Saturday, October 7, 2017

Is Matthew 7:13-14 True or Not?

According to the most recent Pew survey of the religious landscape of the U.S. (2014), although the numbers are in decline and are likely lower now, 70.6% (+/-0.6%) of Americans identify themselves as some variety  of Christian.

At the same time, Matthew 7:13-14 states, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (ESV)

There's a problem here. If the Bible is true, it is simply impossible to have a national population that is 70% Christian. I don't know how narrow the metaphorical gate is, but few means few. There simply cannot be a majority-Christian country. It may not even be possible to have a 25%-Christian country, as a quarter still seems a bit high for "few"!

I'm going to rule out the possibility that the U.S. somehow just figured out the gospel. We are simply not that special, nor simply that much more “spiritually attune than people of other nations and cultures. Nor are American hearts genetically or culturally more receptive to the gospel.

So what am I left with?

If the Bible is true,... If the words of Jesus are true... There are a few options:

  1. A lot of people are lying.
  2. A lot of people have been misled.
  3. A lot of people are deluding themselves.

As one who believes the Bible to be true, I am going to go with option 4: All of the Above.

And we are all suspect. Myself included.