Results of the new American Religious Identification Survey were released yesterday and picked up by most major news sources. Story titles ranging from “America is Becoming Less Christian, Less Religious” to “Non-Religious Americans on the Rise in Every State” littered media outlets nationwide. I read most of these stories and they all focused merely on the data with very little analysis. Everyone said the same thing non-religious on the rise, denominations falling off. If you read Denominational Dangers that I posted last week, you would have already known this isn’t a big surprise. Here’s a recap of some of the statistical highlights from the 54,000 interviews conducted:
Percentage of people who claim no religion has nearly doubled since 1990, jumping from 8.2% to 15%
Meanwhile percentage of Christians is on the decline. 86.2% to 76% since the 1990s
Over the past seven years the number of outright atheists has nearly doubled from 900,000 to 1.6 million
Almost all religious denominations have lost ground.
Non-denomination Christians, including Evangelical/Born Again are on the rise from 200,000 in 1990 to over 8 million.
So what’s going on here? Well we know that the varying denominations within the Christian church are failing to hold on to Biblical truth, as I discussed last week link. As a result, through the promotion of the homosexual agenda and embrace of liberal theology, mainline Christians are pursuing more Biblical avenues. One such avenue has resulted in the growth of mega-churches and the increase in Evangelicalism. But here is where I would like to insert a word of caution. As I’ve addressed before, I am NOT a proponent of all of the “-isms” and “-ist” movements. I think they are divisive. None of these movements are found in the Bible, in fact, sectarianism is expressly prohibited. I Corinthians 1:10, I Corinthians 3:3-4 These names are created by man and thrown about by the media as all encompassing and I have yet to see one singular definition of Evangelicalism. To me, this means the process of witnessing and sharing the “good news” of Gospel to the unsaved. Instead it’s become a diverse and ambiguous term that no one can seem to define. I’m not going to condemn the Evangelical/mega-church movement, but please do research and ensure they’re following Sound Doctrine.
The results of the data as a whole really aren’t that surprising. Hollywood glamorizes Wiccan and pagan beliefs in syndicated shows such as Medium, The Ghost Whisperer, and Charmed. While they continue to produce unpopular and troubling films such as Religulous, Rock Me (I won’t even finish the name) and a film soon to be released by Sasha Baren Cohen mocking Jesus. The Bible tells us, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7 Is it any wonder we are experiencing such a falling away? II Thessalonians 2:3
The fact of the matter is we are crossing over the threshold of the Final Apostasy. Soon we’ll see the denominational wall fall completely as these churches begin to combine through their own false interpretations of the Bible. I believe we’ll begin to see the atheist/agnostic movement pick up speed as they continue their assault on Christianity and the Word of God. Look at what’s already going on in Great Britain. We’ll continue to embrace other world religions as the world seeks an Ecumenical balance. False movements and leaders will seemingly pop-up over night, much like the Emerging Church movement with people preaching with the Bible in one hand, but not speaking the Truth. II Thessalonians 2:11-12 “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
If the Body of Christ is to survive all of these paradigm shifts, we must unite with one voice with the Bible as our foundation. We must preach “Christ crucified” and rebuke those who deem it “offensive”. II Timothy 4:2, I Corinthians 9:18 As the Apostle Paul says, “…We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” I Corinthians 1:23 Our message of Salvation must be clear: repentance of sins, belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and faithful acceptance of Him as Savior. We cannot sugar coat the alternative, “The wages of sin is death” but through our repentance, belief, and acceptance, “The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 If we as a “church” can do this and I believe we can, we’ll have one final great revival. Onward Christian solider!