Friday, January 18, 2013

Losing Our Religion: The Growth of the 'Nones'

Here is a recent article from NPR about the increasing number of people who no longer affiliate themselves with any religion. There have been several articles written about this Pew Research study regarding the increasing 'none' population, and thought I would finally post one here.

I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts regarding the article and this steady trend in America.

Check it out: Losing Our Religion: The Growth of 'Nones'

Personally, I do not think this is a bad thing. For one, I think this trend allows for a deeper distinction between mere 'religion' and authentic Christianity. As the article points out, I believe one of the main reasons for this trend away from religion is that people (especially younger) are tired of the cold, irrelevant 'religion' pushed by older generations. It is a rebellion of sorts. For many, it is a rebellion against a religion that stifles humans by imposing moral agendas and political platforms. In this sense, those rebelling often see organized religion as nothing more than a man-made obstacle to progress. I would agree with some aspects of this rebellion, specifically, that it is not a good thing when Christianity primarily becomes a moral movement or a political platform. Sadly, many people see Christianity as nothing more than moral conservatives, and for that reason, many people do not want to associate with Christianity.

The problem here is that what most people think Christianity is (mostly through the media), is not authentic Christianity. I don't think this rebellion is that bad because it really does open up a door to show people, in word and deed, what the Gospel actually is. It is so much more than a moral system. It is so much more than organized religion. Rather, it is the story of all humanity that addresses our deepest problem; namely our human condition. It takes the reality of our brokenness, pain, insatiable lives, and it puts it into the only context of life that makes sense. It confronts the fact that life is not what it is supposed to be. It confronts this fact, not with a political agenda, or a technique for improving our behavior. No. God confronts this fact by getting to the heart of the problem. He sent his Son to give us completely new life. He came to give us life as it was originally intended. He came that we could fulfill our innate human purpose; to know Him and be known by Him for eternity.

All I have for now are those random thoughts, but I'd love to hear what other people think about the article, or other ones like it. 

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