American Christianity on the Decline? Not So Fast!

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, May 13, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    The Pew Research Center just released a major poll about the condition of Christianity in America.

    The main stream media is gleefully reporting a serious decline in Christianity in America, based on the Pew poll.

    But, as usual, the left-wing press in this country don’t have their facts exactly correct.

    First, Newsmax explains the poll and the reported results:
    Christianity is in sharp decline in America, according to new research from the Pew Research Center, making for a significantly less Christian country than that of just seven years ago.

    The number of Christians dropped by almost 8 percentage points in seven years to 71 percent, and the trend holds across race, gender, education, and geographic dimensions, though Christianity still dominates American religious identity at 70 percent, USA Today said.

    “It’s remarkably widespread,” Alan Cooperman, director of religion research for the Pew Research Center, said, according to The Washington Post. “The country is becoming less religious as a whole, and it’s happening across the board.”

    The research also found that the percentage of people not affiliated with a religion has increased from 16 percent to about 23 percent over that period.
    OK, that’s a surface analysis of the numbers, but the reporting is far from accurate.

    To get a more detailed look at the survey and analyze the numbers, we turn next to Christianity Today:

    The main methods for measuring American faith are flawed.

    So thinks the Pew Research Center, which today released the second wave of a massive study designed to “fill the gap” left by the United States census (no questions on religion), the self-reporting of denominations (“widely differing criteria”), and smaller surveys (too few questions or people).

    Scrutinizing the past seven years, Pew finds that, amid the rise of the “nones” and other popular talking points, the fate of evangelicals is proving much brighter than Christianity at large.

    Over the past seven years, evangelicals have lost less than 1 percent of their share of the population, holding steady at about 1 in 4 American adults (25.4% in 2014, vs. 26.3% in 2007) and preserving their status as the nation’s largest religious group.

    In contrast, mainline Protestants have lost almost 3.5 percent of their population share and are currently less than 15 percent of American adults, while Catholics lost about 3 percent of their population share and are currently about 21 percent of adults.

    This gleefully reported trend “discovered” by Pew is really nothing new. The “main line” Protestant denominations have been hemorrhaging members by the
    millions for the past 40 – 50 years.
    This mass exodus aligns squarely with the wide-spread introduction and practice of liberal theology in these churches.

    In short, as churches have denied more and more Biblical truth in their doctrine and programs, the more people have exited those churches to look for places to worship that have held to classical, Biblical Christianity.

    http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/...rican-christianity-on-the-decline-not-so-fast
     
  2. Jerome

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  3. Zaac

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    It's moot just like the one I posted.

    Any time I see a study that speaks to 70 or 80+% of the people in the US consider themselves Christians, I move on.
     
  4. annsni

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    Exactly. It goes by self-identification which is as helpful as those "self identifying gender".
     
  5. JonC

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    I agree....if Christianity is not in decline within American then we probably need to reexamine the "salt and light" principle. An increase in Christians cannot not equate to growing immorality among a culture.
     
  6. InTheLight

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    From the report:

    Since 2007, the share of evangelical Protestants who identify with Baptist denominations has shrunk from 41% to 36%. Meanwhile, the share of evangelicals identifying with nondenominational churches has grown from 13% to 19%.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

    Must be all those churches removing "Baptist" from their name and going with generic names.
     
  7. JonC

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    There is also the issue of the individualistic church. We have many that have sprung up (non-denominational) because of dissatisfaction with church in general. Church is viewed lightly and focus is on ones personal relationship with Christ.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Takeaways from Pew's Religious Landscape Survey

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Christianity is not dying, as I've often said; nominal Christianity is.

    Pew Research Center released a report yesterday (May 12) drawing a variety of headlines -- everything from "Christianity faces sharp decline as Americans are becoming even less affiliated with religion" to "Pew: Evangelicals Stay Strong as Christianity Crumbles in America."

    So what are we supposed to think of Christianity in America?

    The big trends are clear: The nominals are becoming the nones, yet the convictional are remaining committed.

    In other words, Americans whose Christianity was nominal -- in name only -- are casting aside the name. They are now aligning publicly with what they've actually not believed all along.

    The percentage of convictional Christians remains rather steady, but because the nominal Christians now are unaffiliated, the overall percentage of self-identified Christians is in decline. This overall decline is what Pew shows -- and I expect it to accelerate.

    Not one serious researcher thinks Christianity in America is dying. What we see from the Pew Religious Landscape Survey is not the death-knell of Christianity, but another indication that Christianity in America is being refined.

    As such, let me share three takeaways from the data.

    1. Convictional Christianity is rather steady.


    2. There have been significant shifts within American Christianity

    3. Mainline Protestantism continues to hemorrhage.

    http://www.bpnews.net/44747/firstperson-takeaways-from-pews-religious-landscape-survey
     

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