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The Rise of the Religiously Unaffiliated Christianity is losing ground to the “nones.”

The Rise of the Religiously Unaffiliated Christianity is losing ground to the “nones.”

In August, Harvard named Greg Epstein, an atheist, to serve as its chaplain. Epstein described his unusual appointment as a sign of the times. “There is a rising group of people who no longer identify with any religious tradition,” he said. Unfortunately, he is right. Secularism continues to gain ground on religion. The Pew Research Center says that “about three in ten U.S. Adults are now religiously unaffiliated.”

According to the polling group, “secularizing shifts evident in American society so far in the 21st century shows no signs of slowing. The latest Pew Research Center survey of the religious composition of the United States finds the religiously unaffiliated share of the public is six percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago.”

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Pew Research Center says that fewer and fewer Americans identify as Christians. They still form a majority of the population, but “their share of the adult population is 12 points lower in 2021 than it was in 2011.” Christians used to outnumber the “nones” — those who don’t affiliate with any religious tradition — “by almost five-to-one,” says the polling group. Now the ratio is “little more than two-to-one.”

According to Pew Research Center, evangelical Protestantism is doing better than non-evangelical Protestantism. Still, both are declining: “Overall, both evangelical and non-evangelical Protestants have seen their shares of the population decline as the percentage of U.S. adults who identify with Protestantism has dropped. Today, 24% of U.S. adults describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Protestants, down six percentage points since 2007. During the same period, there also has been a 6-point decline in the share of adults who are Protestant but not born-again or evangelical (from 22% to 16%).”

The Catholic share of the population hasn’t changed in recent years, according to Pew’s survey: “21% of U.S. adults describe themselves as Catholic, identical to the Catholic share of the population in 2014.”

Naturally, the media claims that the conservatism underpinning Christianity is blamed for Americans turning away from it. Take this absurdly biased NBC report: “Nathalie Charles, even in her mid-teens, felt unwelcome in her Baptist congregation, with its conservative views on immigration, gender, and sexuality. So she left. ‘I just don’t feel like that gelled with my view of what God is and what God can be,’ said Charles, an 18-year-old of Haitian descent who identifies as queer and is now a freshman at Princeton University.” NBC continued that “another advocate for the nones is Kevin Bolling. The latter grew up in a military family and served as a Roman Catholic altar boy. In college, he began to question the church’s role and grew dismayed about its position on sexuality after he came out as gay.”

It would never occur to reporters that Christianity’s decline is due to embracing modern culture, not a rejection of it. It is the secularization of religion itself that has made it less compelling. The only groups within Christianity that appear to be flourishing are traditional ones. It is the self-consciously “relevant” churches that have grown irrelevant. The more worldly they become, the less the world takes them seriously.

Religion withers once its distinctively religious content is removed from it and replaced with bland modernism. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church,” said the theologian Tertullian. Pure faith, not a diluted one, spurred the expansion of Christianity. It spread through the Roman empire not by compromising with the pagan world but by repudiation.

Like an acid that burns through everything it touches, secularism causes religion to shrivel. The more faith adjusts itself to secular times, the less appealing it becomes. The Wall Street Journal, among others, attributes the latest Pew survey on religion in part to the “pandemic.” Some people stopped going to church during it and never came back. But wouldn’t they have returned if church leaders had been less timid and conformist? Didn’t so many bishops and pastors go along with the secularists’ definition of religious activity as “nonessential” contribute to this outcome?

Many churches missed an opportunity to evangelize during the pandemic, choosing instead to follow slavishly dictatorial governors who kept abortion clinics open while telling the faithful to stay home. Many bishops sounded less like pastors of souls than managers of department stores.

And even as the totalitarian outlines of the “great reset” become more obvious, even as the pro-abortion medical establishment grows more and more irreligious, we hear almost nothing from the bishops about the importance of religious conscience. Christianity will continue to fade as long as its leaders refuse to fight for it.

Contributes from The American Spectator and George Neumayr

Notes from the Editor

As a child of both Christian and Jewish faiths, I find myself in a unique place looking at each of these faiths.

We have churches and synagogues who have tried to make themselves so inclusive they have lost what makes them unique. Faith is made to bring others to the faith, not to have you meet them, instead show what you are following or believe in is unique, as Christianity used to teach, to stand apart. But this is not what is being done today; churches and synagogues are afraid of offending people, so they sacrifice what/who they are to keep from offending others.

These institutions wonder why they are losing members; the reason is apparent, why go to a place where it is no different than a meeting club, comedy club, or lately a gay club? With churches throwing everything out the window, having drag queens read to their children, and hosting church services, one must ask, why go? If I wanted to see this, I would go to a gay bar, maybe a comedy club.

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The early churches and synagogues stood apart; they did not compromise their belief to appease the many; people found they had something to offer that was not available in the world and went to them seeking the truth.

“I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:15 This is what Jesus taught.

The same with my fellow Jews, we have been taught to be separate; this is why we were given the Torah, why circumcision was put in place, yet if you are going to reject all, what makes you unique?

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