By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor
What do Americans think about Jesus? Son of God? Savior to the world? Or, maybe a prophet with some great suggestions on how to love one another?
It’s no secret there are more people at church on Easter and Christmas. That’s not surprising. In fact, Google searches of Jesus Christ shot up by 53 percent in the week leading up to Easter this year.
Barna, a research group that looks at faith and culture, asked questions about Jesus. The answers might be surprising to some. I invite you to look at the results, and think about where you fit in the responses.
Most Americans believe Jesus was a real person. A full 92 percent of adults surveyed said they believe Jesus walked the earth. The number is higher for Baby Boomers and older. More than 95 percent of them think Jesus was a real person. When you strictly look at Millennials, the number goes down to 87 percent. (Time Magazine considers Millennials as those born between 1980 and 2000.)
Younger generations are less confident that Jesus was God on earth. Nearly six in ten adults surveyed believe Jesus was God. Another quarter of adults believe Jesus was simply a religious leader on the same plane as Mohammad or the Buddha. Less than half of Millennials think Jesus was God.
Americans aren’t sure if Jesus was sinless. A little more than half of all surveyed think that while he was on earth, Jesus was human and committed sins like other people. For Millennials, the number was a little higher.
Most Americans say they have a commitment to Jesus Christ. More than six in ten say they’ve made a personal commitment to Jesus. If you break that down, more women (68%) than men (56%) say they’ve taken that step. Money counts, but not in a good way, apparently. Those making more than $100K per year were less likely (53%) to make the commitment than those making less. For instance, of those making less than $50K, a full 65 percent say they have a personal commitment to Jesus.
What does this tell us? Should we, the church and body of Christ, be depressed by these numbers? Not in the least! This tells us we have much work to do and many people to serve, especially among the Millennials.
Trinity United Methodist is focused on bringing the Good News to our community and beyond. But, we need your help. Join us as we extend the love of God and share the peace that passes understanding to all.
I’ll see you in church!