Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Christianity is Losing Ground . . . .

Yesterday, the results of a new Pew survey says that Protestants in the US are in decline.  If you read deep - you find that it's partly because a lot of 'Christians' now belong to non-denominational type organizations which apparently aren't officially 'protestant'.  The devil (himself) is in the details.
So the trending line for Protestants is going down, and the trending line for 'unaffiliated' and 'other faiths' is going up in the US.   Net, net?  Who knows . . . . . it could be that going to a Bible Church, or Community Church means you're 'unaffilliated'.  Or it could mean that Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Satanism and Atheists are on the rise, or a combination of both.
More disturbing to me is this chart showing Republicans and Democrats.  If you don't see the glaring conflict here between being a democrat and being 'religious', well, then, you see the point . . . .

Statistics, surveys - we know they are full of problems and can't be trusted fully.  For instance, if you're a real follower of Christ, the word 'religion' is not necessarily a good thing anyway - so you have to be careful as everyone has a different way of looking at things and answering surveys.  duh . .
But - this Pew research has 3 more things that are really disturbing (as disturbing as the democrat thing).  1) one-third of young adults under 30, now have no religious affiliation and that their ties to organized religion are permanently broken.  2) people identifying with non-Christian faiths is up to 6% from 4% in 2007 (5 yrs).  (doesn't sound like much, but those 2 pts means a 50% increase - an incredible stat, if I did the math right). 3) two-thirds, 2/3, of American adults think that churches should stay out of politics and not back one candidate or the other.
Christianity is losing - big time.
No real Christian wants to hear that (most don't believe it).  If you went to my church, a mega church, you wouldn't believe it, because it grows and the excitement is there all the time.  But the really BIG picture is different - the national and global picture.   Muslims on the other hand, have it going on.  They are growing fast and furious and are united globally.  Dig deeper into the Pew research (and others), and as a Christian, it will rock you, it will make you quiver and shake if you have any conscious at all.  Maybe it's just me, but I sense that overall, the Christian community (the leadership) is absolutely silent on all of this.  They have stuck their heads in the sand - what else can you do - right?  (fyi, usually my head is deep in the sand).  But Christianity has now become so watered down that it's irrelevant.  Young adults just don't care - and they are the future of America.
And if you want to get in really hot water with your Christian friends, just bring up the subject sometime . . . generally, my experience is that you will lose and you are outnumbered - by denial.
What do we do?  Stand your ground for Christ.  Don't water down Christianity when you talk to others.  The Bible is about Christ - from beginning to end - Genesis to Revelation.  Christ is a real 'stumbling block' - He doesn't compromise, He isn't a patsy for other religions, He cuts to the chase, He is hated by the world.
John 15:  Christ said "If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me.  If you lived on the world's terms, the world would love you as one of its own.  But since I picked you to live on God's terms and no longer on the world's terms, the world is going to hate you."

And pray hard for the Rapture, the Second Coming of Christ - soon! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I love good quotes!  There's a small bookstore in San Diego called 'Upstart Crow' that has racks and racks of cards and notepads and magnets and books of quotes.  We've spent hours in that place (while sipping coffee and chai) reading quotes, laughing, crying, getting some fulfilment- at appreciating a good quote.  Me and my best friends in the world have 20 years of experience - at doing nothing - at Upstart Crow.
I just love good quotes.  (this one haunts me . . .)
Quotes make you think about things in a different way, and they make you think about things you never thought about - and wondered why not?
Every now and then someone says something about quotes that makes you feel silly for loving them - they mock those of us who love quotes.  Those people are fools - so we ignore them.  They're the same  people who think picking up shells at low-tide on the beach is dumb.  Those people are irrelevant and dead inside.
The best quotes will make you act.  They compel you to actually do something different when you wake up in the morning.  Great quotes change your perspective - they can actually change your mind, so much so that you quit your job, or break-up with a girlfriend, or buy something you never even wanted, or sell something you thought you couldn't live without, or move to another country, or dedicate your life to something 'crazy'.

Here's another one of my favorites:  "When many things seem to be going wrong, trust Me.  When your life feels increasingly out of control, thank me."  Jesus - 'Jesus Calling - Oct 3'.

See, that's a quote that will do 1 of 2 things:  really make you mad, or change everything about you.  Or both.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Criminalizing Religious Insults

News from Russia today (literally today), is that they are making moves to criminalize religious insults.  "Insulting the feelings of religious believers could be punishable by a fine of $10,000 and 3 years in prison; insulting churches, mosques or synagogues would carry a higher fine and a 5 year prison sentence."  Think about it - a country that once (not very long ago) had no tolerance for any religion, will now throw you in jail for insulting a religion.  It's pure genius - on satan's part!
That snake is clever.  At first glance it sounds pretty good - doesn't it?  Stop all those insults and bad art mocking Christ.  Yet, insulting a religion put Jesus on the cross 2,000 years ago  (of course He permitted it to happen, He went there on His own, for us).  If these laws in Russia make there way across Europe, they will have to tear down the statues on the Charles Bridge in Prague (above).  Why, because these images of Christ and His disciples are an insult to other religions, are they not?  The idea that He could die for the sins of all people, to save them and unite them to God - is certainly an insult to Islam and others.
They need to go.  And take that cross off your neck - it needs to go too - it's insulting......
Europe?  How about America?  We're already there.  I'm telling you, that snake is a genius - very impressive, cloaked in such beautiful clothing and such fine words - pure genius.