We often hear that most people in the United States believe in God, and if you trust the opinion polls, they do.

However, when you dig down a little bit, you’ll find this good news isn’t so good after all. According to a new book by George Barna entitled Futurecast, America is filled with people who are do-it-yourselfers when it comes to religion — either making up God as they go along or dropping traditional beliefs and practices, like going to church. Barna tells USA Today, “People say: ‘I believe in God. I believe the Bible is a good book. And then I believe whatever I want.’”

Indeed, Barna says only 7 percent of those he surveyed say they believe in seven essential Christian doctrines, as listed in the National Association of Evangelicals’ Statement of Faith.

Barna’s Futurecast tracks changes from 1991 to 2011. It finds that those who say they haven’t been to church in the past six months, except for special occasions like weddings or funerals, jumped from 24 percent two decades ago to 37 percent today. That’s an increase of over 50 percent in the nation’s “unchurched.”

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