I came across a story on AOL this week titled “Study: Americans becoming less Christian, more secular.” So I decided to read it. It contained some very interesting information, but honestly, “none” of it shocked me.
Speaking of “Nones.” Nones are defined as atheist, agnostic or no faith individuals. The total number of Nones is estimated at 56 million in the US. They are the second largest group behind Evangelicals. Nones have grown from 16% of the US population in 2007 to 23% in 2014. That’s impressive growth in seven years, and it should be very concerning to Christians.
Speaking of Christians, during the same time period, the people identifying themselves as Christian fell from 78% to 71%. I think we can agree that even at 71% that is way too high, if we look at the country we live in today. But it reminds me of something my Dad would say, “Figures never lie, but liars always figure.” You have to consider the word “identify.” Doesn’t ask if they are faithful, practicing or committed, just if they identify as a Christian.
The study also said that Protestants compromise 46.5% of the US population. Isn’t that a smaller percentage than the Nones? That’s very scary. But if 71% identify as Christian where did the other 25% go? That would essentially be our Catholic friends. Nevertheless, the Christian faith is not growing. Didn’t Christ command us to go and make disciples?
Finally, the study stated that Muslims and Hindus were on the increase in the US. It’s not hard to imagine a country that claims to be a Christian nation populated with a majority of people who don’t believe in Christ.
Joshua has been on my mind, especially Joshua chapter 5:
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Joshua 5: 13-15.
WOW! What a passage of scripture. So much in it. The thing that blows my mind was the answer Joshua received when he asked if this man was for us or for his enemies. That answer……..NEITHER! Don’t we assume because Joshua and the Israelites are God’s chosen people that he would be for them? Clearly he wasn’t. He was waiting on Joshua to declare who he, Joshua, was for.
Joshua immediately fell facedown and asked what message does the Lord have for his servant. Complete submission and obedience. Instead of assuming that the Lord is for us, shouldn’t we seek Him and asked what we as His servants can do for Him? Joshua would later declare “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).
In a country that is increasingly making the choice not to believe in the Lord let alone serve him, we must be like Joshua. Don’t forget that Joshua and the people obeyed the command given by the commander of the Lords army and took Jericho by marching around it.
We can be victorious also if we are submissive and obedient to the Lord. The entire earth is a mission field and day by day where we live is becoming a mission field filled with people who need to see who Jesus is and what He has done in our lives. How long will we sit in our comfy, air conditioned houses of worship content with everything that is happening outside those walls?
May we always be running to the cross!