belief in God is tentative, since lesser percentages also express a belief in heaven (81 percent), in angels (75 percent), in the devil (70 percent) and in hell (69 percent).

The poll also found only 56 percent of respondents saying that religion was “very important” in their own lives. Twenty-six percent said religion was “fairly important,” while 17 percent said it was “not very important.” Remember, these are the same people that overwhelmingly said they believe in God.


These numbers indicate that while people may believe in God, they are not concurrently interested in applying godly principles to their lives. Also consider that in 1965, 70 percent of Americans said that religion was “very important” in their lives. That’s a 14 percent decrease over the last four decades.

I believe this poll is indicative of our nation’s corresponding moral freefall during that same time period. As our nation has become increasingly secular – with many lawmakers, judges and leaders demanding this secular conversion – we have seen corresponding rises in crime, corruption, promiscuity, unwed pregnancy, abortion and a host of other scars on our national fabric.

What does this mean?

Sadly, I believe it means the church has failed, in many ways, to provide answers to our nation. We have too often expressed disfavor with the growing secular tide, but have habitually done little to affect the destructive transformation of our society.

Consider with me another recent Gallup Poll in which the following question was asked: “Which of the following statements comes closest to describing your views about the Bible? The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word. The Bible is the inspired word of God, but not everything in it should be taken literally. Or, The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.”

The results were disappointing.

The percentage of those saying the Bible should be taken literally was only 28 percent. The percentage of those saying the Bible is inspired but should not be taken literally was a striking 49 percent. And the percentage of those saying the Bible is a fable was 19 percent.

In 1976, 38 percent in a similar poll said that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and should be taken literally. That’s a 10 percent drop.

It is apparent that man is progressively creating God in his own image and following alternative religions and teachings.

Reading this poll, my mind harkened to the words of 2 Timothy 4:4: “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

This is a picture of the “falling away” in the last days before Christ’s imminent return.

Today, there are so many substitute theologies that are leading people away from the truth. This is why it behooves believers – those who have placed their faith in God and fully adhere to the tenets of the Bible – to be fearless representatives of the Gospel.

Many of the false doctrines of our day, in addition to the growing quest to secularize our nation, are leading people away from the truth of the Gospel.

Jude verses 3, 4 warns us of a time when the church itself will be afflicted by false prophets and also presses the urgency for believers to remain true to the faith: “Beloved … earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares … denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The church of Jesus Christ must rise up against false teachings that are pulling people away from the foundations of truth. We must fervently, and compassionately, reach out to those who have fallen away.

Our culture is increasingly adverse to the absolute truths of the Bible and those who embody those truths. Nevertheless, we must be constant salt and light representatives of Christ, the one True God, even as the culture falls away.



Related special offer:

“God’s Got a Problem”

“Why Won’t They Listen?”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.