82% of U.S. Evangelical leaders say that their influence on the country is declining, according to a new Religion and Public Life study from the Per Forum.
This quote from Rev. S. Douglas Birdsall in the article struck me:
“There was a time when there was a Ten Commandments in every classroom, there were prayers in public places,” he said. “So having gone from that position of considerable influence, even though we might actually have more influence than churches in … other parts of the world, the sense is that it’s slipping from our hands.”
My first thought… when will we stop decrying the lack of the ten commandments and public prayer as the center points of Christians losing influence?
The ten commandments on a wall was how we showed our influence?
We based our influence on a prayer at a high school graduation?
I’ve heard a lot of times from a lot of people how this national has gone to hell in a handbasket since we took prayer out of the schools. Â I admit that this pre-dates my schooling years. Â But my guess is that much of this country was going to hell in a handbasket when people WERE praying in school, and when the ten commandments were on the classroom wall.
Is society bad today? Â Absolutely. Â Was is pristine in the 50s? Â Nope.
But there was a whole different set of problems then there there are today. Â Some of today’s problems could be worse… but most probably, they’re just different.
When I read some of the things that happened in the Old Testament, it makes today’s society look pretty darn Christian.
Again from the study: Â About half (53 percent ) of U.S. leaders said the state of evangelicalism is worse than it was five years ago, and nearly as many (48 percent) said they expect it to grow worse in the next five years.
I’m not quite sure how to read into this. Â I guess if our hope to make things better are political solutions to make Christianity more acceptable (like getting prayer back in schools), then we should be depressed about our future.
But the scary thing to me is that nearly half of our leaders think it’s going to get worse.
The article here does talk about some of the reasons behind the trend; and does do a good job at presenting both sides, including whether or not Christians should try to change culture through politics.
It’s a good read.
But how about you? Â Do you think Christianity’s influence is declining? Â If so, why? Â And are you optimistic about the future of reaching people for Jesus in the U.S.?
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