How Religious Is Your State? & WLWW Link-Up Party!

Gallup just released their newest polls and research on Religiousity in America and I thought it was interesting.

religious-states-us-map-gallup_.jpeg

 Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Just because someone calls himself “Religious” doesn’t mean they have a “Walk with the King” or have an intimate walk with Jesus…but I think this map shows us where more evangelism needs to be done…some states are saturated with Bible believing churches on every street corner – while others are desolate!

I love the power of the Internet that shines light into every dark nook and cranny of America!!!

For my readers in the U.S., how does your state look?  We don’t have to get on an airplane and fly across the ocean to find a lost person to share the gospel with – for most of us – we just need to walk across the street.

Keep spreading the truth till the whole world hears!!!

Walk with the King,

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Comments

  1. New England used to be a stronghold of Christianity…which is now no more. We need more church plants here. Anyone?? ;)

    • New England, the land of the quiet and proud Yankee, suffer in privacy, don’t tell me how to live my life independent souls, God bless ‘em!

      While my husband and I found a lovely, small, evangelical church with a servant’s heart, I agree with you and the results of the poll. There is plenty of room to grow! We do a lot of outreach in our community and are preparing to host a workcamp this summer through the national organization Group Workcamps, which brings close to 400 adults and teens to our area to work on 40-60 homes for folks.

      I have seen hearts and minds changed through these weeklong workfests and tremendously enjoy being a part of them. For our church, it’s about showing God’s love in a practical way, whether through food pantry, our workcamps, etc.

    • I was born and raised in Mass. So I understand this deep need very well! My husband and I are about to go on our internship. He is currently attending seminary at Baptist Bible Seminary is Clarks Summit, PA. And that is our burden given to us by our Lord: for the New England area. We have had a passion for 8 years to begin planting churches in New England (thus, the reason to go to seminary) and there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!! We are praying for doors to open in that area, as well as preparing the hearts of the people we will one day have the blessing to minister to! My blog is a mix of things, but mainly to document our journey as we live out God’s will for our lives!! So yes! Here I am! Send me, Lord!!!!

    • We have been a homeschool family in New York for 20 years now. The changes we have seen even among the homeschool community. When we started homeschooling there were mostly Christian homeschool groups. Now, many homeschoolers here are not Christians. Also, there is a strong dislike towards the Christians from the non-christian homeschoolers. My husband and I are doing our best to move the word. I have joined a non-christian homeschool group and I am waiting to see what doors the Father opens to speak and minister His word. They know I am a believer and they can’t figure out why I am there.
      God Bless

      • That is awesome. I have had to insert myself into non-christian groups as well to meet people. New Englanders distrust people unless they have known you all your life. We are very private and hence, do not want your thoughts about religion. sigh. On second thought, The Red Sox is the religion of this area. :) God bless you, Christine. I hope you have an open door of utterance.

    • Freedommoments says:

      New England is often referred to as a church planters graveyard. I’ve even herd from more then a few people that people often would rather head overseas then head to New England. It’s extremely sad and heart breaking to see that out of the bottom 10 states 5 of those are in New England and all but 1 out of the bottom 5 are New England states.

  2. I have to admit that my first thought was that I’m glad I live in the region that I do. And then I realized – if we just think about being happy in our own little Christian enclaves, how will our country be reached, let along the world? Very convicting stuff.

  3. Greetings from New York, which is NOT right up there on the list! No surprise to us who live here. And probably because of these stats, few great Christian conferences, concerts, and events find their way up here in the Northeast.

    You make an important point that just because someone says they are religious, doesn’t mean that they are passionate followers of Christ. There are fewer ‘cultural’ Christians than in other parts of the country … but those of us who love and serve Jesus are just as passionate about our faith as anywhere else.

    Because when all is said and done, the Holy Spirit knows no bounds!!

  4. Oh man I live in NH which ranked LOW! I have heard others say that, but growing up here I don’t really know any other way. I am blessed to have an awesome church that is on fire for God, so hopefully Lord willing, this will change in the months and years to come!

  5. Some words from the #3 state…. honestly, it’s really sad to me. I live here and lots of people go to church but it’s also very unfortunate because we’ve become so ‘Christianized’. I live in a state where in many churches a weak gospel is preached, thus resulting in people who believe that walking the aisle at Bible school will get them to heaven. Everyone here is a Christian, but you’re often hardpressed to see a life that backs it up.

    • Billy Graham said that people in the Bible belt were vaccinated with Christianity. Just enough so that they didn’t actually catch it.

      • This is so true. There are so many that know there is a God…. but they don’t KNOW HIM personally. It is even apparent in our church. Sunday worship attendance is around 1000 yet, Sunday School, Sunday & Wednesday services are between 300-400. It is very sad to see especially when there are many that I am friends with…. they just don’t get it. Being religious is one thing…. but having a one on one personal relationship with Jesus is very different. Even in those high ranking religious states REVIVAL is necessary! Our country needs PRAYER!!!

    • I too find those sentiments widespread here in the #7 state. I also find it interesting that Mississippi is #1, and just this past year the voters there rejected an amendment to their constitution to define life at conception. There were preachers from across the denominations (including, more infamously, a Southern Baptist minister) who encouraged citizens to vote against it because it was “vague,” etc. I’ll be so bold as to say, life should not be a gray area for Christians, and yet somehow it was in our #1 religious state. Not that other states would have done better. Just saying!

  6. Hello Courtney,

    I am from MA and not surprised to see my state in the top 5 for most non-religious! It is so incredibly hard to get a conservtive elected here. We are the “Kennedy State” as some refer to it. And we are surrounded by the other more liberal states to boot. We have hardly any great conferences for Christians in this neck of the woods, one has to travel down the east coast into the south for that.

    There are alot of lost souls here if anyone can’t find someone just get off the plane at Logan Airport in Boston or any major city and you will finds thousands:-)

    Suzanne

  7. Live in Washington very hard state people in Seattle area are so educated that they can’t see their need of
    Christ. Our Pastor (my son :) has a real burden for Seattle and we are endeavoring to start a Church in Beacon Hill area, we know that with God’s help we will see it happen.

  8. It was no surprise to me that NV is not at the top of the list. And I couldn’t be happier living in Las Vegas! We are in a city that many people stir clear from. However, we are seeing God working & moving in mighty ways across our valley. I can honestly say that after living in OH, CA and now NV, my husband and I have never been in a church that is more Biblically based or fully alive in Christ as where He has planted us right now! The fields truly are white unto the harvest!

  9. Awesome post Courtney!! In Denver, 95% are unchurched. Crazy!! But there is also such a willingness of people to talk about spiritual things. The harvest truly is plentiful but the willing workers few.

  10. Courtney I’m so glad you mentioned that- people that claim to be religious and Christian oftentimes are not. Some studies show that the church with regards to divorce, etc. is the SAME or sometimes worse as non-religious society. This to me does not mean that Christians are the same, those that are aiming to honor the Lord with their lives (note that I say aiming, NOT perfect), but that religious people claiming to be Christian (those C&E Christians as they call them and others) are living the same as the world. Here in Kansas there are plenty of churches and people are decently kind (more kind then my home state of Florida). We have a big mission field nonetheless.

    Blessings,
    Nicole at Working Kansas Homemaker

  11. What a great post! It’s interesting and needs to be brought to attention! Thank you for sharing this.

  12. I can find churches left and right in my travels in NJ which kind of surprises me with the results for this state. I consider myself blessed to work in a secular workplace yet within my department of 3 we are Jesus Loving individuals. Not that I don’t see behavior and actions around us that reflect the world’s values and not God’s.

  13. I should also add that I attend a nondenominational church in an affluent county of NJ. My church’s motto is “Embrace God’s Love. Extend God’s Grace” and they reflect a passionate desire to reach out in the community as well as the mission field, and overseas. They talk often about loving those around us where we live (we have a women’s prison in the area that they have a ministry for), but support helping poor in other countries. It’s amazing how important it is to not stay still and be comfortable. I’m hoping NJ % of those in love with God will increase, in fact I count on it because of HIM.

  14. That is so interesting! I don’t think we have statstics like that for the provinces here in the Philippines!

  15. Yes, there is much to do in America. So many are lost and drifting. I find this very sad overall that so many are so lost. But, we have hope, so much hope!

    Have a wonderful day!

  16. Christine says:

    Another thing to notice is that the survey was measuring religiosity, not Christianity. A devout Mormon or Muslim (etc.) would also count in the “very religious” category – thus the strong showing for Utah.

  17. Hello from Oregon!
    My pastor often reminds us that we live in a very unchurched state and that we have a calling in our own home state/city. There are signs each Sunday, as you enter it says “Welcome” or something and on the back, on your way out, the sign says, “NOW ENTERING YOUR MISSION FIELD”. I love that!

    :)

  18. Just dropping a comment from good old Vermont.
    One thing about the majority of people here is they aren’t going to claim to be something they aren’t.
    Not being saturated in Christian culture and having to seek out fellowship is just what I’m used to.
    Someone mentioned church planting above but the issue isn’t lack of churches, it’s lack of fruitful dialog about God.
    There also is some flat out hatred of Christianity in the culture here.
    Please keep the twin states in your prayers. <3

    • I agree with this! you can most def. find churches in New England that “claim” to preach truth. But that’s just it…it’s not really truth. From my experience (born and raised in MA), churches are either ULTRA conservative or ULTRA liberal…but no one seems to authentically preach the Bible. New Englanders can see through the “fake-ness” of hypocritical living. My husband and I, God willing, are attempting to plant churches in the future that preach it true (the good and the bad…balance is key!)…and you’re right, “more” churches aren’t necessarily needed…but the people that are already there need to start preaching it true, as well.

      • Thanks Michelle!
        Though I agree about the church thing on one level I do have some other thoughts on it.
        It took me so long to find the church family I belong to now.
        My home church broke up when I was a teenager over certain people wanting more the social aspect of church than fruitful discourse.
        It doesn’t just take strong preaching to create a church that welcomes and teaches; it takes a core body of believers that are genuine. Honestly, even though we have a wonderful pastor it was really dialog with core members of the church that kept me there. I’m so thankful for them.
        Part of the whole, suffer in silence, New England issue… is lack of relationships.
        Lack of open relationships with each other that create opportunities for that dialog to be genuine and personal.
        “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. “- Prov 27:17
        Forming relationships that close is very difficult in a culture where being independent and stubbornly un-admitting of weakness are considered strengths.

        • Caitlyn, I just wrote about this two days ago on my blog: about the idolatry of independence and autonomy which is totally the NORM in New England churches. We rarely confront about sin, which is a disgrace. Teaching is essential of course, but without a “family” atmosphere, the body cannot thrive. NE-ers have bought into the lie that we are self sufficient…when in fact God put us into a body of believers for our own good. Loved reading your thoughts. Warm Hugs from cold New England. he,he

  19. Not surprised that IL is an almost 30-30-30 split. Pretty sad, that’s for sure!

  20. I’m a WA & AK girl… I knew they would be near the bottom. But as another person stated, people are quite frank about where they are at spiritually around here. You don’t have to weed through the Christians as much to figure out who is serious and who is not. Right now we live in a city my husband has termed “the bible belt of WA”. And it is. It’s an anomaly in this state. Lots of “religious” Christians whose faith is as shallow as a wading pool. It’s very different from the church we left in Seattle when we moved over here. There, you knew you were in a mission field. Even if the person next to you had only just come to Christ, they were digging deep and making radical changes. It was really exciting to be a part of. But over here it’s different. And while it may not be as fast paced, seeing growth in fellow Christians is still exciting.

    One thing I truly miss is all these great conferences that happen in other parts of the country. They rarely come here. The “big” names do sometimes. But the smaller ones (the ones I really want to go to!) never do.

  21. I am STUNNED that the state I live in (California) is average, sadly. Maybe it’s because I live in SoCal.

    Thanks to this map, we know who to pray for.

    Thank you for sharing!

  22. I am encouraged by all the women here who are my sisters in faith in New England. It is so good to know you are here! This is a tough area of the country to crack: very liberal, very private, very independent. We just take it day by day, and use the invitational approach.

  23. Courtney, great food for thought today. With my heart for the next generation, it really has me thinking of how this impacts raising our children, especially our tweens and teens. It is stirring me so much, I think it may have to be a Grace Chats (http://www.moretobe.com/2012/03/18/gracechats/) discussion on the More to Be Facebook page tomorrow. Thanks so much for inspiring us in our faith and walk with the King. Love how you’ve impressed that on my heart!

  24. I live in Ok. Our pastor recently did some research and his numbers were shocking…He found that only about 15% of the people in our town attend church. That got me to thinking if there are (approx) 25 kids in each class only about 3 of them (I think not great at math but you get the picture) attend church on a regular basis. SHOCKING…I mean if my son/daughter is 1 of the 3 he/she only has two friends that share their beliefs and can encourage each other into making the right decisions and not pressure them into bad choices. Right now they are in elementary but decisions will only get harder. Sad…God bless the people that drag all the neighborhood kids to church with them!

  25. In our little Wisconsin town of 5000, we have more than 30 churches. We find a lot of religiousity here, but increasingly, less Jesus. The people of God haven’t changed much from Moses’ day. Neither the law, nor a label, will take us where God is leading.

  26. I loved reading what other commenters wrote on the Bible Belt being vaccinated! I had to move from the Highly Religious state to the Almost Not At All state to find Jesus. My friend (another southerner) and I have coined the term “Southern Christians”. They believe in God. They know Jesus died. But they’re just words on a history page, not their LIFE!

  27. Courtney, I love you comment, “Just because someone calls himself “Religious” doesn’t mean they have a “Walk with the King” or have an intimate walk with Jesus,” and you are so right.
    I live in Mississippi and have also found a bit of info that made me think and bit. Mississippi is the most “religious” state, but we are also ranked #1 in the US as being the poorest state.

  28. I live in Utah and it’s at the top of the list and it’s definitely “religious” and not “Christian” here. If you are not Mormon, you are in the minority by far. After living here, it makes me sad that more missionaries aren’t preaching the gospel here in their own country.

    • My husband and I are getting ready to move to Utah to help this team: http://www.plant4thegospel.com. We are moving as laypeople – we will just live in the community and try to do whatever we can to help the pastors get started. We are both scared (leaving our families and comforts) and excited but God has clearly led us to go with this team and that is where we need to be. God IS moving, we definitely need to pray for our neighborhoods and states, wherever we are. We can’t take for granted that our community is “religious” – as so many people have said, that doesn’t mean people know Jesus personally!

  29. Yay for living in the wonderful South! I must say I’m am surprised that CA would be “average” and not “below average.” I guess I think less of CA due to the insanity within Hollywood and other issues that are not “the right thing to do.”

  30. I agree being “religious” doesn’t make you a Christian. My mother is a “religious” Roman Catholic but does not understand we are saved by grace and not works. I will never forget when I told her I was reading my Bible and she said “what you think you are a priest now”

    • Christine says:

      LOL- Catholics who truly understand and live their faith read the Bible! I promise:)

      • Thanks for posting that. I don’t understand why so many people think that Catholics don’t read the Bible. My family is Catholic and we read the Bible every day.

  31. This is very interesting. I live in Utah and I can tell you with 100% certainty that the 57% “very religious” are not evangelical Christians. The predominant religion in the state of Utah is Mormonism (LDS). This is one of the hardest states to evangelize in because most people think that they already know God and/or are good enough to get into heaven. Mormonism is a heavily works-based religion, most Mormons don’t believe that the blood of Jesus is enough to guarantee them eternal life.

    • I hesitate because I know very many of you have been indoctrinated to believe that Mormons are not Christians. I love Courtney’s blog because so much of what is said here is spiritually uplifting and helpful to me and strengthens my testimony of Jesus Christ. I happen to be a devout Mormon who lives in Utah and I can tell you that you are wrong on your assessment that Mormons don’t believe that “the blood of Jesus is enough to guarantee them eternal life.”

      Here is a scripture from The Book of Mormon on grace: “I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.” That scripture was given by a Book of Mormon prophet who lived before the time of Christ and was prophesying of the coming of Christ. Please tell me if there is something in that scripture that leads you to believe that we do not believe in grace, but only works, or as you say “heavily works-based”. I could quote many, many more here, and those of the Bible, which we also believe in, but I don’t want to take up more space than I already will. When you say heavily works-based, how is trying to live our religion and pattern our lives after Jesus Christ any different than the way you are trying to live? If you are trying to be Christ-like (which is what a Christian is, someone who follows Jesus Christ and tries to be like him) and help people and love people and serve people, how is that not works? Isn’t that just patterning your life after Jesus Christ the same way I try to pattern mine after him? That is what works are–patterning your life after the Savior and following him. After all, didn’t he say, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19)?

      Here is an article by a prominent member of the Mormon Church on grace (published in BYU Magazine that is owned by the Mormon Church and therefore everything that is published by BYU has to be approved and doctrinally correct) that I just love: http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=2968

      Please at least read the article to see if this explanation of grace is so very different from your own. It is really hurtful to be judged by other Christians claiming that I don’t believe in the right Christ or that I don’t believe in grace or that I am not a Christian. Especially when those other Christians have been told over the pulpit by their preacher without learning it or studying for themselves what Mormons believe. If you want to know what a Mormon believes, ask a Mormon. I certainly wouldn’t go and ask a Muslim what a Jew believed. Our Mormon leaders don’t stand at the pulpit and preach to us that other Christians believe wrongly. Instead they tell us to love our Christian brothers and sisters and serve them and unite with them to fight against the evil in the world.

      And since you live in Utah, you might have witnessed that, yes, there are a great many Mormons here who don’t understand their faith because they are so entrenched in the culture (like the metaphor someone mentioned before about the South being vaccinated) that they don’t really know what they believe and don’t live up to what they believe either. That doesn’t mean the rest of us are that way.

      • Jenna – thank you for sharing your heart here. I think we might be able to more clearly see our differences if you looked at my statement of belief (which is the typical evangelical Christian statement of belief).

        You will find it here by scrolling to the bottom of the page: http://womenlivingwell.org/about-me/

        Would you say that you believe the same things that I do?? I would guess that you don’t hold to number 1 – since you quoted the Book of Mormon above…how about #2 – the trinity and #3 – The deity of Christ – Jesus is God in the flesh?

        I am not in any way challenging you – only trying to find clarity…

        I love and welcome anyone who wants to read my blog and grow closer to God – you are very welcome here – but I do think it’s fair that we are clear that we are different religions…that’s just being honest with our core doctrines. It’s not jugding or pointing fingers just speaking the truth in love.

        Again – I thank you for sharing your heart…I know that talking faith and politics always steps on toes…and so if you dialogue with me here – toes might get stepped on and it won’t feel real good – but in the end I think we’ll have clarity. :)
        Lots of Love,
        Courtney

        • I only quoted the Book of Mormon to show that the Book of Mormon is a book of scripture about Jesus Christ. I can quote the Bible equally as well.

          • Jenna – like I said – I don’t want to step on toes…this is not an easy exchange for me to have with you – because I truly care about you and don’t wish to hurt feelings…but feelings aside…this is where the rubber meets the road.

            I gave the link to my faith statement above because you will see in #1 – we believe that the Bible is the “sole written revelation that rules the faith and practice for all Christians.”

            We hold to Revelation 22:18,19 which says “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”

            So our conclusion would be that The Book of Mormon is an addition to God’s word and that Revelation 22:18 warns against this therefore we would say that Mormons are of a different religious faith.

            Ouch! I know – those are not easy words to receive but I have to deal honestly with our differences of doctrines. This is only one example of our differences. If we dug deeper we would unearth many more.

            I think that from the outside looking in we appear similiar – we both have strong faith, love our husbands and children and desire to love others well…but the truth is – we are of different faiths.

            Does that make sense?
            Courtney

          • Okay, now I’ve read them. I think you’ll find that our beliefs are actually more aligned than they are different. For #1, we DO believe the Bible to be inspired by God, we just also believe that God can inspire other works as well and did with the Book of Mormon. So, yes, that is a difference, but we also believe in the Holy Bible.

            #2. We do believe in one God, who is the Creator of all things, we just believe that God, the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are actually three distinct beings. However, that belief shouldn’t separate us from Christianity as we still believe in a Divine Creator and in all three of the aforementioned beings.

            #3. We do believe that Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, that He lived a sinless life and that He died for our sins. We do believe that He is the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed AND that He rose again on the third day and now sits on the right hand of God as our Advocate.

            #4. We believe that the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead and all the things you listed that you believe about His ministry and purposes.

            #5. We do believe that all people are created in the image of God and because of Adam’s sin people are sinful by nature and choice and that apart from forgiveness through Jesus Christ, all are alienated and lost from God.

            #6. We do believe that Salvation comes through grace (if you’d read the article I posted, you’d see that we don’t rely on our OWN works to get into heaven, we just believe that we need to live as good of a life as we can to show that our hearts are truly changed). We cannot get into heaven by our works at all; it is only through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice that we are saved. You’ve probably heard us quote James 2:17-18 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” This only means that we are showing our faith outwardly by serving our fellowmen and trying to be like Jesus in all we do. That is what we believe about works. If one claims to have faith but then does not live a life that shows any inclination of that faith, where is their heart really? It’s actually very simple. If your heart is truly changed, you can’t help but love and serve others and that is what is meant by works.

            #7. We do believe in the resurrection of the body and that at death, the spirits go to two places. We only have different terminology: Spirit Prison (Hell) and Spirit Paradise (Heaven) until Judgment Day. Why would there be a Judgment Day if one is not supposed to actively follow Christ and do the things He said and not just declare their faith in Him? And we do believe that on that day our bodies will be raised from the grave and we will be able to either live eternally with Christ or eternally in Hell. We just have more clarification on the subject because of the Book of Mormon, more on what Heaven or Hell will be like. I’m not sure why that makes us un-Christian.

            8. You claim to believe that “the Church consists of ALL who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior” and that “every local Church…should seek to support the unity of all Christ-honoring churches and ministries.” Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as Savior yet are told often by other Christians that we are not Christian. So it seems that this last statement of belief isn’t true. We are Christian, just as you are, as we believe in Christ, we believe in all those things you had in your statement of belief. Other than a few variations in the details of the belief, they aren’t very different.

            If you ask any other Mormon who knows their doctrine, they will say the same things. I believe in Christ as my Savior and although I believe in the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible, they are companion scripture, that doesn’t make me not a Christian. If you really, truly, honestly want clarification, actually read the Book of Mormon to see if it’s the evil book so many seem to think it is and you might be surprised that the entire book professes of Jesus Christ.

          • Jenna – I won’t be able to respond to your longer comment until late this afternoon because I have a full day planned with my family…but many of the things you said above are not small discrepencies – they are additions (see the Revelation passage) – they are hills we die on…based on scripture. They are the very reasons we consider us to be different faiths.

          • Hey quick question and then I have to hop off the computer – do you believe that Jesus is God? Just a quick yes or no will help us cut to the chase and clarify things…

          • This is in response to your 8 point comment. Thank you for taking the time to list out what you believe. I know that took a lot of time and I really appreciate you clearly articulating it. You are quite patient Jenna – beautiful!!! Here’s a few of my thoughts with our differences clarified.

            1. The Bible is our sole authority…it is not your soul authority.

            2. We believe that God the Father is God, God the Son is God and God the Holy Spirit is God all in one – called the trinity…you do not believe that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one with God and fully God.

            3. You affirmed #3 but skipped over the first 8 words… “We believe that Jesus Christ is Fully God.”

            Do you see that the core of our beliefs are different…and we cannot both be right…either the Bible is the sole authority or it isn’t – either Jesus is God or he is not God.

            I think that it’s being intellectually honest to say that our main faith doctrines are different and therefore we are different religions.

            Much Love,
            Courtney

      • Jenna,
        Thank you so much for sharing the article! I read it entirely. Although he makes some very good and Biblical points about the Grace of God, it has helped me to see even more clearly that Mormons and Evangelical Christians have some very different beliefs on key doctrinal issues, not just minor peripheral.
        Blessings!
        Dayna

  32. Thanks for hosting! I shared a recipe for an iron-boosting orange salad on my iron site.

  33. I loved the map. Indeed just because it is a religious state doesn’t mean that they follow the Savior. Utah is a very Christian state; even though many don’t believer that Mormon’s are Christians. I find that interesting since our Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    • LeAn – I just addressed this above with Jenna if you’d like to read my response.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

      • a church in our city did a sermon on the explanation of some of the biggest differences between Christians and Mormons. I think it is presented in really clear, honest, and kind manner.

        http://vimeo.com/35146640

      • Jennifer R. says:

        Courtney,
        THANK YOU! I hope these ladies will understand it is with love that truth was shared. I was born in Utah and was once Mormon. I have been a Christian for nearly 8 years now and the Lord has blessed my life abundantly. I’m so full of gratitude. I don’t bash Mormons they are some of the most beautiful people I know. I still have many friends and most of my family that believe in Mormonism. The truth is: The God of Mormonism just isn’t the God of the Bible. I’m sorry it hurts, I know. I had to walk away from everything I had ever known, but ladies I hope that same fate is in your future. I pray that your eyes will see and your ears will hear. Because NOTHING is worth more than knowing the Truth. Jesus is the Truth. He said, ” I am the way and the truth and the life.” I realize this blog may not be the best place to talk this over. I would love to talk to either of you as to why I left. I’m not bitter.. on the contrary I have a deep love for you and only want you to know the Lord and Savior that really saves. It’s so much better than you could ever imagine. It is love that propels this comment not hate or bitterness. Ladies get your questions answered it is where you will find Truth.

  34. I’m sad that I live in one of the least religious states :(

  35. oh Courtney! You’re so graceful with how you answer people and how you respond to their questions and opinions! I hope that one day I can be as graceful and patient. I think everyone who knows me would appreciate it!! haha. :) It’s just not my forte, but I’m working on it! Have a great weekend!

  36. Wow, that turned into quite the discussion! Thank you for standing firm Courtney! I think what many people are missing is yes there are different “views” in different Christian denominations but they are still called Christian because they hold to certain ‘non-negotiable’ beliefs, many of which you brought up in the discussion. That is the reason we cannot be equated as the same religion.

  37. It’s so interesting that you posted on this very thing this week, this has been the focus of our small group recently…. evangelism. This past weekend we did some street evangelism in Atlanta, GA at the Dogwood Arts Festival. It was very challenging, but it became so clear as you were saying that many people are religious, but do not have a relationship with Jesus. So many people think that good works can save them and that there are many ways to heaven. I have realized how much I’ve been slacking in the evangelism department, we should be striving to tell others about Jesus. If we really believe that the Bible is true, and that people will face eternity in hell if they are not in Jesus, then why wouldn’t we be telling them the truth. If we saw a blind person running in front of a car, we would stop them; so how much more true is it when dealing with eternity. Most of us are so scared we will make someone mad, so we just keep silent. I like that you posted these statistics, and got people thinking about the lost.

  38. I come from the #12 state. And there’s a joke that there is more churches than houses here. However, many churches are floundering. We have a few large churches. (for this town, having 500+ members is really large. We have around 25,000 people in our entire county.) I don’t go to a large church, but we’re having issues with finding enough seats. My pastor is someone who speaks the word whether you like it or not. And that’s what I love about my church. I’ve been to a few of the larger churches because surely they have so many in the congregation that it MUST be teaching the word, and unfortunately, it just seems to be the popular places to go. The people that show up on Sunday morning are the same ones who are pretty wicked throughout the week. Bible study on Wed. is pretty full. We’re going to have to move it upstairs to the sanctuary because we can’t fit everyone around down stairs. But our Sunday night praise service is really sparse. :( I’m hoping it grows as well with our revival that starts tonight. :)

  39. Christina R says:

    I love the sweet yet firm way you answered the ladies above. I appreciate this blog and that you stand firm to what you believe.
    As many above have stated, there are lots of states that have many churches yet they don’t know Jesus. Our family spent about 6 months in Europe (Military). There are many beautiful churches over there, yet the country feels so dark! I realized that we, in America, have walked a similar path and seem to follow a lot of the European trends. I was telling a friend that it seems we are also following the trend of many beautiful, yet empty, church buildings and a lot of lost people walking around, not knowing where to go! How sad! I challenge my children to discuss their faith openly to everyone!!
    Thank you again!
    Christina

  40. Amanda Cross says:

    I live in Arkansas. When I was a little girl, I thought I was a Christian because I didn’t worship the devil and something that came with being good and being American. The truth is I hadn’t made an allegiance to worship God and God alone. The truth is that being good and living in American didn’t make me a Christian either. That is the mentality of a lot of people in Arkansas.

  41. Courtney, I so much appreciated your kind yet firm response to the differences between Mormon beliefs and Evangelical beliefs. I do want to make one point, though. I absolutely believe “the Bible is the sole written revelation that rules the faith and practice for all Christians,” however, we have to remember that the words of Revelation 22:18,19 :“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of THIS BOOK. If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in THIS BOOK,” were written about the book of The Revelation, not about the whole Bible. The Bible as we know it, as a cohesive, single unit, did not exist at the time the Apostle John wrote down the Revelation given to him by the Holy Spirit. He wasn’t saying “don’t add to the Bible” – because there was no “Bible” yet – only the Torah. He was saying “don’t add anything to this (book of) Revelation God has given.”

    • Valerie – this truth is a constant theme in scripture — here’s just 2 examples:

      Deuteronomy 4;2 says: “you shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it.”

      Proverbs 30:5 warns:” Every word of God is tested, He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words.”

      John McArthur writes:

      Now here you have the same kind of thing at the end of the Scriptures, don’t touch a word, don’t add to it, and don’t take away from it. The warning forbids any alteration of this book, but this is not just this book, because we’ve heard this warning repeated over and over in the passages I just read you and we could safely extend it to all of Scripture.

      You say, “Well why didn’t He put it at the end of Romans? Why didn’t He put it at the end of Ephesians? Why didn’t He put it at the end of the book of Acts? Why didn’t He put it at the end of Hebrews?” He put it at the end of Revelation because Revelation is at the end of revelation. It’s at the end of the New Testament. It’s the end of all scriptural revelation and so it goes to sweep across all that has been given. And He also put it at the end of Revelation because Revelation, God surely knew, would be the book most assaulted, and that is the case.

      The warning forbids any alteration of this book and any alteration of anything that God has ever written, which goes for all sixty-six books. These words of Jesus then head off any attempt to add or subtract from the book’s content through some deliberate falsification, some distortion of the teaching in it. And that would go for a purposeful, falsification and misinterpretation.”

      The book of Revelation takes us to the VERY end – to the finality of heaven and earth and the beginning of eternal life…Revelation ends with these verses because this was the end of all written revelation directly from God. There is nothing more that man needs – scripture is sufficient – this book takes us clear into glory – nothing more needs to be added – the cannon is closed. Tampering with God’s word is a serious offense as Revelation and other passages in scripture state.

      Hope that clarifies why the use of Revelation – I’m just trying to not turn this into a massive dissertation – although I easily could as there are many many verses covering this topic in scripture. :)
      Much Love,
      Courtney

    • We are actually told several times throughout the Bible not to add to God’s word, also called Scripture. It is not just told to us through Revelation.

      Deut. 4:2 “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminsh ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

      Deut. 12:32 “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

      So a Mormon would say do not add to the book of Deuteronomy? However this is not just concerning “one book”. Proverbs 30:5-6 says, ” Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words,lest her reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

      So now, Mormons would say, “Okay do not add to Proverbs”. Notice, though that Proverbs said EVERY WORD OF GOD IS PURE and ADD thou NOT UNTO his words.

      When a Mormon states the book of Mormon is considered the word of God alongside the Bible they have removed the Bibles authority replacing it with a mans.

      Psalm 119:160 “Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of they righeous judgments
      endureth for ever.”

      Do you believe God’s word? Do you believe His words are pure? If so, why would we need another book to “restore truth” unless you believe God’s word is not true and pure? Do you believe the Bible is corrupt?

  42. I am a Catholic. I tried becoming an Evangelical because my inlaws are and I was going for family unity but it was not a good fit. I have noticed kind of an odd trend over the last..perhaps decade or so. People here will label themselves *anything* but Christian, but when the bubblegum hits the fan or if they engage me in conversation (here’s where the evangelical didn’t fit. I would rather eat my shoe than initiate a conversation on religion, politics or money-especially with a stranger! It’s a flaw, I know, I get it.) they almost always discuss a belief in the Father, and in Christianity in general-and if they’re someone in my social circle-which is fully stocked with people who wear the “Atheist” label-they ask me to keep it a secret, like love for the Lord and His word is something to be ashamed of. Of course, I honor their respect for confidentiality, and I don’t ask why because that’s between them and God, but I don’t get it.

    Has God gotten so low in the polls in some spots where even the believers avoid the question?

    • The Uncouth Christian says:

      I find it interesting all the Mormon visitors here who are offended at what they see as an attack on their faith, when they spend much of their time in the temple baptizing dead people into their religion without their permission. I see that as an attack on my faith, and the faith of many others. Not to mention several of their previous prophets have referred to Christian churches as “an abomination” and “the whore of the earth”. Another prophet of theirs declared that “no person will enter heaven without the permission of Joseph Smith” I have direct, LDS-approved sources for this if anyone denies the existence of these words from Mormon leadership. They certainly do not consider non-Mormon religions valid, so I don’t understand the defensiveness of Mormons when we tell them their religion is a false one. Because their own leaders do the exact same thing.

      I was once Mormon myself. I had been baptized, held callings, went to the temple. All of it. I know the Book of Mormon, D&C and POGP very well. Praise the Lord that I resigned from the church a few years ago, and I pray daily for the men and women who are being deceived by the LDS church.

  43. after reading everything i would like to say a few things. I have a friend whose father was a bishop at a LDS church. I went to church one day with a mutual friend of ours, and was asked before entering the church to remove the cross i wore around my neck. I did so out of respect, but was confused as to why. Are they not a church and a place of worship, of God, and our Lord Jesus? I was told the following: “We dont beleive that Jesus was crucified upon the cross, there for we dont wear the cross…”. Just thought id throw that out there.

  44. Rebecca says:

    This map does not really tell any picture of what is going on.

    I am from California, which has a reputation as liberal. However, I have seen a huge movement for God that is very Holy Spirit led, passionate and excited. People in California, in general, do not belong to churches or claim Christianity as a religion because of tradition or family past or because it gives them status in the community. They do it because it means something to them. So while a measure of “religiosity” may say something to a statistician, it does not show the whole picture. Also, almost all revivals and movings of the Holy Spirit have started in California in the past century and a half in the United States. California is a state very much and very strongly on the move in the Spirit realm.

    Another exciting aspect about California is that it has a huge population of immigrants. This means that we are first on the front lines of ministering to people who come from cultures with no biblical influence. We do not need to go to the mission field, because the mission field comes to us. As we minister to these hungry people, many of them in turn go back to their native communities or to their native countries and spread the good word they have given us.

    Also, California creates and spreads culture like no other place on the planet. It has a spiritual destiny because of this. This spiritual destiny obviously comes under attack because Satan knows the influence that it can hold. So when movies, music and pop culture become subverted to evil, know who to blame. But this influence and innovation have had and will continue to have far more power for good than for evil.

    Another aspect of California that I love is that it is a culture of freedom and joy. This freedom gives people room to be authentic, to grow in love and childlike qualities and to believe from the heart. It is the source of the innovation. Also, the Bible says that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I believe that the reason for so much liberty in this state is that the Holy Spirit is present in a way that people cannot even realize. This does mean that sometimes people abuse their freedom, because people do that. However, that does not negate God’s goodness or faithfulness.

    Finally, I have lived in the so-called Bible Belt, in a couple of the states that were mentioned high on the list of religiosity. I moved out of state for a few years because I was married to a man from the South. While I met many amazing and great Christian people in the south, I did not in any way feel that true spirituality was in any way more prevalent in the Bible Belt.In California people’s spiritual practices are not weighted down by tradition, man pleasing or other heavy religious spirits. Also, while the Bible Belt likes to shake their finger at us supposedly liberal Californians, the states that would count as the Bible Belt (mostly the south and certain midwest states) have the highest divorce rates in the US.

    So, each region has its issues. We have to remember that the Bible states that regions have spirits that have dominion over them, and that we are battling spirits, not flesh and blood. So as we see information on regions, let us hold each other in prayer!

    • Rebecca, that is encouraging to hear. We lived in So Cal when Calvary Chapel was still in Make-a-buck Village, and the revival in the 70s was unlike anything we have experienced since. California is so diverse that it’s difficult to slap one label on it. “Liberal” does fit most of it, and there are a lot of strange things present there. But there is a lot of good as well. Now we are in WA, a state whose Western half is dead (but the Eastern portion is alive and well). The Western portion is, unfortunately, NOT spiritually inactive — I say unfortunately because the Wiccan population and various American Indian pagan religions are thick. Sometimes I think I know how Lot must have felt. Lately, dh and I have talked about moving to FL. We’re, frankly, battle-weary, and long to live in a place of community with other believers.

  45. I am from Kentucky and I know there is a church on every corner there…. :) Was born and raised in the Bible Belt!! Now, I am living in on the states that is the middle green and there is barely a church on every corner..

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