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New Names For A Better Understanding
by Sim Lee
11/19/2018 / World Affairs
"In everything set them an example by doing what is good." Titus 2:7a NIV
People of Faith have been called by many names and descriptions, normally to highlight the differences between the speaker and the one who drew his attention. Be it the name of a particular denomination or referring to the whole of Christendom, labels were simply that, a classification that was understood by others, for better or worse.
If one were to drop denominations from the religious discussions among us, it would also remove those labels that hinder discussions. In effect, that is what the Pew Research Center has done to give clearer meaning to some of its studies.*
Pew developed seven categories to best describe just how active religiously and spiritually people are compared to one another:
1. Sunday Stalwarts: religious traditionalists active in their beliefs and in their congregation. America - 17%
2. God-and-Country Believers: conservative both politically and socially, but less active in their congregation. America - 17%
3. Diversely Devout: possessing traditional and nontraditional religious beliefs. America - 17%
4. Relaxed Religious: some traditional beliefs, not active in their congregations and do not believe that people must believe in God to be moral. America - 15%
5. Spiritually Awake: nontraditional beliefs, favor New Age ideas and believe in an afterlife. America - 12%
6. Religion Resisters: spurns organized religion, preferring nontraditional or no beliefs. America - 12%
7. Solidly Secular: reject all forms of spiritual belief. America - 11%
Using these new classifications, different denominations or different religions can be directly compared and general conclusions made of each about the other(s).
For example: In America the Evangelicals have the highest percentage of "Sunday Stalwarts" (36%) and Roman Catholics have the lowest (20%).
Note: In viewing these figures, it should be kept in mind that there are 13 million atheists and agnostics and 33 million people with no religious affiliation in America, accounting for 20% of the U.S. Population.
*Christian Post, "Pew Releases New Religious Groupings" by Michael Gryoski, 10-2018
Sim Lee is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.
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