There is little doubt that the influence of (genuine) Christianity is on the decline in America today. We all know that. The Pew Research Center and Washington Post (among others) all affirm this. But we don't need polls to see it; it's right there.
What's the problem? The answer depends on where you're coming from, of course. If you're one who has never been a part of the Christian world or has defected from it, you might say, "We're waking up to the truth." If you're looking at it from the Christian perspective, however, the answer is different. As it happens, however, the answers from the Christian perspective vary also. One Christian deeply involved (and in love with) apologetics says this:
Christian leaders have nothing to say about the issues being debated in the mainstream culture. And once people get involved in the trendy sinful behaviors that are so widespread right now, it’s no wonder they dump Christianity. I’m sure it will surprise no one to say that I think that Christian leaders ought to be focusing more on issues like abortion, marriage, science, economics, foreign policy, climate change, etc. from a Christian perspective – since young people are leaving Christianity precisely on those grounds.
That's the answer. At least from the perspective of one who is sure that we win this by the proper arguments. I'm not at all sure that's the case.
In this view, the answer is in proper arguments and in addressing cultural issues without the Bible (because our culture, the argument goes, is opposed to the Bible). It's not enough to say, "The Bible is opposed to killing the unborn" or "God defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman" or the like. It is useless to tell your culture (or your kids who are leaving the church) "God says sex outside of marriage is a sin." The only possible solution is to explain to them why it's wrong ... and not with God's view in mind.
I consider this an "a-theist" approach. No, not an "I don't believe in God" approach. It's a "not-God" approach. First, God cannot be the issue ... even though He is the Creator, the King of Kings, the Judge of All the Earth, the only One authorized to tell us all what is and is not moral. Step off that platform and you're simply arguing from the same basis that the atheist does ... none. Second, it assumes God is not involved. "We've got to step in and handle this. We've got to say the right things, form the right arguments, produce the correct evidence. We've got to convince people that they're going in the wrong direction!" But the biblical version says that God is intimately, sovereignly, powerfully involved in our world. To a large number of genuine Christians, God is working at best with one hand tied behind His back--the hand that is "Sovereignty"--because He is forced to limit Himself to Man's Sovereign Free Will and Man's form of reasoning.
On the other hand, the Bible describes the problem as a sin problem. They are dead people (Ephesians 2:1-3), hostile to God (Romans 8:5-8), inclined only to evil (Genesis 8:21), blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). It's not a failure of logic or information. It's a heart problem. The answer to that problem is Christ. And the Bible describes people as coming to Christ because the Lord opens their heart (Acts 16:14), because they are "appointed" (Acts 13:48), because they are "His sheep" (John 10:16), because they are given by the Father (John 6:37). Paul wrote, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17) The Bible says, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) Power for this solution, then, is in God Himself and in His Word.
I think it's clear that the world around us is becoming more hostile to Christ ... you know, like He said was the case. I think that we shouldn't be surprised if serious testing of our faith should occur (1 Peter 4:12). And with these assaults on Christianity and biblical values, I think we should expect that there will be those who go out from us (1 John 2:19) and there will be a decline of Bible-based, God-centered morality. But I'm quite certain it's not because we don't have the right secular arguments in favor of God and opposed to sin. Standing there is an a-theist position, and arguing with anti-theists from an a-theist position seems ludicrous at best. Me? I'd recommend you know your Bible, teach it to your kids, pray, and live it yourself.
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