by Dr. D ~ October 17th, 2012
( Dr. Albert Mohler: Wikipedia)
We recently posted on the new Pew Study that showed an end to America’s protestant majority and a significant rise in the religiously unaffiliated (‘nones’). In our response we suggested that Christian leaders needed to take a look at the data with a view toward the future of the church in America.
Here’s an excellent response to the Pew study that does just that by one of America’s major protestant leaders, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:
Dr. Mohler starts with this:
Meet the unaffiliated. An increasing number of Americans identify with no church, denomination, or religious tradition, and this development represents a truly significant shift in the nation’s pattern of belief.
America’s religious landscape is changing, and the contours of that change will determine the shape of the church’s challenge for decades to come.
Here’s part of his well thought out conclusion:
Christians should receive the new Pew report as a sober confirmation of patterns most believers have already detected. Many Americans who had been claiming Christian identity in some loose form now feel free to drop that identity altogether, without fear of social stigma or loss.
In a Gospel perspective, this is a healthy development. It is good that non-believers know that they are, in fact, not believers. Cultural Christianity is not Christianity, and no one will find salvation through merely identifying as Christian. The disappearance of cultural Christianity will weaken the culture, but it should strengthen the church.
Response: I believe that Dr. Mohler correctly identifies that the increase in the ‘nones’ in America really demonstrates a shift away from cultural Christianity which he calls ‘Fuzzy Fidelity.’ It does mean that America is in a major shift away from its Christian heritage and identity. The American church must adapt to the new reality of an increasing secularization of the American culture.
This is something most Christians in the last 20 years or so have tried to deny but America is increasingly no longer a ‘Christian’ nation particularly among those under 30 years of age. It is time for the church to adapt to that fact and look at their own community and their own young people as a new mission field. *Top