“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams, Founding Father
“Once faith dies, the death of hope follows hard on its heels.” ―
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” — Karl Marx, founder of Communism, July 10, 2018
“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.” — Deuteronomy 28 : NIV.
We recently learned about the Barna Group which has been for 38 years surveying the populations of one-hundred cities across America and measuring how Godless, individuals without faith, religion or morals, their people are.
According to the Barna Group website:
The Barna Group is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization under the umbrella of the Issachar Companies.
Located in Ventura, California, Barna Group has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984.
One of the areas studied is the loss of the populations of certain cities of their Christian beliefs which they call “Post-Christian” enclaves. We like to refer to the populations in these cities as part of a “Godless Enclave.”
Barna Group looks at these Post-Christian Metrics:
- Do not believe in God
- Identify as atheist or agnostic
- Disagree that faith is important in their lives
- Have not prayed to God (in the last week)
- Have never made a commitment to Jesus
- Disagree the Bible is accurate
- Have not donated money to a church (in the last year)
- Have not attended a Christian church (in the last 6 months)
- Agree that Jesus committed sins
- Do not feel a responsibility to “share their faith”
- Have not read the Bible (in the last week)
- Have not volunteered at church (in the last week)
- Have not attended Sunday school (in the last week)
- Have not attended religious small group (in the last week)
- Bible engagement scale: low (have not read the Bible in the past week and disagree strongly or somewhat that the Bible is accurate)
- Not Born Again
To qualify as Post-Christian “the citizens in the cities studied had to meet nine or more of the above factors. To be classified as ‘Highly post-Christian’ individuals must meet 13 or more of the factors (out of these 16 criteria).”
Florida’s Post-Christian Populated Cities
Here are the Florida cities rated “Post-Christian” with their ranking (out of 100 cities in America) and percent of Godlessness:
- #14 Ft. Myers-Naples, FL (52%)
- #44 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL (45%)
- #49 Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL (44%)
- #56 West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL (42%)
- #62 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, FL (41%)
- #85 Jacksonville, FL (34%)
- #93 Mobile, AL-Pensacola-Ft. Walton Beach, FL (33%)
To view the full chart and see if you and your city is listed as Post-Christian click here.
The Bottom Line
Religion and religious beliefs are based upon two critical social and cultural constructs:
- A belief in a monotheistic and all powerful God.
- A set of rules by which one must live their lives (i.e. The Ten Commandments contained in Exodus 20:3)
The Ten Commandments are the fundamental basis of Western Civilization’s laws and beliefs. With out these Commandments mankind can literally do anything to anyone without any ultimate punishment, such as certain people always getting away with murder and the glorification of criminals and criminality. In some cases for political gain.
For those who forget, here’s what is in Exodus 20:3:
- “You shall have no other gods before me.
- “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
- “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
- “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
- “You shall not murder.
- “You shall not commit adultery.
- “You shall not steal.
- “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
We believe that the most egregious sin is coveting for it leads to all other sins, which are:
Godlessness and sin are opposite sides of the same coin called life.
Live the good life under God with faith, religion and morals and you will have blessing in this life and the promise of life everlasting in heaven.
If you live a godless life you will succumb to the seven deadly sins and be damned both in this life and for eternity.
BTW, isn’t it ironic that there are seven godless populations in Florida and seven deadly sins?
And thus ends the lesson on Florida’s Godless Enclaves.
In its nearly 40-year history, Barna Group has conducted more than two million interviews over the course of thousands of studies, and has become a go-to source for insights about faith and culture, leadership and vocation, and generations. Barna Group has carefully and strategically tracked the role of faith in America, developing one of the nation’s most comprehensive databases of spiritual indicators.
Barna Group has worked with thousands of business, nonprofit organizations and churches across the U.S. and around the world, including many protestant denominations, Catholic parishes, and faith leaders. Some of its notable clients have included the Salvation Army, World Vision, Compassion, the American Bible Society, and Habitat for Humanity. It has also served mainstream business and non-profit leaders at organizations like Sony, Walden Media, Easter Seals, CARE, the ONE Campaign, the Humane Society, the Gates Foundation, and NBC Universal.
The firm’s studies are frequently cited in sermons and talks, and its public opinion research is often quoted in major media outlets such as CNN, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, and the Los Angeles Times.
© Barna Group, 2019. All rights reserved.
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