Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach. A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths. 2 Timothy 4:2-4
In Germany, as in most of Western Europe, there is a continuing debate about the emerging Muslim population. Their traditions and customs are constantly being called into question, especially those related to women wearing the burqa.
Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to enter into the debate and make very explicit her feelings on the issues that are dividing a country, fostering hostility and discrimination. In a speech to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, she said the problem is “We don’t have too much Islam, we have too little Christianity.” She informed the delegates that multiculturalism in Germany had utterly failed.
And here in America apparently the same thing can be said of us. We too have too little Christianity. A great deal of religion perhaps, but very little true Christianity.
Last year (October 2009) the Pew Forum on Religion in America showed us to be a nation that is, more and more, spiritual but not very religious. Asked to describe their beliefs, many Americans describe a theology that is a mulligan stew of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American spirituality, and New Age mumbo-jumbo. http://pewforum.org/
In the mainline denominations, church attendance has replaced church membership as the measure of a church‘s success because American Christians prefer to attend churches that don’t require a commitment.
An Insight Express survey conducted for Parade magazine shows that nearly 60% of Americans believe that all religions have validity. A quarter of Americans say that while religion is part of their lives, it isn’t a big part. While 69% of Americans claim to believe in God, only 27% attend religious services weekly, and a third confess to attending only rarely.
According to the latest data, those Christians for whom religion is important don’t really know all that much about it.
Last year the Barna Group discovered that half of all Christians don’t believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit are real, living entities. A third agreed that the Bible, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon taught the same basic truths — and simultaneously believed that the Bible, which says some radically different things from the other two books, is “totally accurate” in its principles. Forty percent don’t know what they think or how they feel about Wicca, even after they’ve been told that it is an “organized form of witchcraft.”
And this year the Pew Forum on Religion in America has just informed us that Christians know less about their own religion than atheists and agnostics do. In fact, compared to Jews, Muslims, Mormons, atheists, and agnostics, Christians know the least about religion in general and their own religion in particular.
What do you suppose is the reason for these statistics. Every town has at least one church, some have several within a 4 block radius of one another. It would appear that America loves to go to church with the number of church buildings in every town and hamlet across the country. But look inside and you will see empty pews . Church attendance is seen as unimportant to many in our society. And society shows the signs of this apathetic behavior.
Promotion of the Gospel of Christ has been eliminated from most public debate and instruction. Businesses, governments, schools and the public square have all but eliminated any mention of God or God’s ways. The teachings of Christ have not only been eliminated from the public forum, it has also all but disappeared in our homes as well.
Yes Virginia, we are told there is a Santa Clause, but I ask you is there a Jesus Christ in your Christmas plans? At this time of Advent it would do us all well to evaluate our walks and commitment to the Lord. Have we made God an afterthought, or is He first and foremost in our hearts and minds? According to the statistics quoted above I fear the former is our reality. Yes America there is too little Christianity.
- Pew Forum survey: Atheists and agnostics outperform the rest in religion test (pewforum.org)
- The Dearth of Religious Knowledge in America (evanlenow.wordpress.com)
- Atheists, agnostics know most about religion, survey says (seattletimes.nwsource.com)