I see these as opportunities. Yes all these trends seem to be negative but we can take advantage of them.
- The Christian church is becoming less knowledgeable of its own faith.
- Christians are more insular and less likely to share their faith.
- Increasingly, people look for practical solutions in life and are less interested in spiritual beliefs.
- Christians are increasingly more interested in community action.
- Today’s insistence on tolerance is overriding the Christian Church.
- The positive influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is not perceived by the populace.
The Christian church is becoming less knowledgeable of its own faith. Ok, yes this is bad, but much of what is taught in the church is misleading anyway. Pentecostalism, Health and Wealth, Easy Believism, self-help messages and make-me-feel-good sermons all are destructive. Rare is the simple Gospel of faith leading to sacrificial love exhorted. As it is we are a quasi-Christian synchrotism with your preferred spice.
Inspite of this mess or because of it, I’m finding that the true Gospel shines very bright in contrast to the theological darkness and as result “old school” disciples can be produced.
.Christians are more insular and less likely to share their faith. “less inclined to discuss their faith with friends.” “atheism…, plus growing religious plurality due to immigration and education” This provides a lot of angst and it should. But this is easy to remedy. I recently wrote a book (The Venerators) for the general public and it would serve the Christian community as well. The Venerators, discusses the the reality that all have faith but generally without reason and therefore a misguided, untested and temporal hope is felt.
Increasingly, people look for practical solutions in life and are less interested in spiritual beliefs. Sure this is alarming but we can show that the more allusive and valuable things in life, like peace and joy, can only be devinely given…each person, after their early pursuit, finds that the utopic views of youth are false and the pleasure is fleeting and leaves the hangover of dispair and depression…note the rise in suicide. We can make this connection!
Christians are increasingly more interested in community action. “However, such interest is in danger of being short-lived. According to Barna, long term community action is usually motored by spiritual grounding” This is great as a starting point even for evangelism. Jesus sent us to the poor. This is His desire but can only be sustained by the God given purpose and compassion moving us from an institutional approach to community action to the onus landing on the individual to help the needy. Since this is the trend, use it.
Today’s insistence on tolerance is overriding the Christian Church. “Love is being given a new definition—the absence of conflict.” Again, easy to remedy if we quit serving donuts on Sunday and instead serve meat and potatoes. It is our job to educate and equip. Does there need to be more proof than these trends to show that we have not been doing the job?
The positive influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is not perceived by the populace. It is a PR game and we have lost. We haven’t lost because of the media or the Universities but because of the Gospel we live and preach. We have earned our current status.
Is all we have is this “Believe in Jesus and you will go to Heaven unlike the infidel.” Is this our banner, that’s i?. Only a belief? Only a dogma? No wonder people are migrating away from the foundations of the faith. What it is about is fundamental action to transform culture through a corporate act to engage every individual in the Church to active mercy to the community at great personal expense.
This will change the perception of us. The people in our community when confronted with a problem should say “Go talk to the Christians, they will help you!” But that isn’t what they say, is it?
Overall the elephant in the room is a misguided church. The leadership is weak and they give the people what they want; spiritualism, family and career development. At best we produce an impotent group of Bible thumpers. Where is the life transforming result of the gospel; sacrificial living for the lost, like Jesus?
We have made this mess! If we do not address our critical errors in the Gospel message and move to action, the trends will leave the American church where the European church is; a mere stinking carcass of what once lived and thrived and was healing to the nations.
This info was gathered from the following site: http://standupforthetruth.com/2011/10/six-trends-impacting-christianity/