Pastor's Corner

17 Apr
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Mid-Week Challenge

For 44 years researchers have tracked the level of religious involvement that Americans consider themselves to have.  In the latest study “no religion” earned the most survey votes.  “Religious nones,” or people who do not claim a religious affiliation, are defined as people who are atheists, agnostics and or “spiritual.” The analysis of the General Social Survey from Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University and a Baptist pastor, found that 23.1 percent of Americans claim no religious affiliation. 23 percent of survey participants identified as Catholic and 22.5 percent said they were evangelicals. According to CNN Some 2,000 people were interviewed as part of the survey.  It is reported that in 1972, only 5 percent of survey takers did not assign themselves a religion and since 1991, the number of people saying they do not have a religion has grown by 266 percent.  Burge says he estimates that in four to five years, religious nones will make up the largest group outright among Americans. 

Researchers and other people who follow these trends have a few ideas of why this group continues to grow so rapidly. Nick Fish, the president of American Atheists, said the Internet could be a big reason.  "The ease of access to the internet helped build communities where they didn't feel alone," he says.  Robyn Blumner, executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, says another reason may be that more and more millennials are questioning traditional beliefs. She said, "We are seeing the rise of a generation of Americans who are hungry for facts and curious about the world.”  https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/13/us/no-religion-largest-group-first-time-usa-trnd/index.html 

Another reason could be that the Church has failed in its responsibility to the Great Commission.  We have grown cold in our duty to win people to Christ.  It is much easier to go along with the flow of culture than it is to challenge.  For the past few years we have become more concerned with what others think of us than what the Lord thinks of us.  It is not the idea of Christ being rejected that we fear, it is the idea of being personally excluded that keeps most Christians from speaking out for Christ.  The book of Revelation speaks of this happening in the lead up to Christ’s return.  Luke warmth and complacency with the teaching of the Bible will be what the church is known for at the Second Coming.  Unfortunately it appears that the churches we once spoke of as what’s to come are becoming modern day.  

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'   Matthew 7:22-23

Serving the Savior 

Bro. Jonathan

 

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