Are born again Christians more likely to divorce their spouses than unbelievers are? Some recent studies say, “Yes.” According to one widely reported survey, 27% of born again Christians have been divorced, in comparison to 24% of those who are not born again.
For the one who understands the life-changing power of the gospel, these findings raise a significant question: “What, in the mind of these pollsters, constitutes a born again Christian?” According to the research firm that conducted this survey, a born again Christian is an individual who (1) claims to have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important to him today and (2) believes that he will go to heaven because he has confessed his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior.
To categorize an individual as “born again” because of his answer to two simple questions, however, fails to recognize a solemn truth—not everyone who professes eternal life actually possesses eternal life. Jesus Himself said that many would come to Him on the day of judgment, calling Him, “Lord, Lord” and fully expecting to inherit eternal life, only to be told that they never knew Him (Matt 7:21-23). In fact, Scripture is replete with warnings to those who confess Christ with their mouths but do not possess genuine, saving faith (e.g., Mark 7:6; Luke 6:46; Titus 1:16; James 2:14; 1 John 1:6; 2:4, 9; 4:20; Rev 3:1).
So what about the “born again Christians” in the divorce survey? Where does this group of individuals stand? According to a poll by the same research firm, 15% of born again Christians deny the resurrection of Christ; 28% believe that Jesus committed sins during His life on earth; 34% believe that if a person is good enough he can earn a place in heaven; 26% believe that it doesn’t matter what faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons; and 45% believe that Satan is a symbol of evil rather than an actual being. In other words, many of these “born again Christians” are not born again at all.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
John MacArthur debunks the canard that there are slightly more divorces among born again Christians than among the general population.