It is no secret that the spiritual climate of the US has changed drastically over the past several years. For most of our country’s existence, we have been clearly seen as a Christian nation. Our laws were based on Scripture, there was a general respect for the things of God and people went to church because it was the right thing to do. Well, times have changed. We are now in what has been defined as a post- Christian culture.
In his recent book, Church Unique, Will Mancini helps define post-Christianity: “there is no starting point and no embedded influence toward Judeo-Christian values, latent within the culture.” (p. 33) As a spiritual leader in a typical community in America, I have complained about the downward spiritual spiral that we are experiencing. For years, I have worried along with other pastors about what can be done to turn things around and salvage the country before it is too late. I admit to laying blame for this crisis on the portion of our of population that does not follow Christ. It is easy to look around at the depravity and point a finger of judgment. There are lots of easy targets.
In Mancini’s book, he credits Christian researcher and statistician George Barna with uncovering the truth that “the primary indicators (that we are in a post-Christian culture) being the continued decline of church attendance and the validation that those professing Christianity reflect little difference in life-change factors from those who reject Jesus.” (p. 33) Did you get that? He is saying that the church, believers in Christ and our lifestyles are proof that our nation is no longer a Christian nation. Maybe we are even the reason why the country no longer believes in God. 2 things: we don’t go to church like we used to and our lifestyles are no longer any different from those who do not know Christ. Wow! That is a revelation for me! The country is no longer Christian because Christ followers don’t behave like Christians.
I have serious doubts that our country will revert back to our Christian roots. History tells us that once the momentum has built as it has in opposition to the ways of the Lord, it is very difficult to return. We are, however, not without hope. But rather than blaming culture, looking at the world as the evil ones and placing the responsibility on the enemies of God, we should begin in our own hearts.
When believers in Christ fall deeply enough in love with Him and His family that we commit unquestionably to His processes, the pendulum will swing back. Corporate worship has to return to its rightful place near or at the top of our life’s priorities. We have to get rid of the compromise that has pervaded our behavior and attitudes. Until we do, we will have to settle for post-Christian. If we do, we have a shot at “Christian” again.