What is happening to America's churches? There seems to be a lot of confusion and mayhem. Pastors like Ed Young with mega churches live in million dollar mansions. Celebrity pastors are authors, write book endorsements for their celebrity pastor author friends. Conferences are held with more celebrity pastors sharing the platform with their bosom buddies who are also celebrity pastors.
I found two articles talking about the changing religious landscape in America and posted some key notes from the articles. Click on the titles for the complete articles.
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – The fastest growing "religious" group in America is made up of people with no religion at all, according to a Pew survey showing that one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion.
The number of these Americans has grown by 25% just in the past five years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Second are groups of people who were unhappy with their religions and left.
And here's another article on religion in the US:
Washington (CNN) – Following a string of recent developments that suggest waning Protestant power – like the first Supreme Court with no Protestant justices, and a Protestant-free Republican presidential ticket – a new Pew survey finds that Protestants are no longer the majority in the United States.
At the release of the Pew survey, John Green, a senior adviser at Pew, quoted historian Robert Wuthnow in characterizing the changes as part of a wider “restructuring of American religion.”
“The core of this phenomenon is many of the older distinctions that characterize American religion … are being replaced with a new kind of religion,” Green said.
The study also found that the fastest growing "religious group" in the country is people who are not affiliated with any religion.
One of the biggest eye-openers for me with the media exposure was the amount of support from atheists, agnostics, and also Christians who no longer go to traditional churches whatsoever. Many of the self-proclaimed atheists said they used to attend church, but left after bad church experiences. Something clearly is going on. I pulled these comments from news articles on my case or comments from my blog:
Yes there are true Christians in America, but you won't find us in churches......
This is exactly why I do not attend church. Too much "Blind Faith" among the followers, free thinking is admonished and mind control is the norm. Women are treated a second class and the preacher is the mouth-piece of God. Wake up people and snap out of it. Organized religion is scary crazy!
It's time to ban organized religions and the cults that mimic them. They are nothing but a manner in which to control the masses and lately seem to promote hatred, violence, racism, bigotry and intolerance. One does not need to belong to a religion to have faith and believe in a higher power, nor does one need religion to promote morals.
Would Christ recognize Christianity as it is practiced today? For the most part, no.
It's amazing. When the church is being judged and criticized they can't take it but they have no problem dishing it out to others. Just another reason the church needs to disappear.
Christianity becomes antithetical when it preaches exclusivity and involves itself it politics and business. But this seems to be the track that many if not most churches are now taking and is anti-christ. Jesus showed what the passion of christ really was when he went to the temple and threw out the merchants and politicians. He was crucified by those powers threatened by his revelations of the mercenary intentions of religion and church leaders. The ignorance of churches that persecute is criminal and only a secular government is capable of recognizing that or ends up washing its hands of the self serving demands of religious and business leaders.
Religion is a b@tch isnt it! I left "the church" several years ago and won't go back.....similar story to this. We sat the leaders of the very large DFW area church down and told them in no uncertain terms, that if they started a single rumor, a lawsuit would follow. Others that had left were talked about by the leadership...they are sinners, they have fallen into sin, their marriage is weak, their faith is weak, they are not committed, they don't care, on and on. We were youth pastors....volunteers, cause I wont take money for telling some about Christ, the church leadership was very well paid and after being exposed to "behind the scenes" we had to leave. I will NOT attend organized named church anymore. I study, pray and live life to the fullest. I hope this woman stands strong.
Yep, exactly. I know what you are saying, I've been there. I was a church secretary for 14 years, played the piano and coordinated their worship team. When I started to question their ethics in some people's lives and they way they were controlling the congregation in the direction of their teaching and our worship. That was it for us... They were even telling people that I was possessed and insane to discredit me just for my questions to them! They are the ones that pushed it into the public realm by their own fear and guilt. Yet finally I had never been healthier.
And I've never been happier. I will not go back. I have my faith and beliefs, but it has nothing to do with being part of brainwashed people that are trapped in a building.
I made a decision to leave the "institutional church" over a year ago (for a number of reasons), and have no regrets. Reading about your lawsuit and spiritual abuse experiences, simply reinforces my decision so that I have no desire to belong to a church ever again. Honestly, who needs all that drama??? Given this blog (and others like it) as well as my own spiritual abuse experiences, I have concluded that "church" is a stressful activity that I can certainly do without! :)
People walking away from institutional religion is not sad, Julie. Notice that the writer said he or she had NO REGRETS? That institution is not the body of Christ. We are His body. Those of us whom He has redeemed by His blood. Those of us whom God has called out, you could not pay us a salary to go back. We love our Lord, and when He is not welcome in the churches, we don't want to be there either.
American version of christianity is rather detestable. Its Political, commercialized and indoctrinating. People in general are ill-informed and chruches become kind of master of them. Churches do some good but overall people should stay away for religious institution.
Believing in God has nothing to do with following a religion. These are two distinct attributes.
All I know is that after reading all of the above, I just want Jesus. It's easy to give it all up amidst this muck. We cannot do that. I am so thankful that He is with me - - He never abandons me - He is with me in the morning when I rise and He can walk me through all of this difficult church muck.
The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. Proverbs 11:20