Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Many Americans Unbalanced in Faith, Lifestyle, Says Study
Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2006
Posted: 10:51:59AM EST

Americans are largely committed to family – what more than half listed as their top priority, according to a recent study – but commitment to faith falls well under half the population who listed it as the most important priority in their life.

The latest Barna Group survey found that 51 percent of adults identified family as their first priority and only 16 percent listed faith, making it a runner-up. Among the different people groups measured, evangelicals were twice as likely as non-evangelical born again adults and almost five times more likely than notional Christians to place faith at the top of the list.

Further in the study, however, the small percentage who placed faith as their highest life priority were among Americans who largely think of themselves as being highly spiritual. According to the survey, 59 percent of adults described themselves as a "full-time servant of God" but only 25 percent listed faith as their most important priority. And only one out of every four who consider themselves "deeply spiritual," ranked faith first.

"Spirituality is in vogue in our society today," said George Barna, founder of the research institute that bears his name. "It is popular to claim to be part of a 'faith community' or to have a spiritual commitment but what do Americans mean when they claim to be 'spiritual?'"
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