This past Sunday morning we opened up James 2:14-26 and dealt with the issue of faith and works. We clearly are not saved by our works, but we are transformed unto good works when we surrender to Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10). We covered the research from the book Maximum Faith by George Barna, where he maps the ten stops along the path toward wholeness.
Here they are:
- Ignorance of the concept or existence of sin. 1%
- Aware of and indifferent to sin. 16%
- Concerned about the implications of personal sin. 39%
- Confess sins and ask Jesus Christ to be their Savior. 9%
- Commitment to faith activities. 24%
- Experience a prolonged period of spiritual discontent. 6%
- Experiencing personal brokenness. 3%
- Choosing to surrender and submit fully to God: radical dependence. 1%
- Enjoying a profound intimacy with and love for God. 0.5%
- Experiencing a profound compassion and love for humanity. 0.5%
Where would you place yourself?
Barna thinks most are in a “mindless mutiny” and in a “hopeless meandering.” And he thinks many stop on the path.
He presents five paths:
- Moving sequentially: some go from #1 to #10. Others try other methods.
- Settling for religiosity: some get to stop #6 and choose to settle for #5.
- Exploiting cheap grace: they get to #6 and revert back to #2.
- Becoming angry with God: they go through #6, but when they get to #7, they become angry with a God who would subject them to such a process of testing, and they often return, as well, to #2.
- Traveling the biblical path: they leap from #3 to #7 and move onward.
What path looks most familiar to you?
You can find Barna’s blog entry on this here.