"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Study Reveals Nondogmatic Faith

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Study Reveals Nondogmatic Faith

Thanks to RWB for alerting us to the recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey, which seems to have surprised everyone with its finding that a sizable majority of Americans believe that "many religions can lead to eternal life."


Genie is outta the bottle.

RWB finds this "contrary to God's word" and I can understand why, if one prefers a literalist approach to the Bible. Perhaps if the Pew people had phoned as many Laestadians as Jehovah Witnesses (the only group with a majority claiming exclusive truth), the numbers might have changed a bit.

But maybe not.

Clearly, most folks in the 21st century have experienced, seen and/or read too much about other religions to be seduced by claims of exceptionalism.

Some baffled commentators have wondered whether survey respondents actually intended to say that "many denominations (Christian denominations) can lead to eternal life." Hmmmm. I may overestimate the average American's intelligence, but I think most folks know the difference between religion and denomination. Don't you?


  1. One would like to think so, Free, but I fear that may not be the case. In my neck of the woods, one is asked, on a regular basis, "what church do you attend?" or "what religion are you?" And I don't think they're asking "Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or what?"


  2. I would think so too. When people ask what religion I am I say Christian. I happen to attend a Methodist church, but I am not a Methodist, I am a Christian. According to my dad, who is part of a Laestadian church, other churches are a different religion. I highly disagree, they are a different denomination of Christians. All with the same faith, just a few different opinions on some issues.

  3. I think when so many churches feel thiers is the exclusive route to heaven, then they do indeed put any other belief into a different category/religion; think of the many churches/people we know in those churches, who feel others outside of thier church are "unbelievers" and "dead faith" It is US and THEM. There is NO distinction between different interpretations/practices of Christianity and say Muslum or Morman. If its not US then its THEM and none of THEM are "true" and certainly not saved.

    I think still too many folks refuse to acknowledge the difference between religion and denomination...

    Although one can dearly hope and pray that with all our technology and available information folks WILL begin to "experience, see and/or read too much about other other religions to be seduced by claims of exceptionalism."