The number of Christians and cultural strength of Christianity are both declining in the United States. This decline is noticeable and is affecting church life, culture, and politics. It is also deeply disturbing to most Christians, including me.
I could now spend several paragraphs inviting a debate over whether and in what sense Christianity really can be said to be in decline in the U.S. But I won’t. Suffice it to say that when one percent fewer Americans each year claim a Christian affiliation, that marks decline. And when the youngest generation shows the greatest disaffiliation trend, that marks a decline likely to have lasting impact.
No, the more interesting question at this point is why. Why this disaffiliation trend? What are its causes?
- Prosperity and affluence distract people from regular church attendance and reduce a strong sense of need to be in church, gradually eroding not just church attendance but Christian identity.
- The fading of cultural Christianity means that fewer and fewer Americans feel any cultural or familial expectation to be in church or practice Christianity. “It was good enough for grandpa” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
- Evangelism is dead. No one really knows how to “share the Christian faith” any more in a way that connects with people, and many Christians have stopped trying.
Click here to read the entire article and for the remaining seven causes for the disaffiliation trend.
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