Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Doom! Despair! Demise!

According to this Christian Science Monitor contributor, evangelicalism will pretty much die off within the next two generations and those remaining will refashion themselves anew. The author provides several reasons for this demise, offers predictions, before pondering if this is a good thing. Alarmist anecdote:
We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. ... In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.

Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.

I don't really know how to respond to the article, because it seems like the journalistic equivalent of the big-city homeless guy wielding a "The End is Near" cardboard sign.

I would love it if you could read the entire article and could give me your thoughts.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, some of these jerks that take old people for their entire savings and retirement by promising an express route to heaven if you send me all your money, might become extinct like dinosaurs. I really have no problem with that.

On a serious note, I have to agree that it very much appears to be another doomsday guy holding a sign.

But hey, didn't the Mayans says the world was going to end in 2012 anyway? That guy's math was WAY off.

A Faithful Reader said...

There has always been those that have predicted the end of the world and the end of religion. Bias possessed is bias spoken in all camps. What may happen in the United States does not mean that somewhere else the flames of passion will not back up higher. If there is no God then all of Christianity is doomed, but if there is a God, and I believe there has always been a God, then God does not have to play by human rules on what will or will not be the future of God's people.

Kent H said...

Faithful Reader is exactly right. Actually, North America is the only continent where evangelical Christianity is not advancing numerically and impactfully. This author may have a little too much Amero-centric perspective going on.

But it is said, though, that so much of the 21st century, evangelical Christian church (of which I am a part) has so forgotten its mission and commission that we can sit back and become a laughing-stock, irrelevant, and ineffective in the face of a populace that needs Christ.

Where there is a sovereign God, He will accomplish His purposes. America would be a better nation with the influence of truth that we had for the first half of our history. But I also agree with Anonymous, if the majority of religious people are just members of a different kind of country club, there is no reason for God to grant His blessing and support. And that demise will be welcome.

The biblical brand of Christian faith is one of hope, salvation, grace, truth, and love in Jesus Christ. Those with that message will see God move. Mainliners forgot that a generation ago and they are dying. Those who proclaim God's truth will never lack for God's approval - regardless of what the culture does. And for that reason, the tales of the church's demise, I believe, are much exaggerated - for now.

CWPNRG? said...

Drew, this is off topic, but I don't know how to get hold of you.

This might be of interest to all of us:
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/former-rep.-goode-files-to-run-for-old-seat-2009-03-12.html

Darren Staley said...

Kent,

You said:"Those who proclaim God's truth will never lack for God's approval - regardless of what the culture does."

Isn't that the same logic used by the Islamic fundamentalists that you derided in a previous thread?

Surely you must see the hubris (and danger) involved in any one man or group claiming sole understanding of "God's truth."

Kent H said...

Darren,
That's why I have you to keep me straight. :-)
The difference you're missing is that God Himself will give approval to that which honors His wishes,etc. The logic of one argument over another doesn't obligate God. His word and will do.
Frankly I see much more hubris in holding to no God and no truth - at which time man becomes his own god and all truth is subjective.