Is Religion Dying Out? 2017-33

Is Religion Dying Out? 2017-33

No, Not dining, dying.  I don’t know! Though, I do see signs of religion not being that important to people today. 

As we, in the more civilized world, have become more affluent and as we feel we are more secure in our environment, and even more educated perhaps, it is possible that people, in general, are becoming more rational and less in need of religion.  Many areas of the world, and in certain cultures, are divorced from the domination of religious affiliations, and influence. Religion, for many, is becoming less important in everyday life in the upper advanced cultures. I will not even mention anything like moral reasons at this time.

When I travel to my church on Sunday morning, I feel, that I am the only one up and the roads are NOT busy, not crowded, and not full of vehicles going to their church for services.  Since I live in an Amish community, I must say, there are horse and buggies on the road, so I must watch out for them.

I would think that, as improved living conditions occur, a decline in a religion also is the result. The feeling of need is lessened or unimportant.  I remember 911 and the uptick of religious feelings for a small period of time afterwards.  We were fearful of the unknown and church attendance had a surge of recurrence right afterwards.

The decline has occurred worldwide and I read that many modern secular democracies, more and more people are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion. I realize that it is “uncomfortable” to discuss this subject with people, because of many reasons. I do know some people that said it is convenient not to go to church for many reasons. Those that said this do not have a logical reason, but it could be said by some, their reasons are petty at best. Everyone is different, and I realize this as fact.

I do not believe that those that say they are non-affiliated, can be called atheists, but instead belong to the secularism group of people. When I looked at my notes from my teaching Sunday School at church, I could see that Christians made up about 31% in the world then, and declining, Muslims around 23% and growing, and the non-affiliated about 20%. So, religion is not dead, just not doing well today.

In addition, many people state they do NOT belong to an organized religion, but are spiritual, whatever that means to everyone stating this. Instead of dying out, religion may be, becoming dormant. I do not think atheism will take over, but those leaving religion will become members of a less defined religious belief or just simply unaffiliated overall.  I know, I consider myself, Spiritual and Religious, two different words meaning different things in my mind.

In a contradiction, I read that places like China, Christianity is growing the fastest, which is strange.  Some places, like Australia, where church attendance is about 10% is somewhat holding at that percentage, but they were always thought of as a predominantly secular country.

This discourse has many source references so I did not list any.  I do not know what Wikipedia has on this, which is weird, my not going there for data.

Anyhow, I believe that there is a God.  God is alive, God is active, God is aware, God is Present and around and in us always.  He, as the living God, loves us regardless.

Den Betts

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Ashamed to be a Christian! 2017-32

                                                                                          Ashamed to be a Christian? 2017-32        

WHAT!?   How can anyone be ashamed to be a Christian?

I am not talking about those that abhor the Christian faith or how some people that claim to be Christian that do things, say things, and promote things that are NOT in keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

Those that do so, as Christians, are INDIVIDUALS doing the things they feel are right in their minds, good or bad. They use the word Christian as a rallying cry to perhaps “prove” their point in some way, perhaps based on Scripture, where the Bible is then used as a weapon to make a point.

What I would like to suggest is this. Using the story of Paul as an example, I feel that Paul was an ambassador or apostle of Jesus.  He would travel and proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah and he DID travel far and wide to do so. He did it without worrying about being ashamed to spread the word.

Paul, then, was also a preacher, who was bringing the good news of a man, who was God’s Son, that promised salvation due to His dying on the cross.  Paul was not ashamed to do so, even though he spent about 25% of his ministry time in jail, due to his words about Jesus.

He was by default a teacher evangelist by bringing individuals to the point of committing themselves to Christ. It was his duty to teach them how to live a life of a Christian, to discipline them, and have them grow in their faith.  He did so without being ashamed for his actions.

I therefore make a claim that we, I, you, should NOT be ashamed to state your faith in Jesus Christ as a Christian and most importantly, LIVE a life that the teacher Jesus taught us, living the life of and how a Christian would do. And NOT BE ashamed to do so. Do NOT be ashamed to be a witness for Christ in the process. If we suffer for Him, be willing to embrace suffering with Him.

The old saying, shit or get off the pot is saying, make a decision! Stand up for what you claim to be. If you are a Christian, say you are one, show that you are not one by name, but one by the actions you do. If someone states they are doing something as a Christian, question them on their intent and remind them that Jesus taught certain things, and ask, are their actions per His teachings?

Christianity is not just about going to church. It is, again, living the word of Jesus. The one word that stands out to me is L O V E.  That word is one that Jesus taught more than anything.  We need more love in the world. Maybe WE can start loving our fellow man more, and that will make a change. 

Peace,  Den Betts