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How Do You Grow Your Faith?

In various surveys that have been done over the years, Americans show themselves to be the most religious of the world’s developed nations. Nearly six in ten U.S. adults say that religion is “very important” in their lives, and roughly four in ten say they attend worship services at least once a week. But a recent Religious Knowledge survey shows that large numbers of Americans are uniformed about the tenets, practices, history and leading figures of major faith traditions, including their own. On average, Americans correctly answer16 of 32 religious knowledge questions. What is interesting is that those who identify themselves as atheists and agnostics answer on average 20 questions correctly while white Catholics and white mainline Protestants answer only 16 correctly. While this proves that knowledge of basic facts does not equal faith, it

makes me wonder why those who claim religion is important to them and worship regularly don’t know more basic facts. For example, while 6 in10 Catholics rightly say that the bread and wine at Mass actually become the body and blood of the Lord, 4 in10 identify these elements as only symbols. In a similar way, 53% of Protestants cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person whose actions and writings inspired the Reformation. If it is true that we can truly love only what we know, then this survey should be of concern to us. If we remain ignorant and unconcerned about who Christ is, what He teaches, and how He wants to touch our lives with His grace, chances are we will not love Him and respond to Him as He desires. Perhaps we should ask ourselves what we regularly do to grow in our faith. We make time for other things we find important. What do we do to grow in Christ?


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