Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Topography of Faith

The Pew survey results are shown on the USA Today website. The site quotes Pew as saying it was a survey of 35,556 adults, based on random telephone interviews conducted in English and Spanish from May 8-August 13, 2007.  Another 1,050 interviews were added from a poll of Muslim adults in American in Arabic, Farsi and Urdu from January 24 through April 30, 2007.  The surveys are available on line at

On the results map it is possible to cursor over states and see some extrapolated results.  Take care, however, if you wish some state results – they are combined with others (i.e. North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana).  The number of people specifying no religion is highest in the northeastern states and along the Pacific coast.

Don’t think of those being just the highly populated areas.  The combined results for Vermont/New Hampshire is 26% of the population not affiliated with any religion with Maine the second highest at 25%.
To me that’s a high percentage of people who are not affiliated with any religion.  My home state sits at 12% who consider themselves not religious.  Mississippi appears to be the lowest, at 6%.

I do pray that with that high percentage of people saying they are attending a church that there is a large display of the fruits of the spirit!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (Ephesians 5:9 KJV)

If they are like me, I have a tendency to fall short.  I have problems with ‘longsuffering’ – fortitude and patience.  But, I’m working on that.  ‘Meekness’, too – humility before my God is fairly easy, but there are times pride in my work takes over.  I pray to be content with satisfaction, not pride.

Love, joy, peace – those fill us quickly when we open our hearts to God, for He is love.  To know Him requires love.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8 KJV)

Temperance – Okay, so I come up short on self-control, too.  Yes, I can admit to my faults, and there are many.  Why not?  God knows them all, too. Again, the Bible tells me so:

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (1 John 3:20 KJV)

David understood this and shared his heart with us:

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalms 103:10-12 KJV)

For that, I am eternally grateful!!!

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