True Christians are here and weâ€™re waiting!
By: Michael John McCrae
I found an interesting little article on Fox News by Bruce Feiler entitled: â€œWhere Have All the Christians Gone?â€ with the subtitle: â€œThe number of people who claim no religious affiliation, meanwhile, has doubled since 1990 to fifteen percent, its highest point in historyâ€
The article seems meant to sound an alarm and is bent toward explaining a major increase in the â€œnumbers of non-believersâ€. As an individual who walked away from traditional, man-made religions back in 1975, I am accepting the article as good news. Although I walked away from organized, man-made, religious ruler ship, I walked directly into the path of the One True God. In other words, I believe the article is looking at the news from a completely incorrect point of view.
It begins: â€œChristianity is plummeting in America, while the number of non-believers is skyrocketing…A shocking new study of Americansâ€™ religious beliefs shows…that Protestants now represent half of all Americans, down almost 20 percent in the last twenty years. In the coming months, America will become a minority Protestant nation for the first time since the pilgrims.â€
Now this may look like dreadful news, but when you consider that by â€œChristianityâ€ the article is pointing directly at mainstream religions that have mostly compromised actual faith with laws meant to appease the sinner to keep money flowing, you might understand the dissatisfaction of those leaving such organizations.
Religious institutions are mostly political forums any more. Politicians regularly jump into pulpits not to honor God but to gain votes or to condemn the United States of America. Who wants to go to a church spewing such nonsense? People go to church to communicate with God; not Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. People do not go to church to hear their country cursed by the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Louis Farrakhan.
It is how the article portrays so-called â€œnon-believersâ€ with the term â€œskyrocketingâ€: â€œThe number of people who claim no religious affiliation, meanwhile, has doubled since 1990 to fifteen percent, its highest point in history. Non-believers now represent the third-highest group of Americans, after Catholics and Baptists.â€
The statement is just incorrect and the article contradicts itself. In listing what it calls â€œother headlinesâ€; one important statement was this: â€œ4) But these non-believers are not particularly atheist. That number hasnâ€™t budged and stands at less than 1 percent. (Agnostics are similarly less than 1 percent.) Instead, these individuals have a belief in God but no interest in organized religion, or they believe in a personal God but not in a formal faith tradition.â€
Can I get an AMEN! Can I get â€œItâ€™s About Time?â€
For far too long men have struggled under man-made, structured, religious rules which only guaranteed power to the church; individuals had no say in their personal approach to God. If it wasnâ€™t sanctioned by specific church rules it was not permitted. More than one religious denomination split into splinter groups because of such religious silliness. Does anyone notice that Atheism is not gaining here? Does anyone notice Agnosticism is not gaining here? What is gaining is a break from the rules of men and a discovery of personal faith in God! Men have never needed an organized religion to get to heaven.
This was the crux of everything Jesus ever taught in his ministry. Did Jesus ever point at any religion and say: â€œYou must follow that?â€ He taught the true essence of Godâ€™s Law as given to Moses. That law had been so bastardized by men that it was no longer recognizable. We are in that same world situation in this age: too many religions and not enough actual individual faith being displayed. Salvation has always been by grace through faith and that faith has always been Godâ€™s gift to men: never of works to keep men from boasting their own merits.
The encouragement is here: Quoting the article: â€œThe implications for American society are profound. Americansâ€™ relationship with God, which drove many of the countryâ€™s great transformations from the pilgrims to the founding fathers, the Civil War to the civil rights movement, is still intact. Eighty-two percent of Americans believe in God or a higher power.â€
So it matters little what man-made religious institutions might go bankrupt or face merger with other failing religions. Eventually all man-based religions will fail. The article suggests that denominations need to merge to re-strengthen faith in America. It also suggests religions have to stop â€œcatering to older believersâ€ calling that a â€œrecipe for failureâ€. That is patently ridiculous.
Jesus sent a series of letters through his Apostle John to the church ages. The Church of Laodicea is representative of this; what I believe to be, the final church age. He condemned this age for being neither â€œhot nor coldâ€ in their faith.
It is imperative the â€œEighty-two percent of Americansâ€ find a way to get hot. There is only One True God. He is not the God of a denomination. He is the God of all men.