Hello… Anybody Home? Where is the Church?
- That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the LORD or the works He had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10 – HCSB)
Rather than post a tiresome litany of alarming, even frightening current events, we might want to ponder the situation in the long view, at high altitude. Indeed, we might want to take a deep breath and rest for a moment before running back into the game. Besides, when before in American history have so many major cultural and societal paradigms shifted so rapidly as they have in just the last four years? At this point, there is little to be gained in addressing everything, when we can barely even keep up.
We should make the main thing be the main thing, instead of reacting to someone else’s narrative. God’s warning to ancient Israel is a warning to America today!
America is not alone in experiencing the rapid shifts in population migrations, demographic changes, and evolving cultural markers in just the last decade. But America is very unique among all others on the earth. It is existentially critical that America does not lose its status as the last beacon of hope. Every other nation on earth, if they are being at all honest, knows this full well. As recently as the sixties, High School students learning American history, and social studies (once called civics until then) were taught, and largely understood the exceptionalism of America, and it can be argued American students had some sense of pride. Evidently, many probably just took it for granted. (1)
It is not too difficult to make a case that the church as an institution in those wistfully bygone days held a certain degree of social capital in the public square of America. To say it no longer enjoys that status, would be a stunning understatement. However, we must understand that The Church—the Body of Christ, doesn’t require affirmation from any earthly power or principality, because that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about the little church—the institutional church that compose the roughly 300,000 protestant congregations and 17,000 Catholic parishes still remaining in America. It should be obvious by now that church attendance is steadily dropping, and has been for quite some time. But what about spirituality?
In the current lesson plan developed by Lifeway, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the series, “Why Do I Need the Church?” begins with the lesson, “We Are Joined Together.” In the opening statement, author Chris James writes, “Spirituality is not declining in America, but church affiliation is. Even those whose spirituality is grounded in the tenets of Christianity may question the value of the church.” But with respect to Mr. James’ assertion, the statistics reveal that spirituality actually is in decline, as evidence, this excerpt from Ralph Lewis, MD – posted Feb 20, 2020, and Headlined:Spirituality, Not Just Religion, May Be Declining—Should we be worried that young adults will lose purpose, meaning and morality? He writes:
“Jean Twenge, in an analysis of 2014 nationally representative General Social Survey (GSS) data, found that nearly twice as many Americans indicated they did not believe in or had doubts about God in 2014 compared with the late 1980s (22% vs. 13%) Twenge notes that because this data goes back several decades, it seems that Millennials and Gen Z are not abandoning religion just because they are young—they are significantly less religious than GenX’ers and Boomers were at the same age. Nor has religion been replaced by spirituality, Twenge adds. The proportion describing themselves as spiritual did not increase among all adults and actually declined among young adults. Furthermore, the number of 18-to-29-year-olds who said they were not spiritual at all rose from 14% in 1998 to 19% by 2014.” In 2020, the percentage is estimated to be closer to 40%
The question, “Should we be worried” has to be rhetorical, because of course we should be worried. Our hair should be on fire! Our mandate is to teach our children the way they should go, because scripture is very clear about this. Are we really making disciples as Jesus instructed us to do? No! Is there a better place to do this than the family? No! Is there a better place for nurturing and empowering the family than the church? No! Is there any connection with these imperatives, and the stated aims of the cultural Marxists who have been attacking both institutions for more than 80 years?
Yes, of course there is!
But there is hope. Organizations like The Salt & light Council are working hard to bring focused awareness and powerful training for church leaders and congregations alike. With a growing awareness among America’s citizens—the honest, law-abiding, legal, and actively participating citizens, know that something is wrong. From them will come a groundswell of outrage. The organized riots, lockdowns, tyranny, government malfeasance, social media censorship, should be too much to endure. If we regain our spirituality, turn to God, and put our churches central in the fabric of our lives, we will see that is where our true freedom resides. The tyranny will recede.
- Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17 – HCSB)
The mark of a mature Christian, above all else, will be his devotion to the Word of God. Make this and your fellowship with other mature believers in your church a priority. Then be praying for a reprieve from this evil madness overtaking America today.
May God richly bless us and America.