Mainline denominations and those with liberal theological stances often choose today’s temporary “blessing” of cultural relevance, while losing the stability that biblical faithfulness brings. To give this point clarity, the churches that have chosen to embrace same sex marriage, abortion, and other unscriptural, public policy positions are dying.
The Trinity study had several additional surprises in it. The first fact that caught many cultural students off guard was the shift from the Pacific Northwest to New England as the most un-churched region of the nation. This regional shift may reflect the Northeast to the Southwest population shift among Roman Catholics. Importantly, Catholics grew to approximately one-third of the adult population in California and Texas. Some believe that this geographic change is due to Latino immigration.
Next, the number of observant Jews dropped to 1.2 percent; while Muslims grew to 0.6 percent of our population. The growth in Islam is surprising given the bad press fundamental Islam has received along with the proven rise of religiously based terrorism around the world.
Finally, Christians who aren't Catholic seem to be a declining segment of the population. Let me explain. Evangelical church attendance is dropping at a very slow rate. Evangelicals have to do some major house cleaning in order to remain a thriving force in the world today. Currently, however, the evangelical brand remains strong. Unfortunately, non-evangelical, non-Catholics seem to be facing congregational extinction.
In conclusion, let me remind every evangelical that there is a need for the 21st century church to preach the word. The apostle Paul said it this way in 2 Timothy 4:2-3 “…be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (NIV).
If we are faithful to the Word of God, God will be faithful to the nation! Let’s take on the mental posture of spiritual marines. Let’s shout we our loudest voice, “Semper Fi!” – “Always Faithful!”
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.