PHILADELPHIA, PA – The typical American evangelical understanding of Heaven bares a remarkable resemblance to Hell, according to results of a recent study conducted by the American Evangelical Association (AEA).
“Most American evangelical Christians, being pretty much biblically illiterate and quite comfortable in that condition, tend to view eternal life as something much closer to a bad episode of Casper the Friendly Ghost than anything actually described in Scripture,” noted AEA Director Dr. Josiah Ravenwood in his summary of the report’s findings. “Having long been encouraged to define ‘the dream life’ as one of ease and laziness combined with gluttony and comfort, American evangelicals tend to build their ideas of Heaven along those lines.”
“The thought of one day being physically resurrected on the physical, restored earth to then live, work, cultivate, adventure, and explore God’s Nature as revealed in His creation for all eternity apart from the corruption of sin – like the sins of laziness, apathy, gluttony, and greed – is completely off the radar of most American evangelicals,” added Dr. Ravenwood. “In fact, if you told the typical American evangelical that the eternal life to come for Christians centered on working, growing, and learning by constantly building, cultivating, and exploring God’s creation, all by His grace and all for His glory, they’d very likely think that was crazy want no part of it.”
“Only 5% of respondents came anywhere near a biblical understanding of the perfect life to come for Christians.”
“On the other hand, 82% were convinced that Heaven involved singing forever in a literal, never-ending, never-pausing choir while 86% believed that eternal life after the resurrection would be completely consumed by literally staring at the physical Jesus for all eternity, presumably without even blinking. And 94% were convinced that Heaven involved them “pretty much doing nothing” while just kicking back and enjoying all-you-can eat buffets and endless entertainment provided by angels and whomever or whatever else God creates to amuse them.”
“So yeah, in keeping with modern American tradition, the typical American evangelical view of eternal life centers on self-absorption and self-indulgence, making it much closer to what Scripture describes as Hell than anything it ascribes to the Kingdom of God.”
“There’s a stunner.”
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