Newsworthy Discussion: Pew Forum Study on Religion and Public Life

The last post for each month is going to be a newsworthy discussion topics that have been highly discussed in the blog world that I want to present my perspective on and link to other bloggers perspectives on.

Pew Forum Study on Religion and Public Life

There was a study released this month by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that has yeilded a lot of discussion in response to its findings.  The study has found that people who were involved in a faith of some kind as children drift away from their faith and then may return to it when they have kids for the purpose of having their children grow up with faith.  The study also finds that people are seeking a more personal and less organized faith.  This is a mindset held by parents that faith is an essential aspect of childhood but is not something that impacts all aspects of life.  Faith and religion is then seen in the minds of parents as a good place to form morality and make you a good person, but it is not something that is of any use beyond the forming and developmental stages of childhood. 

In the New York Times article on the subject Professor Stephen Prothro, the chairman of the religion department at Boston University notes that “mega-churches succeed not because they are mega but because they have smaller ministries inside.”  People are seeking a faith that has no accountability which would be found in the community of a church because they do not want to be expected to live at a certain standard.  The church has become so consumerised that the gospel has become something that is your personal experience with Jesus without community and embracing a lifestyle led by the Spirit and the Great Commission.

The heart of the gospel has become lost in the American church.  Jesus has been presented as someone less than Lord.  Therefore, Christians are leaving the church and switching religions because they never had a relationship with Jesus Christ seeking after Him and pursuing Him for who He is not what he can do for them.  May God raise up His church to clearly proclaim the holistic gospel that impacts all areas of life so that His name and glory can be proclaimed in all nations!

Related Links:

“Americas Changing Religious Landscape” by Dr. Albert Mohler– This is a good article by the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky
New York Times’ Article “Americans Change Faiths at Rising Rate, Report Finds”– This article does a good job breaking down the research findings.
Pew Forum Study on Religion and Public Life– This is the entire report.
“The Religion Shift in America” from ChurchRelevance.com– This is a good percentage breakdown of the research findings.