America is not a Christian nation anymore.
According to a recent Gallup Poll 31% of Americans, or 3 out of 10, believe the Bible is the actual word of God.
Based on this website, it is believed that less than 1/3 of Americans are Christians in the Biblical sense, although according to this website religioustolerance.org, 76.5% of American adults would classify themselves as Christians (52% Protestant; 24.5% Catholic).
The conflicting numbers seem to be caused by some confusion about what it actually means to be a Christian. Based on this poll, 92% of Americans believe “in God or a universal spirit”. However, that number is very skewed because it is talking about any “higher power”. It continues on to say “21% of those who describe themselves as Atheists expressed a belief in God or a universal spirit, and more than half of those who call themselves Agnostic expressed a similar conviction.”
But we don’t have to look at the numbers to see that America is not a Christian nation anymore. Numbers can be inaccurate, but actions are much more accurate. All we really need to do is look at the leadership and direction of America. Those we’ve elected to be in leadership in this country are not making decisions to lead this country in a Biblical way, and the direction our nation is going is counter to the Bible, which shows we are not a Christian nation anymore.
Because of that truth, I believe it’s time we rethink Christianity in America. We as Christians need to rethink what it means to live for God in this country.
First, we must see ourselves as Missionaries who live in a nation that needs God – we live in a country that may have heard about God, but there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions about him. We live in a country that needs to be shown who God really is and what it means to really follow him. We no longer live in a Christian nation, so those of us as Christians must be missionaries in our nation.
Second, we must realize that God’s plan for our church is not to be a place for “Christian social gathering” – when we read of the first church in Acts we see a people who came together in order to worship God, grow in their faith, take care of each other, and be a Christ-like example to the world around them (Acts 2:42-47). The term “Christian” was actually given to those who were part of the early church from those in the world around them because they acted like Christ. It’s time for our churches to be like that in our culture today.
Third, we must stop pursuing the American Dream – the American Dream focuses on making plenty of money so we can do what we want and have lots of cool possessions. But when we pursue money and possessions, we can’t pursue God (Matthew 6:24). It’s time we chose God over the American Dream…our nation needs to see what people who are completely pursuing God look like.
Fourth, we must reject the “Health and Wealth Gospel” way of thinking – too many have been deceived into believing that if we follow God, he will us healthy, wealthy, and all-around happy and comfortable. Truth is, life is hard and being a Christian doesn’t change that. Jesus warned us that life would be difficult, even as his followers (John 15:18-21). Too many ask the question “where is God” whenever something bad or hard happens to them…and it’s time for that to stop! God promises to be with us during the hard times, but not take them away. Before we can show Biblical truth to the people around us, we must embrace it ourself.
Being a Christian and being an American are not synonymous with each other, in fact they lead in opposite directions most of the time. So we must begin to rethink what it means to live as Christians here in America.
I’m curious what others think. I’ve shared 4 things that I believe we need to rethink, but I’m sure there are more…so I’d like to hear others thoughts as well.