“Perhaps the best thing that can come out of the gay marriage decision is for the church to make a final break between our faith and our nation.”
Russell Moore just wrote a piece on the declining number of those in America identifying themselves as Christian.
He responds, “Good!” These tweets sum things up quite well:
.@tonywoodlief Another headline for Pew data: “Large Group of Nonbelievers Gain Self-awareness.”
— Nathan Duffy (@TheIllegit) May 12, 2015
Here are some key statements from his piece:
The number of Americans who identify as Christians has reached an all-time low, and is falling. I think this is perhaps bad news for America, but it is good news for the church.
Christianity isn’t normal anymore, and that’s good news. Only a strange gospel can differentiate itself from the worlds we construct.
The gospel comes to sinners, not to the righteous. It is easier to speak a gospel to the lost than it is to speak a gospel to the kind-of-saved.
We don’t have Mayberry anymore, if we ever did. Good. Mayberry leads to hell just as surely as Gomorrah does.
The future of Christianity is bright. I don’t know that from surveys and polls, but from a word Someone spoke one day back at Caesarea Philippi.
I recommend reading the full article here. It’s very perceptive.
Russell Moore recently wrote an insightful piece at The Gospel Coalition titled, “Left Behind in America: Following Christ After Culture Wars.”
Here’s a sample,
The problem was that, from the beginning, Christian values were always more popular than the Christian gospel in American culture. That’s why one could speak with great acclaim, in almost any era of the nation’s history, of “God and country,” but then create cultural distance as soon as one mentioned “Christ and him crucified.” God was always welcome in American culture as the deity charged with blessing America. But the God who must be approached through the mediation of the blood of Christ was much more difficult to set to patriotic music or to “amen” in a prayer at the Rotary Club.
Now that Christians in America are being confronted with the fact that America isn’t a “Christian nation,” they are more and more awakening to the reality that America never was a “Christian nation” in any Christian sense of the word “Christian.”
In my experience (and my experience may not be reflective of reality more generally) I’ve found that this theme is readily apparent to many Christians in my generation (millennials) but is much more difficulty grasped or accepted by Christians of older generations who lived more of their lives in an environment in which this “Christian America” idea was pervasive.
However much this idea of a “Christian America” with its corresponding form of “Christianity” (i.e., the civil religion of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and enlightenment thought that gave birth to the “American experiment”) may have helped to keep America in moral check to some degree (and in some less than satisfying sense), I’m afraid it did the opposite to the nature of Christianity and people’s perception of the Gospel–it skewed them.
“Tim Keller on the Disappearing Umbrella over Conservative Christians” by Trevin Wax – A great assessment on our shifting culture and evangelicals place within it.
The number of the devout people in the country is increasing, as well as the number of secular people. The big change is the erosion is in the middle. … You don’t so much see secularization as polarization, and what is really disappearing is the middle.
Similarly, see my sermon from around a year ago – Christian Living in a Post-Christendom America.