One of the books I consider the most truthful, terrifying and Biblical is the short publication by Ray Comfort titled God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life: The Myth of the Modern Message. This book deals with a very overlooked and yet extremely dangerous trend in the church today: decisionism. What is decisionism? It is not a real word but it encompasses exactly the problem: the overemphasis placed on extracting words from as many persons as possible and basing the affirmation of their salvation on their compliance with repeating the prayer formula at the altar.
I am aware that so far some of you still cannot see how this trend is having fatal results in the church today. In today’s entry I wish to tackle this issue with statistics. These are straight from God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life. I thank Ray Comfort and his ministry for putting all these information together. You can look these up for yourself. Frankly, you don’t have to look too hard, it’s all around us.
You will see after each bullet that at the end there is a number inside a parenthesis. Those are the references to the websites where you can find the information here presented and verify it for yourself. Each number already has the link so you can just click right after reading each bullet and visit the website with the information. It will also be at the end of the entry in the “Bibliography” section.
Please read these statistics with the same sobriety you would have as if you were visiting a Holocaust museum:
-One evangelist claims that his worlwide tour has led nearly 1 million people to make decisions for Christ since 2007 (1).
-A denomination reported nearly 2.5 million decisions for Christ in 2008 (2).
-One international organization reported over 10 million decisions for Christ in 2009 (3).
-A ministry has seen an incredible “45 million documented salvations” worlwide in just six years (4).
-An October 2003 survey conducted by the Barna Group found that 45% of those who profess to be born-again Christians believed that gambling was morally acceptable. According to the survey, 49% believed that “living with someone of the opposite sex without being married” was morally okay. Just under half of those questioned (49%) were comfortable with “enjoying sexual thoughts or fantasies about someone,” while one third (33%) of those professing to be born again thought that it was okay to kill a baby while it is still in the womb (5).
-In 2001, a survey conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York found that “13 percent of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians” (6).
-According to an articled titled “Porn Nation” in World Magazine, of the men belonging to the Christian organization Promise Keepers (who make a promise to be “committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity”), 53 percent visit porn sites every week (italics and bold added) (7).
-An Internet survey of 6,000 pastors conducted in 2002 found that 30 percent of pastors had viewed Internet porn in the last 30 days (8).
-In 2009, the Barna Group found further evidence that all is not well in the contemporary Church: among individuals who describe themselves as Christian, for instance, close to half believe that Satan does not exist, one-third contend that Jesus sinned while He was on earth, two-fifths say they do not have a responsibility to share the Christian faith with others, and one-quarter dismiss the idea that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches (9).
-41 percent of self-proclaimed Christians believe that “the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths” – despite the books’ vastly contradictory teachings on truth, salvation, and the nature of God (10).
-Only 46 percent of born-again adults believe in the existence of absolute moral truth. So that means the other 54 percent don’t think that God has moral absolutes, which perhaps explains why so many live their lives as though there is no moral accountability at all (11).
-Pollster George Barna, noted, “Although most Americans consider themselves to be Christian and say they know the content of the Bible, less than one out of ten Americans demonstrate such knowledge through their actions” (12). With over 173 million Christians in the U.S. (13), there are tens of millions who say that they love God and yet they are liars, thieves, fornicators, adulterers, and child-murderers.
-Despite 8 out of 10 teens describing themselves as Christian, 61 percent believe a place in Heaven can be earned through good works; 63 percent believe Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, and all other people pray to the same God; and 58 percent believe all religious faiths teach equally valid truths (14).
-An “Ethics of American Youth Survey” found that in the prior 12 months 74 percent of Christian teens cheated on a test, 93 percent lied to a parent, and 63 percent physically hurt someone when angered (15).
-The Barna Group also found that teens who profess to be born again and attend church regularly were just as likely as secular teens to engage in Internet theft of music and to illegally copy CDs (77 percent to 81 percent, respectively) (16).
-In a joint statement, youth specialists Josh McDowell and Ron Luce made a sobering announcement: “Incredible as it may seem, ‘accepting Christ’ and making a profession of faith makes little to no difference in a young person’s attitudes and behaviors. The majority of our churched young people are adopting ‘a Christianity’ but it is not true Christianity.” Ninety-eight percent of youth ministers and pastors McDowell surveyed agree with that assessment (17).
-In researching families in the U.S., the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life discovered a gut-wrenching statistic: “88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18, never to return” (18). This mass exodus is seen not just among Southern Baptist churches, but across denominational lines (19).
-In an interview on a popular national radio program, a Christian youth leader spoke with great concern about how young people were “leaving the church in droves.” He had taken a survey to find out why these teenagers were turning their backs on God, and he cited the number one reason as “a lack of opportunity in the church”- implying that the Church should get its act together and give young people more opportunities. Ask any pastor if there are opportunities to serve within his church, and he will no doubt tell you of the lack of people willing to teach Sunday school, visit the sick and the elderly, go out with the evangelism team, clean the church building, etc.
-80-90 percent of those making decisions for Christ-whether through large crusades or local church efforts-will fall away (italics and bold added).
-In the March/April 1993 issue of American Horizon, a major U.S. denomination disclosed that in 1991, 11,500 churches had obtained 294,784 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could find only 14,337 in fellowship. Despite intense follow-up, they could not accoutn for approximately 280,000 (95 percent) of their “converts.”
-Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources foudn that the cause of so much evangelistic apathy in their churches could be their “many unregenerate members.” He stated, “if our research approximates eternal realities, nearly one-half of all church member may not be Christians” (20).
-This is a person’s account after a crusade: “our church, which participated at every stage, received about 25 names for follow-up. These were mostly people in our area who did not identify with a church. We were instructed that many of these decisions might be fuzzy about what happened at the crusade and we should make sure they really udnerstood the gospel. But, we had cold receptions and not even enough interest to even begin the recommended Bible study class for new believers. To my knowledge none of those twenty-five even visited our church after several contacts and pastoral visits” (21).
A.W. Tozer writes, “it is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ, and they have not been saved.”
The late pastor D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries made a similar observation: “The vast majority of people who are members of churches in America today are not Christians. I say that without the slightest fear of contradiction. I base it on empirical evidence of twenty-four years of examining thousands of people.”
Ray Comfort notes, “Paul’s warning to Titus seems to be true of much of the modern Church: “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him” (Titus 1:16). Neither their beliefs nor their behavior aligns with biblical Christianity.”
Now that I caught your attention (hopefully), I think we need to take these statistics seriously. The Church has abandoned firm Biblical teaching and adopted a very seeker-sensitive approach. It is not a novelty that the Emergent church uses this, we know that already. But even those churches that we think are teaching sound doctrine and preaching the full counsel of the gospel are not really doing what they are commanded by Scripture to be doing. The Church is wasting time adding new “tools” and techniques to get people to make an oral profession for Christ. Two of these being the sinner’s prayer and altar calls. For the sake of truth and the Bible’s sole authority, I beg you to keep reading the entries I still have to write on these series against decisionism.
On the next entry (“The Message”), I will dissect the first entry’s sermon and point out how today’s message has been watered down and how pastors and Christians (some ignorantly) try to subdue the Bible to feelings and people’s needs.
“Sola Scriptura. Soli Deo Gloria. Post Tenebras Lux”
Truth War Today 2010.
1- Adrienne S. Gaines, “Nearly 1 Million Make Decisions for Christ in ‘Great Awakening’ Tour,” May 15, 2009.
2- “Exciting World Missions Statistics,” Epimeno, July 4, 2009.
3- Eric Young, “CCC Media Ministry Records Over 10M Decisions in 2009,” The Christian Post, December 18, 2009.
4- Christ for All Nations.
5- Barna Group, “Morality Continues to Decay,” November 3, 2003.
6- Rachel K. Jones, et al., “Patterns in the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Women Obtaining Abortions in 2000-2001,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, September/October 2002, 34(5):226-235.
7- Mark Bergin, “Porn Again,” World Magazine, April 23, 2005 <>.
9- Barna Group, “Christianity Is No Longer Americans’ Default Faith,” January 12, 2009.
10- Barna Group, “Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist,” April 10, 2009.
11- Barna Group, “Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years,” March 6, 2009.
13- Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Kaysar, American Religious Identification Survey 2008. (Table 1).
14- George Barna, Real teens: A Contemporary Snapshot of Youth Culture (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2001), pp.126-128.
15- “Joint Call to Incite a Cross-Culture Revolution,” March 10, 2003.
16- Barna Group, “Fewer Than 1 in 10 Teenagers Believe that Music Piracy is Morally Wrong,” April 26, 2004.
17- “Joint Call to Incite a Cross-Culture Revolution,” March 10, 2003.
18- Jon Walker, “Family Life Council says it’s time to bring family back to life,” SBC.net, June 12, 2002.
19- This trend, and its solution, is addressed in Ray Comfort’s book How To Bring Your Children to Christ…& Keep Them There (Genesis Publishing Group).
20- James A. Smith Sr., “Researcher offers ‘modest proposal’ for increasing baptisms,” Baptist Press, May 4, 2005.
21- Founders Ministries Blog.