America’s Post-Christian Path Mirrors Israel’s Downfall Chuck Mason April 18, 2024

America’s Post-Christian Path Mirrors Israel’s Downfall

Catholic Bishop Robert Baron’s recent comments over the rising number of the “Nones” —religiously unaffiliated Americans who left Christianity — resurfaced on Fox News. Baron noted that the Nones, about 3% in the early 1970s, is nearly one-third of today’s American population. The “staggering” increase is Baron’s number one concern for the church, and he’s right.

The exodus from the church sets the stage for America’s post-Christian society, and the nation’s loss of faith could be its eventual downfall, just as it was for ancient Israel.

It’s a brutal reality for Christians who naively believe God will unilaterally preserve America’s Christian heritage. But scripture reveals the inconvenient truth. Nations that turn from God can’t escape His judgment, no matter what people choose to believe.

Judah slowly turned its back on God, becoming a nation that lived in deliberate opposition to God’s covenant. But the people believed God would protect them no matter how far they strayed. When Jeremiah foretold the coming destruction, the people replied, “The Temple of the Lord! The Temple of the Lord!” They were certain God would preserve the nation because He wouldn’t destroy the house of His presence. His temple was their heritage and safety.

But Judah’s spiritual heritage didn’t buy God’s protection. The Babylonians razed the Temple to rubble, and Judah spent 70 years in Babylonian exile for their sins.

America’s Christian faith is dissolving like Israel’s trust in God. If God didn’t preserve a disobedient Judah, would He preserve a post-Christian America?

Americans are leaving Christianity in record numbers.

Pew research revealed that 90% of Americans self-identified as Christians in 1990. That number fell to 63% in just over two decades. Today, only 9% of Christians hold a Biblical worldview, and many hold beliefs that have no connection with Christianity. Last summer, Gallup reported that only 31% of Americans had been in a religious service within the previous seven days. This includes all services from Muslim to Christian Science, which means the number of people consistently attending a conservative church in America is a small percentage of the population.

According to a 2021 Survey Center on American Life poll, Generation Z and the Future of Faith in America, skipping church has a cascading effect on children who don’t experience worship services or learn the basics of Christianity.

Childhood religious attendance sets the foundation for faith commitments. Kids with consistent church experiences maintain their faith in adulthood, while kids who don’t attend church have little interest in God as adults. Unchurched kids grow up with significant negative views towards Christianity. They don’t see it as a social benefit for society and strongly disagree that kids should be raised in religious faith.

Only 31% of Americans attend services each week, while 69% stay home regularly. If they’re not in church, one can assume their children aren’t receiving a Christian foundation essential for their faith.

It is no surprise that Gen Z, the generation that spends the least time in church, makes up the highest percentage of the Nones. Only 40% attend church or Bible study at least once weekly. They also have the highest rates of atheism and agnosticism (20%) of any American generation.

The church continues to lose its own. Today, two-thirds of Christian kids walk away from God when they leave home to go to college and pursue careers. In the past, many returned to their faith after marriage and the birth of their children. Today, they joined the Nones to keep their distance from God.

The take-home message is that Christianity has lost influence in a society that has lost interest in attending church. As church attendance fell in each generation, the number of unchurched people increased, accelerating America’s transformation into a post-Christian nation.

A post-Christian society emerges when people look to anti-Christian beliefs, values, and worldviews for guidance. The Nones want a world that’s free from Christianity’s narrow morality and exclusive truth claims. Many of them are unchurched. They never participated in a worship service, heard the Bible stories, learned the Ten Commandments, or encountered the power of the Gospel to change lives. They want nothing to do with Christianity and question why the “Thou Shalt Nots” should restrict their freedom.

They reject restrictions, choosing lifestyles and identities of their choice, which was impossible to do when chastity before marriage and heterosexual monogamy were cultural norms in America.

In their push for freedom, they have created a post-Christian society that gives them what they want. They replaced Biblical morality with tolerance and inclusion, then reinvented every major institution to reflect these non-biblical values. The rise of woke culture demonstrates this in detail. Today, people rely on Marxism, critical theory, and evolutionary psychology to redefine America’s institutions and practices that were once based on Biblical principles.

The transgender ideology is a prescient example. Woke culture redefined gender based on social conditioning rather than God’s Word, then declared any effort to keep biological men out of women’s restrooms as hate and oppression. These were unthinkable even five years ago, but they are becoming the norm as the people who disconnected from Christianity made social upheaval their social religion.

Unbelievers aren’t tolerating Christianity’s influence as they did in the past when they were a 3% minority in the 1970s. The Nones and the unchurched stopped the pretenses a decade ago; they have no interest in living under the rules of a faith they have learned to despise and have no intention of going along to get along. They’re loud, proud, and determined to create a post-Christian nation to get the freedom they desire

Times have changed, and Christians naively assumed the country would remain a Christian nation as more and more Christians retreated from the culture war. Nations reap what they sew, whether ancient Israel or America. Churches need to review Israel’s history for a sobering reminder of the consequences of deliberate disobedience.

Under the status quo, America’s post-Christian transformations are inevitable. As more and more people leave the church, they keep their children at home, robbing America of the great catechism that infused Christianity into the nation’s marrow. Wishful thinking won’t preserve faith in a nation when its people don’t worship with their children. The Christian church is at a crossroads and must reconsider how it reengages with society and reestablishes a culture of evangelism.

Until then, the rise of the Nones and their emerging post-Christian society will be the church’s number one concern and perhaps America’s eventual downfall.

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