TI WAS FRONT-PAGE NEWS in my town yesterday. We Protestants in America have lost our majority. That’s a first in U.S. history.
We are now just another minority religious group. Admittedly, still a big one: 48% of U.S. adults call themselves Protestants.
But consider this.
- We don’t have a Protestant on the U.S. Supreme Court.
- For the first time in history, Republicans don’t have a Protestant on the presidential ticket.
Not that it’s a contest. Protestants vs. Catholics, or Christians vs. Mormons.
But it is a reflection of where we’re headed, spiritually speaking.
One of the reasons for the slide: more Americans say they’re not into religion. Many will call themselves spiritual, saying they believe in God or some Higher Power. But as far as they’re concerned the church thing seems irrelevant, boring, and about as much fun as having their teeth cleaned.
Just say “Ahh-lleluia.”
Young adults are bailing as soon as they escape the nest.
Clearly, the folks pulling out of the parking lot and never coming back want something more than Bible stories and casual how-do-you-do’s from near-strangers they see just once a week, once a month, or once a year: Merry Christmas.
When I suggested in a recent blog that Christians need to cultivate more of a reputation for helping folks instead of the reputation we now have for pointing fingers, raising picket signs, and putting sinners down, one angry said-he-was-a-Christian cussed me out on my personal Facebook page. Then he said we Christians need to take a firmer stand against evil.
I told him I don’t allow cussing on my Facebook page. Then he called me a “pious” body part. Not a body part most would consider pious. Though porous.
I unfriended the fellow. It seemed kinder than suggesting he get back on his medication…which is what I really wanted to do. But that would be pointing fingers.
Is that part of the problem?
We Christians—Protestant or otherwise—think we’ve got it right. So we refuse to change anything, other than to get a little madder at people who don’t agree with us.
Folks are moving away from those of us in the church, giving us plenty of elbow room. That’s the opposite of what people did when they were around Jesus. They swarmed him.
I wonder. What about us could draw a swarm?