The End of Christian America

One of my pastors referenced this article a couple weeks ago, which was actually written back in 2009. It talks about the decline of Christianity in America, and though this isn’t particularly surprising to me, it does make me curious about the history of the faith and how it’s gelled, molded, and fluctuated in power and prestige since being inaugurated with our country’s founding. There have been a multitude of Christian religious movements dating back to the eighteenth century, all of which affected by social, economic, and political actions that Christians often don’t associate with religion. However, each construct plays greatly into the shaping of Christianity, as the Church is filled with people who daily interact with cultural systems. As such, considering at why these movements originated and what catalyzed them within past culture would be a fascinating thing to look into. It may even help in understanding where the American Church is to go next – which will most likely be found in the realization and humble admittance of our own pitfalls.

So when we hear about these statistics of Christian affiliation plummeting, our reaction shouldn’t be so much about quick remedies, because grasping for higher numbers only associates ourselves with those that strive for power – at least to some degree. Written within this article is a brilliant sentiment that I think any concerned Christian should understand before responding to this religious phenomenon:

“There is much New Testament evidence to support a vision of faith and politics in which the church is truest to its core mission when it is the farthest from the entanglements of power. The Jesus of the Gospels resolutely refuses to use the means of this world—either the clash of arms or the passions of politics—to further his ends.”

This term has popped up time and time again over the past four years: Upside-Down Kingdom. And it’s exactly what the author of the article, Jon Meacham, is describing. Maybe the Church should ponder on that for a bit.

On a closing note, I just received this book I ordered in the mail the other day. Francis Chan’s theology aligns more with John Piper and Mark Driscoll, so it will be interesting to read his thought in comparison to Rob Bell’s.

Francis Chan's Erasing Hell

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~ by Chris Kyle on July 8, 2011.

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