Christianity is declining rapidly in America. Over approximately the past decade, the percentage of Americans who identify as Christian has gone down 12% – from 75% to 63%.
Pew Research reported in 2019 that:
- 84% of those born between 1928 and 1945 (Silent Generation) describe themselves as Christians.
- 76% of those born between 1946 and 1964 (Baby Boomers) describe themselves as Christians.
- 67% of those born between 1965 and 1980 (Generation X) describe themselves as Christians.
- 49% of those born between 1981 and 1996 (Millennials) describe themselves as Christians.
According to research on Christians in America:
- Only 29% of Christians go to church weekly.
- Only 14% of Christians read their Bible daily.
- Only 36% of Christians feel like their church has had a positive impact on their community.
- 87% of Christians do not tithe.
- 72% of Christians display characteristics consistent with that of a Pharisee.
- 64% of those who grow up in a church leave the church before age 30.
That lots of people do not give 10% of their income to their church should not worry us and would not (per cé) be an indication of their faith-life, but how they actively, or just not actively, make work of their faith should worry us.
What should worry us most is that only such a few read their Bible regularly. When hearing Americans talking about God, we clearly hear how they often do not have a clue about what they are talking about. They have so many times just heard phrases taken out of context, that they believe those sayings of their pastors. Instead of examining if those sayings are in line with the Bible they just repeat what they regularly heard. Though this indoctrination of dogmatic teaching is a problem in the whole Christian world. In all countries we do find several denominations where more attention is given to their own church teaching instead of the Biblical teaching.
What happens in the United States of America, which often wants to remind the rest of the world that it is Christian, should, along one side, raise our eyebrows, because it clearly shows that a large proportion of Americans want to appear to the outside world as different than they actually are or actually live their religion. Like Pharisees lots of Americans cry out that their nation should be keeping to the only one true religion, what’s their, though they ignore the differences in their denominations. Their insistence on the binding force of oral Christian tradition and on what they believe the founding fathers went for. Like the Pharisees harmonised the teachings of the Torah with their own ideas or found their own ideas suggested or implied in it, the American protestants did this with their interpretation of the New Testament, believing the Old Testament is of no value anymore and, worse of all, believing that Jesus Christ would be God having come to earth to play the role of a not all-knowing man (thought God knows everything) and to fake his death and resurrection out of the dead.
Many believers felt they were not really heard in their church or rather sat there as outsiders listening to words that did not really touch them or inflict positivity. Even pastors are aware that 28% of the congregation needs emotional well-being, 35% need spiritual well-being, 27% need relational well-being, 3% need physical well-being, 1% need vocational well-being, 1% need financial well-being, 4% are not sure (United States only; source: Barna) Well-being is what so many people are looking for, and did hope to find it in the church, but their church seemed not able to provide such well-being. Even emotional and spiritual well-being is far to look for. As a result, this feeling of disconnection made many attend less and eventually stop going to church altogether.
Certainly in these times of disconnection people are in search for their own personality, their own self, and their place in society. At the same time many feel lost in a world where politicians do not seem to take them into account. And when they do not feel they can have an accountable place or role to play in their church, soon they find they better stay at home living in their own cocoon.
Christians should actually be living their lives amongst their neighbours in recognisably Christian ways. They should set an example. But at the present time not enough Christian examples can be seen. Not many people are living lives defined by the fruit of the spirit. What we can see a lot, is that there is total indifference to human need and to the rule of law, an obsession with power, and a willingness to do almost anything to secure power. Everything seems to have come to turn around power and possession.
When we see how certain political groups made people’s heads spin in the U.S.A. and how certain far-right groups try to impose their will on others, it is no wonder the church communities in that great country are decaying.
If we do want to prevent further decline, we must pick ourselves up as a Christian community and expose both ourselves and others more honourably to God’s Word. The world needs us to hear from God. It is up to those who call themselves “Christian” to have a Christian attitude and to be examples for others. Only then will others see the ministry of Jesus exemplified in us. Only then will they be drawn to the preaching of the death of Christ and his ransom offer for salvation. It’s imperative that we once again bring our walk with God to this level.
We are comforted, guided, and nurtured by the Lord’s spirit. We see people with religious adherence all over the world to many different gods. There are still too many Christians who also have different gods, the majority believing in the Trinity and Catholics also having lots of saints to whom they pray, instead of praying to the Only One True God. But to the Christian believer in Jeshua, Jesus Christ the Messiah, and to the glory of our Father and great Absolute Almighty Faithful Forgiving Elohim God of Christ; there is only one saviour and mediator between God and man. There is only one door, one faith, and one redemptive bond for all people. And people should come to know that Christ is the way to that narrow door.
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