IN 1993, according research from the General Social Survey, 65 percent of Americans said they were, ‘without a doubt’ convinced of God’s existence. That figure dropped to 53 percent in 2018.
This, according to The Christian Post, reflects a ‘dire’ state of affairs.
The main thrust of the CP report is a new study from Gallup says which indicates that, while almost 80 percent of Americans were “convinced” just over a decade ago that God exists, only 64 percent of Americans today are so strongly persuaded in their belief in God.
Gallup’s analysis comes on the heels of a new study from the Pew Research Center in October that says only 65 percent of Americans now identify as Christian.
The study showed significant growth among Americans who identify as religiously unaffiliated – a group which includes atheists, agnostics and people who don’t identify with any religion.
This group now represents 26 percent of the population. The drop in the number of Americans identifying as Christian reflected a 12 percent decline when compared to the general population 10 years ago.
The decline was visible across multiple demographics but particularly among young adults.
The report then turned to latest research from the General Social Survey. This, says CP:
Shows an even more dire state in the number of Americans who are convinced that God exists without a doubt.
Millions of Americans who were once committed Christians have continued to increasingly disengage with their religion in recent decades, and churches have been struggling with the culture shift in which there are no absolute answers.
Ryan Burge, above, an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and pastor of First Baptist Church of Mt Vernon, Illinois, also noted in another recent report published by the Barna Group, that younger generations raised in the church are also no longer typically returning to church when compared with members of the “Baby boomer” generation born between 1945 and 1964. He said:
Many pastors are standing at the pulpit on Sunday morning and seeing fewer and fewer of their former youth group members returning to the pews when they move into their late-20s and early-30s. No church should assume that this crucial part of the population is going to return to active membership as their parents once did.
The data is speaking a clear message: the assumptions that undergirded church growth from two decades ago no longer apply. If churches are sitting back and just waiting for all their young people to flood back in as they move into their 30s, they are likely in for a rude awakening. Inaction now could be creating a church that does not have a strong future.