Monday, February 26, 2007

The US - A Religious Melting Pot?

A recent survey conducted by the Institute for Humanistic studies claims that "aethism" is increasing in the United States:
A new survey in the U.S. shows that the number of 18-25 year olds who are atheist, agnostic or nonreligious has increased from 11 percent in 1986 to 20 percent today. Meanwhile a survey of the United States and the five largest countries in Western Europe reveals that religious belief continues to plummet in Europe, with Italy being the only country with a majority believing in any form of God or supreme being. And even in these overwhelmingly godless countries, the young are still significantly less religious than their elders.
While I have not seen the statistics from the actual survey itself (or how they conducted it), I would agree that America is showing signs of becoming a religious "melting pot." The article continues:
Overall, the US looks a lot like Western Europe 30 or 40 years ago. At that time most Europeans still believed in a god, but younger generations were more atheist and agnostic than their elders. That trend has continued with religion steadily declining, generation by generation.
I have to say that I too am against "religion." You read that correctly. But I am for a relationship with Jesus. When we try to cram religious principles down the throats of the younger generation, their immediate reaction will be one of contempt. Religion didn't work 2000 years ago either. But when you build into a relationship while discovering what it means to follow Jesus, everything changes.

The Church (Big C) needs a wake up call. Fortunately, I firmly believe that many churches have already answered the phone. They are finding creative ways to impact their communities; discussions have been generated and technology has been leveraged. I don't know what "religion" will look like in a 100 years, but I do know that Jesus will never change...and that gives us all hope. Let the battle begin...

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