Well, its official:
Newsweek Magazine said that Christianity in America is declining (April 13, 2009 edition.)
Even our president said that we are not a Christian nation anymore.
Oh my, what shall we do? Not a Christian nation? What does that even mean?
If it means that churches don’t write the laws, or that preachers don’t run the military or the ministers of music don’t censure the nation’s music -- of course we are not a Christian nation.
Most of the American people are not “born again.” Most of the leaders are not discipled. Most of the cultural products are not favorable to a Christian world view.
But all of this has been true for a long, long time.
On the other hand, what famous speech, what national document, what monument to fallen heroes does not quote from the Bible? Our music, movies, art and everyday speech is peppered with phrases from the scripture. Doesn’t that make us – at least culturally speaking – a Christian nation?
In the very same edition of Newsweek is another article. This one is about Bishop John Rucyahana and his work among Rwanda’s poor. Bishop John is an acquaintance of mine and the subject of Thad Barnum’s new book, Never Silent. What a paradox.
The magazine talks about American Christianity’s decline in one breath and with another gives witness to its furious spread.
In a way, that’s what Thad Barnum does.
He says on one hand, the American denominations are writhing in apostasy, each one trying to outdo the other in a race to debauchery and heresy.
On the other hand, entire nations are coming to Christ. What in the world is going on?
The world is dividing into sheep and goats and our country is taking the wrong direction. The Lord’s church in our country is too often a tool in the hand of the left or the right.
It needs to be a tool in the hand of the Lord.
If by “decline” the writer means that the church is starting to back away from its love affair with political life, then this is a decline that I welcome. Such a “decline” may mean that we join what God is doing in other nations – saving souls, healing the sick, and proclaiming the Word.
But Thad Barnum already said all of this a lot better than I can!