Most Americans Believe in Life after Death;
But still millions uncertain of eternal fate
By George Barna, Barna Research
VENTURA, Calif. – Despite the constant flux in many dimensions of Americans’ lives, a new study from the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California, shows that most people have retained surprisingly traditional views about life after death.
Although the lifestyles, values, and self-perceptions of most adults have undergone significant change – and millions of Americans have embraced many elements of a postmodern worldview – the vast majority continues to believe that there is life after death, that everyone has a soul, and that Heaven and Hell exist. However, more than 50 million adults are uncertain regarding their personal eternal fate.
Belief in life after death, like the existence of God, is widely embraced: 8 out of 10 Americans (81 percent) believe in an afterlife of some sort. Another 9 percent said life after death may exist, but they were not certain. Just one out of every ten adults (10 percent) contend that there is no form of life after one dies on earth.
Moreover, a large majority of Americans (79 percent) agreed with the statement “every person has a soul that will live forever, either in God’s presence or absence.”
Evangelicals, born again Christians, and Elders (ages 58 and older) were the most likely segments to embrace the idea of life after death. Those least likely to believe in life after death were Hispanics, Busters (ages 20-38), residents of the West, atheists and agnostics, those associated with a faith other than Christianity, and unchurched adults – although more than two-thirds of each of these groups accept the existence of an afterlife.
Read more by Barna: VIEWS ON QUALITY OF LIFE MOST INFLUENCED BY MONEY & FAITH
Halloween is the eve of "Hallowmas," better known as All Saints' Day. Hallowmas celebrates God's harvesting into heaven the faithful of every age, culture and walk of life. The abundant harvest of souls is perfectly suited to observance in late autumn. That's why All Saints' Day and Halloween celebrations are brightened with corn stacks, pumpkins, apples, nuts and other signs of natural bounty.
The American tradition of Halloween ghosts and goblins comes from the Celtic lands, where the spirits of the dead were believed to roam the earth for one night before winter began. To ward of their fears of the supernatural, people sat around huge bonfires, telling stories and sharing the fruits of the harvest.
The Meaning and Origin of All Saints Day
All Saints Day is a universal Christian Feast that honors and remembers all Christian saints, known and unknown. In the Western Church (esp. Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans) it is kept on November 1. The Orthodox Churches observe it on the first Sunday after Pentecost.
Ephrem Syrus (d. 373) mentions a Feast dedicated the saints in his writings. St. Chrysostom of Constantinople (d. 407) was the first Christian we know of to assign the Feast to a particular day: the first Sunday after Pentecost. The Feast did not become established in the Western Church, however, until the Roman bishop Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to Christian usage as a church on May 13, 609 or 610 The Feast was observed annually on this date until the time of Bishop of Rome, Gregory III (d. 741) when its observance was shifted to Nov. 1, since on this date Gregory dedicated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter's to "All the Saints." It was Gregory IV (d. 844), who in 835 ordered the Feast of All Saints to be universally observed on Nov. 1.3
As mentioned above, All Saints Day is celebrated by Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans However, because of their differing understandings of the identity and function of the saints, what these churches do on the Feast of All Saints differs widely. For Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and to some extent, Anglicans, All Saints is a day to remember, thank God for, but also to venerate and pray to the saints in heaven for various helps. For Lutherans the day is observed by remembering and thanking God for all saints, both dead and living. It is a day to glorify Jesus Christ, who by his holy life and death has made the saints holy through Baptism and faith.
[Ed. Note: What does this have to do with economics and gold? Nothing directly, but it is interesting to note that gold is the only tangible asset on earth that has a use in eternity (street cover)... could that be a clue? That if an inanimate element like gold has a higher purpose in eternity, so must we? For more on the subject, visit True-Wealth ... Also recommended: The Purpose Driven Life