The impact of the Seventh-Day Adventist church's religious thinking on the interplay between personality type and spiritual maturity

Joubert, Jeremia (2000-12)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2000

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research seeks to establish whether the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa have a characteristic personality type and temperament that relates to their style of spirituality. Style of spirituality here refers to all spiritual behaviour in a broad sense - how they pray, worship, use the Bible, care about others, relate to social needs, care about the environment, administer and organize their church activities, etc. This study does not deal with what they believe, but rather focuses on how they believe. This research further seeks to establish what impact participant's God-image has upon their level of spiritual maturity, if any at all. To what extent does one's personality and temperament influence spiritual maturity and God-image? What instruments were used? I used the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to measure personality and temperament, the Personal Orientation Inventory of Everett Shostrom to measure levels of self-actualization and psychological maturity, the Faith Maturity Scale of Benson, Donahue, and Erickson, to measure faith maturity, and the Christian Preference Profile scale, which I developed to measure preferences of Christian religiosity, which also gave an indication of God-image. How was the study conducted? I visited approximately 22 SDA churches in the Western Cape and distributed the inventories to willing participants myself. I explained the purpose of the research and how to complete the inventories. Participants were requested to complete it at home and return it the next week. I made use of two supervised students who helped to mark the answer sheets and capture the data. What were the findings? The personality type of the SDA laity was more introverted, compared to a similar study indicating that SDA clergy were more extraverted. The most significant finding was that the dominant temperament was sensing/judging (SJ=70%), slightly higher than that for the clergy. The self-actualizing levels were relatively low - the two main measures, time competency and locus of control measured both in the non-actualizing range, as well as three of the ten sub-scales, relating to a rigid implementation of values, a pessimistic view of humanity, and a lack of acceptance of synergy between opposite characteristics. The faith maturity levels were slightly above the average, and were low on three of the eight measures, relating to integration of faith and life, social concerns, and involvement in social and environmental issues. The religious preference scale indicated a dominant relational style, followed by a dependent, personal, evangelical style, and a bureaucratic organizational style of religious preference. Some of the main characteristics of the SDA profile were a resistance to change, preservation of the status quo, stable, able administrators, favour a hierarchical, bureaucratic structure, substance-oriented rather than relationship-oriented, preserving their identity is a high priority, and is evidenced in preserving the purity of their beliefs, affectionately referred to as the "truth."

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing het ten doel om vas te stel of die lidmate van die Sewendedag- Adventistekerk in Suid-Afrika 'n kenmerkende persoonlikheidstipe en temperament het wat ooreenkom met hulle styl van spiritualiteit. Die styl van spiritualiteit verwys hier na aile spirituele gedrag in die bree sin - hoe hulle bid, aanbid, die Bybel gebruik, omgee vir andere, verhouding tot sosiale behoeftes, besorgdheid oor die omgewing, adrninistrasie en organisasie van kerklike aktiwiteite, ens. Hierdie studie het nie te make met wat hulle glo nie, maar eerder met hoe hulle glo. Hierdie navorsing poog verder om vas te stel watter impak deelnemers se Godsbeeld op hulle vlak van geestelike volwassenheid het, indien enige. Tot watter mate beinvloed 'n persoon se persoonlikheid en temperament sy/haar geestelike volwassenheid en Godsbeeld? Watter instrumente is gebruik? Ek het die Myers-Briggs Type Indicator gebruik om persoonlikheid en temperament te meet, die Personal Orientation Inventory van Everett Shostrom, om die vlakke van selfverwesenliking en psigologiese volwassenheid te meet, die Faith Maturity Scale van Benson, Donahue en Erickson, om geloofsvolwassenheid te meet en die Christian Preference Profile scale, wat ek self ontwikkel het om voorkeure van Christelike religieuse gedrag te meet en wat ook 'n aanduiding van Godsbeeld gegee het. Hoe is die studie aangepak? Ek het ongeveer 22 SDA gemeentes in die Weskaap besoek en het die vraelyste self uitgehandig aan gewillige deelnemers. Ek het die doel van die navorsing en hoe om die vraelyste in te vul verduidelik. Deelnemers is versoek om die vraelyste tuis in te vul en die volgende week terug te bring Ek het gebruik gemaak van twee studente wat onder my toesig die vraelyste help merk en die data op rekenaar geplaas het. Wat was die bevindinge? Die persoonlikheidstipe van die SDA leke was meer introverties as 'n vroeer vergelykende studie met SDA predikante wat aangedui het dat hulle meer ekstroverties was. Die beduidendste bevinding was dat die dorninante temperament "sensing/judging" (SJ=70%) was, effens hcer as die van die predikante. Die selfverwesenlikheidsvlakke was relatieflaag - die twee hoofskale, tydvaardigheid en lokus van kontrole, het beide in die nie-selfverwesenlikheidsgebied gemeet, asook drie van die tien subskale, naamlik rigiditeit ten opsigte van die toepassing van waardes, 'n pessimistiese mensesiening en 'n gebrek aan aanvaarding van sinergie tussen teenoorgestelde eienskappe. Die geloofsvolwassenheidsvlakke was effens bo die gemiddelde en was laag op drie van die agt skale, naamlik integrasie van geloof en lewe, sosiale aangeleenthede en betrokkenheid by sosiale en orngewingsake. Die godsdienstige voorkeurskaal het 'n dominante verhoudingstyl aangedui, gevolg deur 'n afhanklike, persoonlike, evangeliese styl en daarna 'n burokratiese organisasiestyl van religieuse voorkeur. Sommige van die hoofkenmerke van die SDA profiel was 'n weerstand tot verandering, behoud van die status quo, stabiele en vaardige adrninistrateurs, voorkeur vir 'n hierargiese, burokratiese struktuur, substansgeorienteerd eerder as verhoudingsgeorienteerd, behoud van eie identiteit as hoe prioriteit wat veral sigbaar is in die bewaring van die suiwerheid van hulle geloofsleer, alombekend as die "waarheid" binne Adventistekringe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51983
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