Archive for April 6, 2009

If there is one thing that chaps my hide more, it’s folk who dub themselves “Christian” yet use Jesus Christ’s name as an expletive.

Many people around the world call themselves Christian, but only act like it one day a week – if that often.

“God” is such a ubiquitous term these days, you know:

  • “I believe in God… she is great for my life.”
  • “I believe in God… praise be to Allah.”
  • “I believe in God… but there is no need to get involved in organized religion.”

toleranceBlah, blah, blah. Whatever the excuse, when it comes to faith, God’s name is passed around like a cheap coaster on some old woman’s antique coffee table.

So, imagine my surprise when I read this USA Today article and discovered 11 percent less folk even bother calling themselves a Christian.

The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers — or falling off the faith map completely.

The perfunctory question is Why?! How was that found in this American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) referred in the article? Easy… no one cares.

  • So many Americans claim no religion at all (15%, up from 8% in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists. Is that really a group, or just a collection of dimwits who have been scorned by the aforementioned groups?!
  • Catholic strongholds in New England and the Midwest have faded as immigrants, retirees and young job-seekers have moved to the Sun Belt. It’s coooooooooooold up there. The chill gets to those osteoporosis bones. Besides, there are more Ruby Tuesday’s and Furrs down there.
  • Baptists, 15.8% of those surveyed, are down from 19.3% in 1990. That’s easy. They’re dead… all the young people want to wear jeans, so they rock the “Community Church,” which is Baptist-lite.
  • The percentage of Methodists, for example, dropped from 8% to 5%. COUGH… gay marriage… COUGH… lesbians in the pulpit… GAG, COUGH!
  • Jewish numbers showed a steady decline, from 1.8% in 1990 to 1.2% today. Again, simple. It’s the economy. Well, it is, right?

Sure, there’s more. But why go into it? The math is there. The results are staggering. And the reasons are obvious.

There’s no privilege to being a Christian in the public eye. And in this world of “WIIFM” (marketing lingo: “What’s in it for me?”), churches are stooping to any level to put butts in seats.

They take steroids and HGH to grow, talk about sex… a lot, cuss in the pulpit… also, a lot and when things are particularly carefree, these megachurches (Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal or indifferent) are considering cutting on the advertising budget, and having the show in-house?!

Once we get back to realizing the splendor and majesty of God, we will get this Church back on track. Once folk stop realizing that Church is not supposed to be dog & pony show, but rather about a man who rode in on a donkey, we can get back to evangelism, reaching the lost and being the living epistles we’re supposed to be.

Ah, conviction, hellfire and brimstone. Those were the days, no?