A recent issue of Newsweek shouts—“The End of Christian America.” On this day after Easter, we can add Newsweek to those who for 2000 years have tried to push Christianity back into the tomb.
Jon Meacham’s featured article focuses on one key statistic—the number of Americans willing to claim that they have no religious affiliation has nearly doubling from 8 to 15 percent since 1990. But even Meacham observes: “While the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated. Being less Christian does not necessarily mean that America is post-Christian. A third of Americans say they are born again; this figure, along with the decline of politically moderate-to liberal mainline Protestants…suggests a movement towards more conservative beliefs and particularly to a more 'evangelical' outlook among Christians."
Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life continues to set sales records. That is unless you consider the Bible which consistently outsells ever other book every year. In these difficult times, many churches report increased attendance. It may be more acceptable to claim unbelief, but the Christian faith remains vitally important to millions of Americans.
Contrary to what most secular Americans fear, most Christians want nothing to do with a government-endorsed religion. Nothing killed the vitality of the church in Europe more than government-sponsored churches. Open disagreements help test and strengthen one’s faith. God didn’t send his Son to win a popularity contest or impact surveys, nor did Jesus come to rally renewed patriotism. Jesus came to call people to faith and a personal relationship with God. But that shouldn’t discount the importance of the Judeo-Christian faith in founding and shaping America.
Bridging to Muslims worldwide, President Obama replied at a Turkish press conference, “One of the greatest strengths of the United States is, although as I mentioned before, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens.”
While technically true, in contrast to Muslim countries under Sharia Law, he failed to honor our Judeo-Christian heritage’s role in shaping our culture and affirming the right of other faiths to exercise that faith without fear of persecution.