Culture

Pew Says Only 70% of Americans Are Christian, Jesus Says It's Much Less Than That

Much ado has been made of a new poll from Pew Research heralding the rapid decline of Christianity in America. From The Blaze:

… the United States remains a majority Christian country, with 70.6 percent falling under the Bible-based umbrella in 2014. This is a decrease of eight percentage points, though, from 2007 when the study found that 78.4 percent of the nation embraced Christianity.

Artist Adam Ford has a great cartoon that puts this news into perspective. His point is expounded upon by Matt Walsh in a recent commentary, again at The Blaze:

… some 70 percent of us might “identify” as Christian, but how many actually subscribe not to Christianity, but to Convenient Christianity? (Convenientanity, if you like.) How many are the type who call themselves Christian but don’t consider the Bible to be a particularly authoritative document? How many are in the group who see Christianity as nothing more demanding or complex than the 30 second life lessons speech Bob Saget gives to one of the Olson twins at the end of each Full House episode? How many believe that morality and faith can be severed from each other? How many believe in a Christianity that doesn’t include the existence of sin or Hell? How many are relativists? How many are prosperity gospel proponents?

Walsh makes the case that, to the extent Christianity is actually fading in America, its decline can be attributed to a boring, impotent, and ultimately inaccurate message from most American pulpits. By contrast, the Christianity of Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible is anything but boring.

Jesus claimed to be God incarnate. He called people to die to themselves and take up a cross, to repent of sin and rely wholly on Him, to fight the world and their own flesh in service of a heavenly Kingdom. It was, and remains, a warrior’s call.

It’s also a call that not many people answer, even among those claiming to. Matthew 7:13-14 reads:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Few would seem to preclude 70% of any given population. Adam Ford’s cartoon acknowledges the stronger probability. Cultural Christians, who never really believed but identified as Christian out of social convenience, increasingly find their Christian identity less convenient and thus less desirable.

That’s to be expected. The Bible tells us so.