10 March 2009 ~ 3 Comments

CBS: Is America Losing ‘Faith?’

As I walked in the door for dinner last night, the T.V. was on to CBS.  Caleb was playing in the dining room while Rachel was finishing up dinner in the kitchen, and as I walked in, I happened to catch this segment on the news that caught my interest:

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Man, they really packed a lot of thoughts into that 2 minute segment.
Found it interesting though.  A couple lines that especially caught my interest:

"Since 1990, 10% fewer Americans identify themselves as traditional Christians."
"Americans with no religious identity at all has nearly doubled to 15%."
"So called, non-denominational gatherings are growing."
"Many of his members are fleeing religious labels."

I also read an article this week about the use of the word "Christian" vs "Follower of Jesus."

I guess two things came to mind for me here.  One, I'd say it's true that many want to get away from the traditional labels.  Some friends like to note the fact that you will rarely hear me use the word Christian, but more usually will say Christ-follower.  There are lots of preconceived ideas and judgments that I think automatically pop up in one's mind when they hear the word Christian in our culture.  And unfortunately, most of those things aren't based on who Christ truly is, but rather on how we've portrayed Him often times in Christian sub-culture.

The other is that in addition to that, many people, I think especially but not limited to my generation, are definitely steering away from loyalty to a particular denomination.  In fact, I think many are turned off by heavy presence of a denomination in a church.  We're often more concerned with the heart and vision of an organization and less interested in tradition.

So perhaps Americans aren't "losing faith" so much, as the title of the segment suggests.  Perhaps it just looks different than it has in the past.  People are looking for something more genuine and organic.  I'd argue that if we don't consider how we operate in the changing landscape of faith in the west, the Church will continue to lose it's effectiveness in our context.

What thoughts did you have as you watched the segment?
Whether you're a 'Christ-follower', a 'Christian', a 'seeker', an atheist, or none of the above, do share.
I'm curious.

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