10 Apr Trending: Christianity in America
Challenges in School
In December of 2012, New Jersey substitute teacher Walter Turka made a benign comment to a student who was last in line to leave the classroom one day. He partially quoted Matthew 20:16, saying, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” The student repeatedly approached Turka, asking for the source of the quote. Finally, he showed the pupil where the quote originated in a small New Testament he carried in his pocket. He then gave it to the student as a gift. Now Turka has been removed from the school system’s substitute teachers list and is facing an uncertain future and a possible one-year suspension. (theblaze.com 12/12/12)
Challenges in Society
Although quietly circulated, the public school curriculum CSCOPE, is used in 70% of Texas public school classes. This curriculum teaches about Islam with statements such as, “Allah alone is the Creator” and “Allah is the Almighty God.” Concerned parents and critics said the curriculum material does not present opposing viewpoints. The Curriculum also compares the Boston Tea Party to an act of terrorism and describes the Second Amendment as being limited to state-run organizations. Because the curriculum is created by a private group, it is not subject to public review, even by parents. (onenewsnow.com)
TREDING: From Barna Research Group study examining the changes in religious practice from 1991 to 2011.
5% personal Bible Study
8% Church Volunteerism
8% Sunday School Attendance
9% Church Attendance
Challenges in America
America is becoming less tied to Christianity. Still, there are plenty of people in the U.S. who claim to be Christian. According to Barna, over the last 20 years, the percentage of people who self-identify as Christian has remained consistently around 84%. The number of those who say they have made a “personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in my life today” has also stayed fairly constant at 65%.
In the culture as a whole, however, Barna’s research has revealed a decline in the acceptance of the Christian belief system. “What used to be basic, universally-known truths about Christianity are now unknown mysteries to a large and growing share of Americans – especially young adults.” Barna said, “The data suggest that biblical literacy is likely to decline significantly.”
How Can We Meet The Challenge?
1) Learn to Hear the Spirit: Rev. 2:7 “Let him with ears hear what the Spirit is saying…” Be led of the Spirit, Walk in the Spirit, Work in the Spirit.
2) Stay Grounded, Alert and Informed
- Make sure the church you attend preaches the Word of God in a Spirit centered way.
- Prepare your children to live out the Word in a pluralistic culture with numerous religions and worldviews.
- Keep abreast of the cultural inroads made by alternative worldviews, such as secular humanism.
Christians should be encouraged by the challenge. We should remember that the faithful witness of the church two-thousand years ago managed to conquer an empire and provided light to a world where none existed and so can we!
How can we meet this challenge in Youth Ministry?