WorldWide Religious News

North America - United States - Christianity - Presbyterian

Survey: Presbyterian Clergy, Laity Unsure if Jesus is 'The Way'
by Fred Jackson and Jody Brown ("AgapePress," June 25, 2003)

A poll of members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) indicates that many do not believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.

The survey found that at least 70% of the members, elders, and clergy of the Presbyterian Church (USA) agreed when asked if they believed the "absolute truth for humankind is in Jesus Christ." But when these same groups were asked whether only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved, the agreement rate fell dramatically.

In fact, only 43% of parishioners, 50% of elders, and 39% of clergy said they could agree with exclusivity of salvation by Christ alone.

As a report by Religion News Service notes, the nature and role of Jesus in salvation has divided the Presbyterian Church (USA) in recent years. A statement passed by the denomination's 2001 General Assembly affirmed salvation through Jesus, but remained silent on the destiny of non-Christians.

That particular resolution stated: "Although we do not know the limits of God's grace and pray for the salvation of those who may come to know Christ, for us the assurance of salvation is found only in confessing Christ and trusting Him alone."

Among other findings from that survey: two-thirds of members and 80% of pastors and elders agree that "Jesus will return to earth some day;" 86% of members and 96% of pastors believe in life after death; 93% of members believe in hell, but only 78% believe in hell; and 88% of pastors claim to pray every day, while 73% of elders and 64% of members make the same claim.

"

by Fred Jackson and Jody Brown ("AgapePress," June 25, 2003)

A poll of members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) indicates that many do not believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.

The survey found that at least 70% of the members, elders, and clergy of the Presbyterian Church (USA) agreed when asked if they believed the "absolute truth for humankind is in Jesus Christ." But when these same groups were asked whether only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved, the agreement rate fell dramatically.

In fact, only 43% of parishioners, 50% of elders, and 39% of clergy said they could agree with exclusivity of salvation by Christ alone.

As a report by Religion News Service notes, the nature and role of Jesus in salvation has divided the Presbyterian Church (USA) in recent years. A statement passed by the denomination's 2001 General Assembly affirmed salvation through Jesus, but remained silent on the destiny of non-Christians.

That particular resolution stated: "Although we do not know the limits of God's grace and pray for the salvation of those who may come to know Christ, for us the assurance of salvation is found only in confessing Christ and trusting Him alone."

Among other findings from that survey: two-thirds of members and 80% of pastors and elders agree that "Jesus will return to earth some day;" 86% of members and 96% of pastors believe in life after death; 93% of members believe in hell, but only 78% believe in hell; and 88% of pastors claim to pray every day, while 73% of elders and 64% of members make the same claim.


Related Sections | Surveys