Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
According to a new study released yesterday, the percentage of Americans who call themselves Christians has dropped from 86% in 1990 to 76% today. The number of people who say they have no religion has almost doubled — from 8.2% in 1990 to 15.0%. The number of Muslims is increasing, as are those who believe in Scientology, Wicca and Santeria.
What in the world is going on? Great question.
Another recent study might provide some answers. Researchers from the Barna Institute asked young people (16 to 29-year-olds) how they view Christianity. A whopping 49% had a negative view. When asked to describe Christians, here were the most popular answers:
- out of touch with reality
- more concerned with converting rather than loving
- too political
So, what in the world should we do?
We should never compromise our beliefs just to be more popular. Jesus tells us that we shouldn’t be surprised if the world hates us. But the Bible also promises that if we let the Holy Spirit work in our lives, here’s what people will see (notice that it’s a slightly different list than the one above):
- self control