Friday, August 21, 2009

Is this a religious nation?

While flying through Atlanta on the way to West Virginia in June, I picked up a copy of Rodney Stark's research: What Americans Really Believe.

I have cherished our Christian heritage in America and have appreciated the founding fathers and others who gave voice to that. I was disappointed the President suggested recently we were not a Christian nation. Here are the facts about the US today according to the Baylor study.

He pointed out that America is actually increasing in its commitment to church membership: From page 12, here are the facts:

Percent of Americans Who Belong to a Local Congregation

1776 17%
1850 34%
1870 35%
1890 45%
1906 51%
1952 59%
1980 62%
1990 64%
2005 69%

While there are many issues and problems with religion today, no one can say that church membership is declining over all. The shift in church membership is from old mainline (especially liberal) churches to the non-denominational, designer churches in many cases.



Matthew said...

More people might be coming, but they might not be as committed. It is more of a hobby than a change of life.

Douglas Brackbill said...

I agree with Matthew to a point. Church attendance for some has become a socal function as much or more than an act of worship. But it is only within the worship can we truly be effective communicators of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those folks, and therefore the oportunity to increase the Kingdom lies before us. Now, what are we going to do, pick up the ball and run towards the goal, or just let it lay there and complain because it doesn't jump into our hands? Food for thought.

Sherrry said...

I agree with Matthew. Churches today are more social than anything else. I attend a Baptist church at the present time and am seriously thinking of moving to Church of Christ because of the social aspect of it. My pastor says that our church has not changed the message, but are changing the ways the message is getting out. I am not so sure about this, cause I just see a lot of socializing. People came when they are going to sing, play, or be entertained and then do not come the rest of the time. If I wanted to join a social club I would have joined the Country Club!!!

Anonymous said...

I believe vain worship can be more dangerous than no worship. They can become like Pharisees thinking they are saved without respect to the full authority of Christ as the means of being saved