Wednesday, March 17, 2010

‘Easter’ and the Resurrection

Survey: Less than Half Link Easter to the Resurrection

Religion News Service reports that less than half of U.S. adults link Easter directly to the Resurrection of Jesus, even though most describe Easter as a religious holiday. According to a Barna Group survey, seven in 10 respondents mentioned religion or spirituality in their response to an open-ended question about how they describe what Easter means to them personally. But just 42 percent tied Easter to the Resurrection. At 73 percent, baby boomers (ages 45 to 63) were the most likely to describe Easter as a religious holiday, compared to two-thirds of those ages 26 to 44 and Americans 64 and older. The youngest group of adults (ages 18 to 25) were least likely, at 58 percent, to use that kind of description. "The Easter holiday in particular still has a distinctly religious connection for people but ... the specifics of it are really fading in a lot of people's minds," said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group.

Kent comments:

Even among those who make a connection between ‘Easter’ and the resurrection, it would be interesting to know what they mean by ‘the resurrection.’  Long before this connection faded in society at large, it was subverted in the church.

For many decades now, many mainline churches have redefined ‘the resurrection’ as being nothing more than a psychological event restricted to the ‘hearts and minds’ of the disciples.  It was something that might re-occur in our hearts and minds.  When you ‘believe’ (whatever that means in this context) Jesus has been ‘raised’ for you.

But in this way of thinking, it never happened in history, in time-and-space, so to speak.  Those who learned their ‘Christianity’ in these places don’t really accept the resurrection of Jesus as it is presented in the New Testament.

This perversion of the gospel formed a large part of the ‘theological hole’ by which much non-Christian garbage has been sucked into what used to be the church.

It would be interesting indeed if Barna asked the question, “What do you mean by ‘the resurrection’?”  The range and content of the answers would probably be shocking.

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