DISCUSSION: Reversing the Decline of Christianity in the U.S.

DISCUSSION: Reversing the Decline of Christianity in the U.S. June 2, 2023

As the research cited in today’s post confirms, religious affiliation is declining in the United States

My fellow Patheos blogger Benjie Shaw asks a good question: How Can We Reverse the Decline of Christianity?  As a Southern Baptist, he says that his denomination’s intense focus on evangelism just hasn’t been working.  He suggests that we can reverse the decline if Christians were to live a distinctly Christian life, one that will give credibility to what we say.

Easier said than done, of course, as is the suggestion I made in my post.  I’d like to bring you into the discussion.

What can we do to reverse these trends?  Or can we do anything?

Isn’t this to be expected in light of Jesus’ multiple statements that the world will “hate” us?  If, as Jesus Himself says, “you will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22), how can we expect to be popular? And, judging from the Book of Revelations, won’t it get even worse?  Jesus promises that “the gates of Hell” will not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18) and in the last days, with His return, His church will be victorious.  But that doesn’t mean large numbers of people will necessarily be part of it.

Maybe the hard times, even being persecuted, will help. That would surely purify the church, with nominal and unfaithful Christians running away from the danger, leaving true believers willing to suffer for their faith, and probably living more as my fellow blogger recommends.  That certainly worked for the early church and is working that way in China today.   When I was working for World Magazine, we received a letter from Chinese Christians worried about the state of American Christianity.  They said they would pray that we would undergo persecution as they are experiencing, which they thought would help us greatly.  Which reminds us that we should pray, since God is the one who brings people to faith and builds His church.

What could churches do or stop doing that would make them more credible? What could we do as Christians in our vocations?  What approaches to apologetics and evangelism would be more effective?

Browse Our Archives