Take a few minutes to zoom in on this infographic and mull over the meaning. (More at http://religions.pewforum.org/ .) This infographic provided by Pew Research helps strip away denials we form as we go to bigger church gatherings and have fewer people in God’s family.
The continuing demise of the effectiveness of faith in the United States should bring a multiple of responses. Why do we struggle to acknowledge our declining influence in community standards? What is it about faith that enables a complete denial of reality? Maybe the issue is not faith. Maybe the issue is religion. Maybe we have locked into our customs and traditions and so want to connect people with our style that we miss their soul? Maybe we have so looked to matching their style that we miss our soul? Either way, we are missing it.
. Attendance has gone from 60% to 25% in our churches in the last 50 years.
. Fatherless homes have gone from 11% to 34% in the same time frame.
. Abortion exists as an acceptable option. Life dominated. Now disposal dominates.
. Same sex marriage exists as an acceptable option. Generational family dominated. Now, one life flings are gaining ground.
. Our border is a war zone over access to our drug infatuation.
Pray with knowledge. Act with purpose.
. Get involved in someone else’s life. Quit being so self-centered.
. Be a concerned listener to your neighbors at work, home, and marketplace. Take an interest in their world instead of preaching at their world. Seek to understand.
. Go do something you would not normally do. Go spend time in an environment that is unfamiliar to you. Be a missionary to someone in your same city.
. Try to write down the message of acceptance in Christ and forgiveness of the blame of mistakes without using Christianized terms like saved, salvation, blood of Jesus, made pure, Holy Ghost fire, sin, or heaven. There is nothing wrong with those words except they don’t communicate to an unbeliever. Surely the Creator can reconnect us to His love and accept us into His family even though we wander off into our own selfish pursuits and need to have our record expunged. Yes, we need to be honest and transparent with our selfishness and bad living habits. Yes, we need to go to Him and acknowledge He is right and we are wrong and we need His help. Yes, we need to realize He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our deserved punishment and sentencing of guilt. Yes, we need to accept Jesus as not just a man, but also The God. And we can do it in terms that are meaningful to us just like the Greeks of the early days of the church and the Hebrews of the pre-church days.
. Be relevant with a powerful message. Don’t water down the gospel. Live it. Learn it. Give it away.