Americans Deciding with Their Feet: The Ongoing Exodus from Traditional Christianity (1)

         Several years ago, an elder relative was bemoaning the state of his traditional church. “It’s nothing but a few old people,” he said.

         Of course, he was one of the old people. The church was dying.

         This phenomenon has been happening all across the country for several decades now, as traditional churches fight to maintain their existence while also fighting to resist any change for the better.

         In big metropolitan areas the problem is not perceived as much since many churches manage to keep the pews full. The problem, however, remains. It does not go away simply by increasing or maintaining attendance, because many of these churchgoers are mere new transplants from elsewhere or the next generation of existing families. There are extremely few new converts in these places.

         Regarding the next generation, a new Pew Research Center report  reveals that only 27% of Younger Millennials attend religious services on a weekly basis. Younger Millennials are American adults born after 1990:

         “As older cohorts of adults (comprised mainly of self-identified Christians) pass away, they are being replaced by a new cohort of young adults who display far lower levels of attachment to organized religion than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations did when they were the same age.” [1]

         For the past twenty-five years I have been writing and teaching about this subject, and warning that American Christianity’s insistence on maintaining a dying status quo would cost it severely in the future. Few listen. Many who are listening have been deciding with their feet, regardless of any warnings. They decide to leave because American Christianity has been dying a slow death for many decades. They notice this phenomenon, as those with vision notice any obvious institutional pretense, in that the ones who buy into a false, unsustainable, and dying method are blind to its relatively short life expectancy.

         American Christianity of the twentieth century had devolved into saying one thing and doing another as standard operating procedure. It had adopted the enterprising spirit of the times, in that success was measured in the same terms that businesses and professional sports teams are measured—there must be backsides in the pews and the backsides must have healthy wallets.

         For those who did not have the wherewithal, as did the Catholics and large Protestant denominations, to build large buildings to house their flocks, some new Christian enterprises bought giant tents and moved them from city to city.

         Regardless of what appeared on the surface as decidedly different approaches to Christianity and completely different belief systems, the one thing that stayed constant was that “Christianity” must possess large containers (church buildings) and put large groups of people in the containers on a regular basis (congregations), and these people must be willing to support this non-Biblical concept monetarily.

         However, the Lord Jesus has always had a different plan—the right plan—and He began revealing much spiritual light in the very midst of, and against, the enterprising, false “Christian” revival which was based on the popular political propaganda of those times.

         It was in the bustling and burgeoning post-war 1950s when this populist form of American Christianity reached its peak, and it was toward the end of the 1950s when the Lord Jesus made His move toward real revival… [To Be Continued.]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[1] © 2015 Pew Research Center: U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious

Posted on November 6, 2015, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. These boots were made for walking (with Jesus). So- if I see the Holy Spirit exiting right, I’m going with Him. 😎 (And in a few cases, they were relieved to see me go. But like the bad penny that never seems to go away, the Lord puts me right back into the center of things. I wonder- “bad penny”. Is this a lost coin? If so, I’d like to think that I’m not the one who is lost. 😉 )

    I know I haven’t told you lately RJ, but you are an absolute God-send to me. I am rarely on WordPress these days (“Sorry!!!”), but when I am I try to stop by to your place. I am always overwhelmed with what the Lord gives to you and how much it means and matters to me, when I do. This post, and your many others I’ve read today, really blessed my heart and pierced it at the same time. “Good work!”

    I even laughed out loud (in a “Thank You Holy Spirit” kind of way) when I finished your trilogy “That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God”. Before reading your posts earlier today, I penned in a journal- Scriptures (one of which was Acts 3:6), and scribbled down some serious thoughts (with a few of my own words), that upon reading yours, I saw where you had so graciously done the work for me. And much better then I, I might add. <–So grateful for this!

    "Thank you again RJ" for all you do. I for one, read how you hunger and thirst for righteousness, exhibit godly diligence in your work for Him, and unite- with your lovely, passionate, and open heart for Jesus. I am so blessed in the way you share Him! "God Bless you my friend!"



    • Thank you very much, Julie, and Merry Christmas to you also! Great to hear from you. You have always been such a wonderful friend, a supporter of this blog, and a person who knows spiritual reality and is never afraid to speak the truth. Following the Lord Jesus will involve walking into some great places and meeting wonderful people like you, but it will also involve, with some frequency, walking right out of places as well. He commanded us to go where He goes, where He is welcome, but also to shake the dust off our feet if He is rejected. So, our boots WERE made for walking, but mostly walking all over the devil. Amen.

      May you and yours be blessed with the greatest of all blessings and joy this Christmas Season. Keep shining your light!


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