23% of anything is very substantial wouldn't you say? If you lost 23% of your right leg, that could be a problem. If you lost 23% of your nest egg, unless you are Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, that would be a problem.
So what if a nation has 23% of it's population that believes in nothing? They have no faith. They identify with no religion. They are either atheist or agnostic or they just never thought about it?
That is exactly what a recent study by the Pew Research Center released today has revealed about America. According to World Net Daily :
"Christianity is still the dominant religion in America, with seven in
10 claiming affiliation with the belief, but those touting no
particular religion – the “nones” – are rapidly taking over the country.
The number of “nones” has grown to 56 million, a Pew Research Center study released Tuesday found.
Pew conducted two surveys between 2007 and 2014 on religion in America
and discovered the number of Americans who claim atheism, agnosticism, or
no particular faith grew from 16 percent to 23 percent. During that time
frame, the number of Americans laying claim to Christianity fell from
78 percent to 71 percent."
Brethren, we are losing ground. I would imagine that this is not going to get better anytime soon. One has to wonder where the numbers will be by 2050.
We also need to ask ourselves why this is happening, especially given that the church is growing exponentially in countries where it is illegal to be a Christian or heavily discouraged by the state. Perhaps this is what needs to happen here?
My thought is that faith begins to grow when there is trouble. Perhaps some repression or outright persecution would be in order...or maybe...
There are two things going on here at least...I think. For one thing, the American church lives in the lap of luxury. We are mostly middle class. We are mostly employed. We are mostly insulated from the real problems of the world. We whine about abortion and gay marriage and we push Republicans to do something, though they do nothing and never have, but mostly, we all live well. We have not missed many meals, we have roofs over our heads and money to spend on mission trips and Christian conventions. We are comfortable with who we are in Christ's church.
And that is problem number one. Don't you think so? We are comfortable. Should this be so? Is it right for a Christian to be comfortable when 23% of his or her nation believes nothing?
Problem number two is...when we do become active in the world, and I have already mentioned this, it is to complain about the behavior of the people that most need the help of Jesus Christ and His church. You know what I'm talking about! We are so busy trying to recreate the Christian culture of our long dead past by pushing politicians and judges to manipulate law, that we forget to offer salvation to the very people that can help bring that about. We have the cart before the horse. Why don't we offer them Jesus and the gospel first? We can let Jesus change them. Or is that too New Testament?
You ask, "but Ghog, what if they do not accept Jesus and the Gospel?"
You won't like my answer.
Then let them be. Let them live in their disbelief. Your job, Christian, is to plant seeds. When they take root, then praise the Lord. But if they do not germinate, shake the dust from your feet and move on.
"But what about our Christian culture Ghog? How will we get that back?"
Again, you will not like my answer.
You never had a Christian culture you silly rabbit. Look at the history of your country. It's strewn with slavery, lynchings, Native American genocide, war, and political and financial corruption.
"But Ghog", you moo, "it says In God We Trust on our money."
Ya right. It ain't money. Those are Federal Reserve Notes issued by a private corporation that represent nothing but debt. They are backed by nothing and the "God" on those notes is not your God you silly cow. The "God" on the paper in your pocket and on the pot metal coinage in your piggy bank is the "God" of a secret society - The Masons. They call him the Great Architect of the Universe and he has more in common with the serpent of Genesis 3 than He does with Yahweh.
My advice Brother is to give up your current plan. It ain't working. There will never again be (as if there ever was) a Christian culture in this nation. Let's get a new plan. Take them one by one. We may end up in a minority before it's over. We may be persecuted for our belief. We may actually have to suffer for our faith, but we have to do something different. Church per the usual ain't workin...just sayin. Let's move forward in faith.
Paul knew what it was like to live as a Christian in a world that was not.
II Corinthians 12:23b-29
I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
When you have lived like that Christian, you might have reason to whine about the world you live in, but my advice is "don't". Just keep pushing forward, planting your seeds and tending to those that take root. Let Jesus sort it all out.
America may well self destruct. You will not be able to prevent that and you know what? It does not matter. You may well love your country as I do, but let me tell you this...Your first citizenship lies in another kingdom, one not made with hands. It is your first duty to support that eternal kingdom because you will spend eternity there. America is not heaven. You will not go there when you die and neither will your kids. Prepare yourself and them for the spiritual war that is upon us and move forward in faith. Quit your whining. Jesus died on a cross for us and He rose from the dead so that one day we could be with Him in Paradise and America ain't it. So uncouple your faith from this nation that you love and take hold of your Citizenship in the Kingdom that matters. Prepare ye the way of the Lord.