Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekly Opinion/Editorial
By Steve Fair

In 2007, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life polled 35,000 Americans and found that 16.1% were unaffiliated- non-believers. A recent poll by a researcher at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., pegged the percentage of people who say they have no religion at fifteen percent. That number has nearly doubled from polls taken in 1990. Is America becoming more secular? It certainly appears that way.

Nica Lalli said in a USA Today editorial(4/6/09 edition) entitled “No religion? No problem,“Atheists like me are just content to be able to be religion-free without the social stigma that has been attached to “my kind”- the irreligious minority.” The premise of Lalli’s column was that all Americans should focus more on co-existing and less on religious combat. Does Lalli have a right to be a non-believer? Biblically, not a chance! This article on FREE WILL might interest those serious about the subject: Scripture addresses these enlightened, educated, tolerant creatures known as nontheists in Psalms 14:1, which says, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”

Pew’s poll found that one in four Americans between the ages of 18-29 said they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion. Young people are not attending church like their parents or grandparents. When they do, they expect more entertaining services and less “meat” from the pulpit and there is not shortage of churches and ministers willing to fill that demand. Perhaps one of Lalli’s friends will get her engaged in a mega-church where she can find her “purpose” or read all the “Chicken Soup” books to enhance her spirituality.

The real issue is the 18-29 age group doesn’t have an appetite to study or mediate on God’s word or consider their spiritual standing before a holy God. Those who are believers would rather be spoon-fed some spiritual Pablum* to satisfy their spiritual hunger.

American youth now look to government for their existence, protection, security, joy and peace rather than a sovereign creator. Few can deny younger Americans are more open to socialist concepts than their parents and grandparents. When America elects a President whose stated goal is to “spread the wealth,” and who believes government is the answer to every problem, we are not headed to a socialist state-we are in one.

In the September 2008 Tabletalk magazine, theologian Dr. R. C. Sproul wrote, “a decline from statehood to statism happens when the government is perceived as or claims to be the ultimate reality. This reality then replaces God as the supreme entity upon which human existence depends.” Sound something like what is happening in America today? Sproul’s entire article is worth reading. You can access it at:

The reason America has moved to “statism” is not government’s fault. Government by its nature grows, consumes, and perpetuates itself. The average American has brought into the secular philosophy the state will handle the hard issues and has abrogated personal responsibility to the government. Instead of believing a sovereign God controls His creation, average Americans trust government and government responds by “giving them what they want-not what they need.” And we to wonder why politicians “tell us what we want to hear?”

Political activists with religious right leanings- almost exclusively Christians- have engaged in “behavior modification” tactics instead of spiritual ones to impact government. Activists have immersed themselves in the political system, worked on campaigns, attended seminars and engaged in party politics to “make a difference.” Their work and activism has produced some limited results, but until they/we understand that ONLY God can permanently change a heart in an individual and a country, we are destined to be disappointed.

America’s spiritual problem is far greater than our economic ones and much more pressing. It's obvious the "seeker friendly" church concept has not produced lasting results, nor is the conventional political lobbying of conservative Christians. Activists should lobby more, but not the conventional way. We should lobby our Creator on our knees and ask Him to forgive our sins and heal our land. We should plead with Him to change hearts in and out of government.

*Pablum is a processed cereal for infants originally marketed by the Mead Johnson Company in 1931. The trademarked name is a contracted form of the Latin word Pabulum, meaning "foodstuff". The name is also used metaphorically, especially in literary criticism, to refer to something bland, unappetizing, or with little content value.

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