Photo credit: phill.d (Creative Commons)
The way this country is trending, unless the Lord intervenes, it may not be long before the USA is a post-Christian nation. Only 4% of adults currently have a Biblical worldview as the basis of their decision-making. We are potentially only a generation away from being like many countries in Europe where the church is effectively irrelevant.
I’ve lived in a country that is post Christian. When we lived in the UK, active Christians made up about 2% of the population. In the very poor area of London where we lived, less than 0.5% were in church on any given Sunday.
Recently, I’ve met with one of our medical school friends who has become a Christian (he describes himself as “the happy-clappy variety”) since leaving medical school. One of his first comments to me was, “Do you remember how all the rest of us used to ridicule and persecute the Christians?”
Persecution of Christians wasn’t physical, but it was social/emotional. In the media, Christians are portrayed as weak-minded wimps. They are laughed at in institutes of higher learning. There is a definite cost to discipleship.
But this has some positive effects:
- People take a discipleship lifestyle much more seriously. Admitting to being a Christian is not a step to be taken lightly.
- Light shines brighter in the darkness. The contrast between believers and non-believers is greater.
- There’s a sense of deeper community. You have less in common with the world and stronger relationships with those of God’s family.
- It’s exciting to meet someone else who’s a believer–something to discuss over the dinner table.
- Christians and churches tend to work together more cooperatively. There’s much less separation along denominational or theological lines.
4 replies on “Are there advantages to living in a post-Christian nation?”
Absolutely. I honestly think that the healthiest thing that can happen to the church in America is to have it lose our comfortable position of cultural acceptance. maybe if we face some actual opposition and persecution we will start to rely on one another instead of competing with each other.
I would argue we are already living in a post Christian country. I did not feel that way living in the Bible belt, but having moved to the Northwest I do. I hear the same from folks in the Northeast. Certainly part of the USofA are post-Christian.
I do resonate with the advantages you list. I would add another – the vast majority who are in the church are serious about following Jesus – no watering down of the whole by those who are not serious.
Arthur, I agree with you, although that is probably not a popular thing to say. Wherever we have met Christians in countries that there is genuine persecution, we have been blessed and challenged by their commitment to the Lord. I think of 5 teenage girls still in school in India who evangelized from village to village at the weekends. They were quite often thrown out of a village for proclaiming the Gospel but nothing deterred them.
Great additional point, Paul