20% of Americans have no ties to a brick and mortar church group and the number increases to 30% with no affiliation under the age of 30. That is what the data is showing in a new study from the Pew Research Center. These “nones” as they have been labeled since they answered the question “nothing in particular”, are causing great concern in various groups ranging from charities, churches and even politicians.
This is a marked increase in those that are not affilliated compared to 20 years ago. In fact it is a 12% increase. This increase follows an increase in those that have taken on agenda’s and beliefs that are contrary to biblical teachings such as same sex marriage and abortion. This only makes sense since why would a person be affiliated with a group that is direct contrast to what you are living and believing.
What the Pew Study Shows About Those Unaffiliated With A Church
This chart shows that the overall amount of people that are not tied to a church group is drastically on the rise.
Of those that are not affiliated with a church, this chart shows the apparent lack of desire to find a church group to become part of.
This chart shows how we are obviously not connecting to those of the younger generation and also shows how secularism in our schools has influenced our generation over the last 50 years.
This chart shows how this is not just a problem for the liberal mainline denominations or Catholics, but instead is a problem that is universal in our society.
Here we see how as time has progressed, the percentage of those that are not part of the church has increased between generations as our faith is not being passed down between generations.
This graphic might be the most revealing of all. As weekly church attendance has declined, so has the affiliation rate of Americans. Again this only makes sense. If children are not involved with a church group, then they will not see the need to be involved with a church group. This problem falls squarely upon the backs of us within the church that have taken our faith and our commitments lightly.
Is Christianity Dying?
I recently read one so called expert that claims to go around counseling church leaders. If this man is counseling church leaders, no wonder people are leaving in droves! He claims that Christianity that believes in things like atonement, hell, and conservatism is dying but a so called “emerging church” that embraces other religions, the homosexual agenda, and places the Bible on a list of inspired books will thrive. All I can say to that is Hogwash!
This is not a new problem. It has been a problem that has happened for centuries within the church and society. The problem is that when the church loses its focus on what makes it the church and instead focuses on becoming acceptable to the world, it loses its ability to be the salt and light of the world. It is not that we need to become more like the world and the world’s values, it is that we need to become less like the world and the world’s values.
Instead of focusing on material wealth, climbing the corporate ladder, finding new and greater ways of entertaining ourselves, we need to commit ourselves to a different lifestyle and that includes putting our family of faith at a higher priority than we have been putting it at. That means modeling our commitment to Jesus and His body to our children by faithfulness not only to church attendance but also to living what we preach and explaining why we do so.
Christianity is not dying. It is being sifted.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
It seriously comes down to this. We must evaluate if what we have been doing over the last 20 years has been working and if not, then we must change. We must start being that salt and light that Jesus called us to be.