I know I just posted something (and please comment on the discussion question)…but I’ve been hearing about this news item all day concerning the increased number of people in America now claiming “no religion”…so I went and found this article from CNN.com.
Of particular interest to me is the following quote from the article:
One in three Americans consider themselves evangelical, and the number of people associated with mega-churches has skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey.
The rise in evangelical Christianity is contributing to the rejection of religion altogether by some Americans, said Mark Silk of Trinity College.
“In the 1990s, it really sunk in on the American public generally that there was a long-lasting ‘religious right’ connected to a political party, and that turned a lot of people the other way,” he said of the link between the Republican Party and groups such as the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.
If I’m reading this correctly, although the number of evangelicals is on the rise, the number of apparent atheists is also on the rise right alongside.
This trend is suggesting a couple of very sobering thoughts:
- The migration of more and more Christians to the evangelical mega-church culture may be having the unintended effect of polarizing outsiders away from us instead of drawing them in. What we thought would increase our effectiveness and influence may actually be having the opposite effect.
- In our continued waging of the “culture war” on the political front, we may be losing the battle on an even greater front. We may have become so consumed with keeping America a so-called “Christian nation” that we are sacrificing the positive influence that enables us to draw individuals to Christ within the nation.
Sounds almost as if we’ve been cutting down trees in an attempt to save the forest.
It makes you think, anyhow, doesn’t it?