There has been a bit of buzz the last couple days about a Newsweek article by Jon Meacham titled "The End of Christian America." The writer analyzes a summary of the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey along with comments by R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Some quotes in Meacham's article I found interesting...
- "The so-called Judeo-Christian consensus of the last millennium has given way to a post-modern, post-Christian, post-Western cultural crisis which threatens the very heart of our culture." (quoting Mohler)
"This is not to say that the Christian God is dead, but that he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory."
"Christians are now making up a declining percentage of the American population...The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percentage points since 1990, from 86 to 76 percent."
"While we remain a nation decisively shaped by religious faith, our politics and our culture are, in the main, less influenced by movements and arguments of an explicitly Christian character than they were even five years ago."
"The proportion of Americans who think religion 'can answer all or most of today's problems' is now at a historic low of 48 percent. During the Bush 43 and Clinton years, that figure never dropped below 58 percent."
"Evangelical Christians have long believed that the United States should be a nation whose political life is based upon and governed by their interpretation of biblical and theological principles."
You should read the entire article. It brings to mind several questions or thoughts worthy of discussion.
- Does it matter? Is our Christianity based on the freedom we have to express it?
- Is it the responsibility of the Church to transform governments to follow our values (i.e. school prayer, abortion, the definition of marriage)? Or is it our responsibility to introduce people to Jesus who is the only one who can transform hearts?
- Does it bother you that Christians have often been known by what they are against rather than what they are for? Do you think that has contributed to the sharp reduction in the percentage of people who identify themselves as Christian?
I'd love to hear what you think.