I was just thinking about the latest edition of Newsweek that hit news stands this week. In it is an article entitled, The End of Christian America. The article is based on a national religious survey recently released that shows an increasing percentage of our population that identifies themselves as atheist or agnostic, and a decreasing percentage of our population that identifies themselves with the Christian faith.
While I find this article and the religious survey saddening considering the Judeo-Christian heritage of our nation, I must ask, is anybody really surprised by these findings? With the removal of prayer from the public school system in 1962 the proverbial handwriting was on the wall. As has been well documented whether it is an individual, a church, an educational institution, a denomination, or a nation, once it starts down the slippery slope of liberalism (theologically, morally, socially, politically, or otherwise) it is a rare thing indeed to come back.
While it may be hard for some to accept, in some sense what is happening in America is kind of exciting. After all, Christianity was considered a tiny, insignificant religious sect in the Roman Empire of the first century. The Church was birthed at a time when the culture of Rome was saturated with a pantheon of “gods” to worship and moral standards that bred an atmosphere of self indulgence, greed, and lust.
If that sounds a lot like our culture today, cheer up! That tiny, insignificant religious sect known as Christianity turned the Roman Empire upside down. The Christians were outnumbered, ridiculed, laughed at, and persecuted for their faith in the One true God, but their love for God, for each other, and even for those who attacked them was a powerful force for change in individual lives and in their culture.
The truth is Christians have always been the minority. Jesus said something about it being a narrow road that leads to eternal life and there are few who find it. (Mt 7:14) Various emperors tried to eradicate Christianity, but we Christians are still here. The french philosopher Voltaire in the eighteenth century said the Bible would be gone within one hundred years of his death, but within fifty years of his death both his home and printing press were being used to print thousands of copies of the Bible and we Christians are still here. Nietzsche declared God was dead over one hundred years ago, but we Christians are still here. Time magazine asked the question in 1966, “Is God dead?” But we Christians are still here.
This nation will probably continue to slide deeper into spiritual and moral darkness, but remember, the light shines brightest in the darkest places. So, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 5:16)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.