62 percent of Self-Identified Christians Do Not Believe the Holy Spirit Is Real: Survey
A new study from the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University found that of about 176 million Christians who identify as Christian, more than half of them do not believe that the Holy Spirit exists.
The study from the Arizona college was recently released as part of the American Worldview Inventory, an annual survey that looks at the worldview of U.S. adults.
According to the study, a majority of America's self-identified Christians, including those who identify as evangelicals, believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and the Creator of the universe.
However, more than half of that do not believe in some notable biblical teachings, such as the existence of the Holy Spirit, and only about 6 percent hold a biblical worldview, The Christian Post reports.
A majority also said that they believe that all religious faiths are of equal value and that people are "basically good" and can use those "acts of goodness" to earn their way into Heaven.
"Too often, it seems, people who are simply religious, or regular churchgoers, or perhaps people who want a certain reputation or image embrace the label 'Christian,' regardless of their spiritual life and intentions," George Barna, the lead researcher at the Cultural Research Center, said in a statement. "'Christian' has become somewhat of a generic term rather than a name that reflects a deep commitment to passionately pursuing and being like Jesus Christ."
Some 62 percent of self-identified, born-again Christians said the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being but a "symbol" of God's power, presence and purity.
"As the groundbreaking American Worldview Inventory surveys have demonstrated, just 6 percent of U.S. adults possess a biblical worldview. Labeled 'Integrated Disciples' for their demonstrated ability to assimilate their beliefs into their lifestyle, this group consistently — albeit imperfectly — comes closest to reflecting biblical principles into their opinions, beliefs, behaviors, and preferences," Barna explained.
Overwhelmingly, 99 percent of the group said they believe the Bible is the "accurate and reliable words of God."
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.