There was a time, not long ago, when people were just expected to go to church. It was a cultural thing–to be respectable, a fine upstanding member of the community, you went to church. Whether or not you believed it or practiced it or not. The upshot was churches full of nominal Christians.
Today, though, that is not, in general, the case. I suspect it may still be in some communities, but more usually there is no stigma against not attending church, and in some cases there is a stigma if you do.
Some are lamenting this development, but I’m thinking this may be a good thing. Why might that be? What might be the down side for the culture? After the jump, a link to a discussion on the subject. The discussion features Dennis Prager (who is Jewish), Ross Douthat (who is Catholic), and Al Mohler (who is Baptist). Read it all, but I have excerpted some of what Dr. Mohler said. From Baptist Press -New era in U.S. culture assessed by panel – News with a Christian Perspective: