US Christianity Lacks a Commitment to Peace

Part 1, The Players

Many Americans who respect Jesus’ words and acts, have been opting out of our churches for years. This is an obvious, but unspoken conclusion one can draw from the latest Pew Poll.  Let us first look at the numbers, then at our view of the cause of the decline in American church going, and the very encouraging exceptions that are recently appearing.

Yes, Christianity in America is on the skids.  It claims to stand on the spiritual truths found in its Bible, but except for a few churches that we will be writing about in this series, most no longer stands for tough issues that Jesus Christ and his followers proclaimed.  The most obvious vacuum is their leaders’ failure to even mention ‘peacemakers” as a value. Talk about war and peace, and prayers for peace are all but absent from most churches today.  Few leaders we have met and observed even think about why praying for peace is absent, as though forbidden. We will examine why, and how this is changing for better.

The venerable and respected Pew Foundations tells us: Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population; Unaffiliated and Other Faiths Continue to GrowThe Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center, which tells us:

“The share of Americans who do not identify with a religious group is surely growing: While nationwide surveys in the 1970s and ’80s found that fewer than one-in-ten U.S. adults said they had no religious affiliation, fully 23% now describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or ‘nothing in particular.'”

Pew pollsters suggest that “none of the above” has simply become “more socially acceptable” than it use to be. This suggests that people are herded to church on Sunday morning because the neighbors go.   Your author thinks quite the opposite is true.  We observe that “the neighbors” are staying home in mass because the church if failing to provide them with any explanation of the reality they live in. Rather it provides a temporary escape from the realty they face on Monday morning after the NFL goes off the air.

Your editor does not think this decline in membership comes from Christianity being too tough to live with, but the very reverse.  It has become too easy to be a “Christian,” one does not have to be a Christ Follower.  About third of all “Christians” are part of  Zionist Christian right that dream and prepares for Jesus triumphant return, hopefully in their lifetime. We call them the Neo-Christians because their faith was codified less than 120 years ago. They have  learned to give entertainment and ask very little but money.  Another third are the traditional Protestant Mainline, and most of the rest are Catholics.

The Neo Christians excuses us from responsibility for the acts of our government.  we are not required to know, look, hear or worry.  We are told to focus on our afterlife.  If there is a disquieting homeless person on our doorstep that is where responsibility ends.  Never mind the million war refugees who were so lucky as to have landed in Europe where they are visible, to say nothing of the many millions more who can not even start to get out of Syria, Libya, Palestine, Afghanistan and Sudan.

One influence for ignoring war and peace is Tax exempt status, which no on wants to risk.  Pastors who own or control churches know they must not be too “political.”  and they are trained to know that if race is involved to stand-off.  It isn’t worth the worry to get involved in Syria, or even mention it exists, say nothing of the imprisoned Palestinians by their overlords, Israel.  Whatever you do, do not mention Israel and those ugly Arabs. “Anti-Semite is a label waiting for any churchman who sides with an Arab, even a Christian one.  We will end this Part One with a look at the numbers from From America’s Changing Religious Landscape. Look for the light at the end of the tunnel in part II.

 

America’s Changing Religious Landscape

 

 

       

1 comment so far

Heinemann
September 28th, 2016

It is interesting that most religions preach of peace as well as love. Realities that are far beyond all mortals. In churches I have visited a veritable testimony or creed cannot be discerned despite recite perfunctorily the Apostle’s Creed . It behoves me to confess that the “modern” church has no reverence for the Lord Christ Jesus nor the inveterate work of the ages manifested in the New Testament. I have experienced an Anglican priest who rudely expurgated certain passages of Luke encouraged by PHDS at Duke University , probably Sodomites because it offended the Jews. I left the church after letter of explanation and strong admonition. Others were in silent agreement with the priest.

T fear the problem is worse than in this article and the explanation is fulfillment of Jesus words in Luke. “WHen I return , how many shall I find , who still believe.” One can not blame alone the churches although I hold them more responsible than any other estate. But the times eventually will test and judge. We are in those times.

Yes, unfortunately, we are divested of our hypocrisy and our nakedness we are not ashamed. The absence of the Holy Spirit is not grieved.

Today the good news is: it all never happened and is all an elaborate lie. The world has never profited from peace . It is a heavenly gift. Few desire it.

Peace is as remote as the Lord Jesus and as alien. My late pastor from Glencoe Baptist Church would say sadly, “there will be no peace until the Prince of Peace returns.”