Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Losing Our Religion in the United States? Oh, Surely Not!

The U.S. has become significantly less Christian in recent years as the share of American adults who espouse no systematic religious belief increased sharply, a major new study found.

For what is probably the first time in U.S. history, the number of American Christians has declined. Christianity, however, remains by far the nation’s dominant religious tradition, according to the new report by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The erosion in traditional religious ranks seems likely to continue. Among Americans aged 18 to 33, slightly more than half identify as Christian, compared with roughly 8 in 10 in the baby boom generation and older age groups, the new data show. --- opening statements in news release by Los Angeles Times

Well, well -- looks like things are not going very well religiously in a republic known as the United States of America! There has been a feeling that the religion "business" has been in a decline mode for some time. There are a few exceptions as some groups experience a measure of growth as are some mega-churches. But as the studies and surveys are showing, the bottom line is that the total number of people involved in churches that profess to be Christian is shrinking. The United Methodist Church in which I am an ordained elder has been in decline for years. Again, in a few conferences there has been some gain in membership but that is wiped out by a larger number reporting losses!

Perhaps one thing summarizes the issue as well as it can be stated and that is the fact that God is withdrawing His blessing from this nation which He raised up over 238 years ago! Note some of the reasons why this has happened:

1. At about the beginning of the 20th Century corrupted theology was being imported from the European continent, with Germany being a main contributor. The holy Scriptures were held up to scrutiny and criticism and presented as a fallible human collection of writings. Miracles were commonly denied and the Person and work of Jesus Christ questioned. The seeds of unbelief began to be sown and as the 20th Century rolled along the seeds eventually began to produce bitter fruit! As we entered the 21st Century we had churches engaged in "warfare!" One issue at the forefront and it continues to be is that of sodomy and lesbianism -- morally legitimate or not, with "marriages" now taking place in states that have said such are as legal as heterosexual marriages!

2. As time passed in the 20th Century the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that forever changed the whole nation. In 1963 the basic ruling was that the Lord's Prayer and Bible readings could no longer take place in the public school systems throughout the nation! Strange as it may seem there were even church leaders that praised this decision, declaring it to be a good thing! Was it really? Even children from unchurched families had some exposure to prayer and portions of God's Word each day of the school year. But now we are raising generations of raw heathen -- parents are not in church and the kids aren't in church and we wonder about the terrible things that happen in our schools on a rate that is increasing weekly! No expert living can state that evidence indicates conditions in our public schools have greatly improved since the infamous Supreme Court decision of 1963! We've progressed from earlier problems of gum chewing, whispering in class, and running in the hallways to violent assaults, property destruction, and even murder! And how about this one? The mother of a 6th grade daughter was highly disturbed when the school authorities called her to report that her daughter was in trouble. What kind of trouble? Seems the daughter was in competition with another girl as to which one could give oral sex to the most boys before they arrived at school on the bus! Yes, sir -- get rid of the Bible and don't do any praying in school -- that could have a negative influence on the little tykes, could it not?

3. Then 10 years later the U.S. Supreme Court in the epitome of ignorance handed down another decision. In this one the black robed individuals stated that a female has a constitutional right to have her unborn child murdered and removed from her womb! The trail of innocent blood started in January 1973 and continues unabated to the present time. The tally of victims as of this writing (May 13, 2015) is over 58 million! And we still have persons who point a self righteous finger at Hitler's Germany for having killed about 15 million people, 6 million of whom were Jews! In a letter sent periodically to the president I have a picture of an unborn child who was a victim of intentional homicide and all torn to pieces. I remind the president that the Nazis did not get away with their version of Holocaust and we will not get away with our unique version either! An artist captured the issue very simply by drawing a picture of a man on his knees praying and calling on God saying, "O God, send us someone who will help us find a cure for all these deadly diseases such as cancer and others!" A voice from Heaven responds, "I did, but you aborted them!"

It is not a pleasant thought to consider what contributions the murdered victims could have made for the improvement of our nation and our churches, but we will never know will we? The oldest of the victims would have been in their early 40's now, living productive lives -- that is, if the decision had not been made to intentionally murder them and dispose of them in much the same way one disposes of the weekly garbage!

Corruption in church doctrine over time and massive corruption in the political process have not contributed to a stronger, healthier, and more secure republic. God has been calling the nation to repentance but who is listening. As time passes it is becoming more obvious that we are standing on the very threshold of judgment at the hands of a holy God! Perhaps a few will do some honest heart searching, seek to do what God wants them to do, including sounding the trumpet warning, and bear witness to His eternal truth at every given opportunity!

Here is a summary as to how a nation paves the way to judgment -- think U.S.A. walking the same path as you read this!

Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of Israel. Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. --- 2 Chronicles 36:11-21 (KJV)