Thursday, May 06, 2004

Counting the Unchurched

WorldNetDaily reports on a study which indicates that the number of people who have not gone to church within the last six months has increased dramatically over the previous 13 years:

    Despite a 15 percent rise in the U.S. population, a new survey shows the number of Americans who don't go to church has nearly doubled in the past 13 years, rising from 39 million to 75 million.

More disturbing to me is the following statistic:
    On a surprising note, while about half of the churched population has accepted Jesus as their savior, one of every six unchurched adults (17 percent) has done so as well.

    Interestingly, says the report, if the minority of unchurched adults who are born again were connected to a church, the resulting increase would be nearly 13 million new people – more than have joined the nation's churches in the past decade combined.

Is it possible that half of the people who go to church don't believe that Jesus is their savior? And 13 million who do believe don't go to church? This reinforces in my mind the perception that American Christianity has become dangerously secularized.

CUANAS makes a similar observation, but in the context of multi-culturalism:
    The only people who will remember their history in such a society are religious people, primarily Jews and Muslims, with a few of the more educated Christians thrown into the mix. Religious people will remember their history because they share a collective myth by which to measure themselves in the world. Of course, the power of the myth is made even stronger when it is in written down and it's dispensation is ritualized, as it is with Judaism and Islam.

    (Side note: Christianity's myth is, of course, written down. However, Christianity suffers from the problem that it's only alive and growing branch, the Evangelical branch, is not formally ritualized in it's dispensation of the tradition.)

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