Muslims are willing to kill over a cartoon of Muhammad while Christians are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. The leadership of various major branches of Christianity work to move away from Biblical teachings and morph mainline Christianity in America to some kind of Casey Kasem Top 40 religion guided not by God but by pop culture.
I’m not really surprised people are losing faith in Christianity. According to Pew:
The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men.
Not too long ago, there was a Presbyterian minister, John Shuck, who declared that he didn’t believe in God. Stating more specifically he believed:
- Religion is a human construct
- The symbols of faith are products of human cultural evolution
- Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend
- God is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force
- The Bible is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being
- Human consciousness is the result of natural selection, so there’s no afterlife
Rather than teaching God’s laws, the organized church wants to be everybody’s friend by telling them “anything goes”, “God is cool with you doing your own thing, man.” Christianity is becoming the equivalent of a 60’s Haight-Ashbury love-in fueled by Occupy Wall Street “social justice” sentimentality and patchouli oil.
Some influential Christians say religion needs more popular appeal, that in a digital world of iPhones and instant gratification delivered via 250 cable channels, teachings must be moderated and standards must be loosened so that it is more inclusive – essentially adopting the progressive’s view of any standard, that it is malleable and changeable depending on what society wants (same as they see the Constitution). The strictness and rigidity is what is driving people away, they say.
But even a mild awareness of the Holy Bible reveals why a populist approach is and will fail. In Matthew 7:24-27 (KJV) (also found in Luke), Jesus says:
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Populist Christianity is building a house upon the sand. I look to my belief in God to be guided and informed by my religion and for that religion to provide structure and guidance in my life. I’m not looking for an entity to reaffirm or agree with what I want to do, I am looking for a challenge to my human desires – something that makes me think.
Discarding the Bible in favor of People magazine is sure prescription for the end of Christianity. Worshiping in the pop culture Cathedral of the Divine Kardashian where every prayer ends with “Oh, well” instead of “Amen” is idolatry. Falling Christian identification isn’t due to a lack of popularity, it is due to a self-defeating “moderation” in a quest for popularity – a self-inflicted wound.
The path organized Christianity as taken in search of relevance guarantees it will become less relevant. That is what this Pew poll tells me.
May we understand what Jesus meant when he told Peter (Matthew 16:18):
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
May God help us all.