“Satan has his sights on the United States of America.” Said Mitt Romney, who attacked the decay caused by Barack Obama’s “secular agenda”. Newt Gingrich has gone the furthest, stating, “A country that has been now since 1963 relentlessly in the courts driving God out of public life shouldn’t be surprised at all the problems we have.”
Abortion has returned as a hot-button issue, Increases in divorce and infidelity could be considered indicators of our moral decay. Gaysm and lesbianism now open and legal! Other areas that might indicate declining virtue, The teenage pregnancy.
The number of Christians and cultural strength of Christianity are both declining in the United States. This decline is noticeable and is affecting church life, culture, and politics. It is also deeply disturbing to most Christians.
When most denominations and congregations report declining membership and attendance, that marks decline. When more and more congregations close their doors forever, that marks decline. And when the youngest generation shows the greatest disaffiliation trend, that marks a decline likely to have lasting impact.
Mainliners leaving because their churches were so insipid, and ex-evangelicals leaving because they could not reconcile conservative faith with science, critical thinking, or the contemporary world.Here is my very tentative proposal for eight other reasons:
–Prosperity and affluence distract people from regular church attendance and reduce a strong sense of need to be in church, gradually eroding not just church attendance but Christian identity.
–The pre-modern claims of traditional Christian faith appear increasingly incredible to postmodern Americans. It has been a very long time since a majority of cultural elites found Christianity’s supernatural claims, for example, to be credible. These elites dominate our culture.
–Hypocrisies and conflicts in church, when they (inevitably) erupt, don’t just drive people to other churches, as in the past, but sometimes take them out of Christianity altogether.
–The fading of cultural Christianity means that fewer and fewer Americans feel any cultural or familial expectation to be in church or practice Christianity. “It was good enough for grandpa” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
–American Christianity is not producing many compelling leaders, and thus the average church (as well as the Church writ large) is not especially inspiring or visionary. Many ministers play it safe in order to keep their jobs, or are simply not that talented.
–The collapse of any protection of Weekends from recreation and work, together with the gig economy, means many people are working or otherwise engaged on Weekends.
–It is harder for parents to pass the faith onto their children in a wired world in which parental influence is in decline.
–Evangelism is dead. No one really knows how to “share the Christian faith” any more in a way that connects with people, and many Christians have stopped trying.
9 percent of all U.S. adults “seldom or never attend religious services”.
51 percent of all U.S. adults believe that churches and other religious organizations “are too concerned with money and power”.
66 percent of all U.S. adults believe that religion is “losing its influence on American life”.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans with “no religion” more than doubled between 1990 and 2008.
According to the American Religious Identification Survey, only 76 percent of all Americans identified themselves as “Christian” of one type or another in 2008. Back in 1990, 86 percent of all Americans identified themselves as “Christian” of one type or another.
A study conducted by the Barna Group discovered that nearly 60 percent of all Christians from 15 years of age to 29 years of age are no longer actively involved in any church.
It is being projected that the percentage of Americans attending church in 2050 will be about half of what it is today.
One survey conducted a while back found that 52 percent of all American Christians believe that “at least some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life”.
According to LifeWay Research, 46 percent of all Americans never even think about whether they will go to heaven or not.
“One of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men” -Great Controversy, pg 587.1