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Sunday
Jun032018

When Christianity is just another Religion

It is no surprise Europe is a spiritually dead continent, but in a recent article by WND writer Bob Unruh, he confirms it. 

A new poll by Pew Research Center indicates European Christians, once the driving force behind the faith’s expansion worldwide, no longer are. Christian. Really. At least in terms of what they believe.

I have noticed within my circle of friends, that when a person walks away from their faith they still associate with Christianity. In fact I heard the son of Francis and Edith Schaeffer say that he is a Christian Atheist. He primarily does not associate with any church at this point in his life, and is highly critical of Evangelicals in general. I, of course, do not agree with most of Frank Schaeffer’s assessments of Christianity, but there is one aspect of what he says is true. Frank Schaeffer believes what has ruined the Evangelical faith is all the personality cult preachers who have made preaching a business. They are driven by ratings and the bottom dollar and, according to Schaeffer, have created a false religion. 

Perhaps that is why so many Evangelicals have found emptiness in their churches. Many Christians will wander from church to church hoping that the next stop on their church tour will bring them what they want. I think more than anything else we have made church into a program or a series of programs that offer people an opportunity to have fellowship. Many churches are continually looking for that secret sauce that can be applied to their church that will make it a winning recipe for success. Europe has long since abandoned any hope of revitalizing the church and it seems they have stopped trying. I believe a major part of the problem the church in Europe is experiencing is the lack of desire to even try. The people even admit Europe is now past what the church has to offer.

Bob Unruh continues about this in his article:  

They may call themselves Christian, but Pew describes them as “non-practicing” and found that they “drifted away,” “were alienated” or just “stopped believing.” They only rarely walk in the doors of a church.

The survey found for example, that while 83 percent of Belgians say they were “raised Christian,”only 55 percent now identify as such.

Norway’s figures plunged from 79 percent “raised Christian” to only 51 percent now. In the Netherlands, from 67 percent to 41 percent, Spain, 92 percent to 66 percent, Sweden, 74 percent to 52 percent. In the United Kingdom, 79 percent to 73 percent.

The survey comes as millions of Muslims migrate from the Middle East and Africa to Europe.

“Western Europe, where Protestant Christianity originated and Catholicism has been based for most of its history, has become one of the world’s most secular regions,” the survey said. “Although the vast majority of adults say they were baptized, today many do not describe themselves as Christians.

“Some say they gradually drifted away from religion, stopped believing in religious teachings, or were alienated by scandals or church positions on social issues.”

This is now true in parts of the United States too. We have seen many scandals within the Christian community that brings into question the validity of the message of the church. How can priests molest children and even remotely be close to God? What about Mega-churches who package their products and services like Amazon to see how many people they can move through their auditoriums in one Sunday morning. The bottom line is, “do you cheapen the message and water down the experience when you are simply running a business under a religious logo?” Secularism has challenged the authority of the church in Europe for decades thus life without the church is now normal in most countries in Europe. This has also happened in the United States. In a small microcosm on marriage in our neighborhood, we discovered that many of the young couples moving into the rental units around us forego the institution of marriage by simply living together. This trend has been going on for some time now among non-religious couples, but this same trend has taken root even among those couples that identify as Christians. 

Christianity was never meant to become a religious practice - it was designed to change lives. Jesus came to transfer us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” Colossians 1:13

The domain of darkness never rests, and it never retreats for any length of time. If faithfulness to God is to be maintained, it must always be on the guard against ideas, attitudes, and influences that will slowly remove our awareness of delusion. Europe lost its soul to delusion through its affinity to secular thought and education. The Bible is clear to practice a strong defense against the dominion of darkness when it says:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”                                                                                     -2 Corinthians 10:5 

If we let our guard down we will become like Europe. We will repeat their mistakes and become a secular domain of darkness by making Christianity just another religion.  

Keeping it truthful and honest….K 

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