Baptist Press is reporting that one activity can bring Christians, whether conservative or liberal, together: reading their Bible, a Baylor University research assistant, has reported.
Frequently reading the Bible changed the attitudes of all Christians no matter their political background, Aaron Franzen reported in a news release from Baylor’s Association of Religion Data Archives.
“Thus, even as opposition to same-sex marriage and legalized abortion tends to increase with more time spent with the Bible, so does the number of people who say it is important to actively seek social and economic justice,” the ARDA release said.
Franzen said he believes little research has been done in this area of Christian life because so many people think they know what the Bible says and find reading it “a habitual and ultimately meaningless activity.”
But the study, released in early July analyzing the Baylor Religion Survey’s 2007 data, arrives at a different conclusion. Franzen’s findings revealed that habitual Bible reading led to a consolidation of viewpoints on several political and social issues:
— Almost half of the survey respondents who read their Bible less than once a year supported gay “marriage,” while only 6 percent of those who dug into the Word several times a week or more believed gay couples should be able to obtain a marriage license.
— As Christians read the Bible more frequently, they were 27 percent more likely to believe it is important to consume less to be a good person and 22 percent less likely to think science and religion are incompatible.
— Bible readers also were more likely to be against abortion, expanding the government’s authority to fight terrorism, harsher punishment of criminals and the death penalty.
However, the agreement on these issues from people in all political camps is not widespread because daily or weekly Bible reading is not as common as many would think, Franzen said.
The study showed that the majority of people do not read their Bibles frequently. Less than a quarter of those surveyed said they read Scripture weekly or more often.
via Baptist Press – NEWS BRIEFS: Bible reading changes views of conservatives & liberals, study says – News with a Christian Perspective
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