Saturday, December 5, 2015

America is undergoing a religious polarization

Add this to the long list of America's growing polarizations. Now it's the religious divide.

By Ed Stetzer (Washington Post) {

November 4, 2015

In many ways, nominal believers who identified as Christians but were generally unengaged in church provided a “cultural cushion” for Christians. Nominals worked as a restraint on the advance of secularism. Even though they did not order their lives around Christian beliefs, nominals saw themselves on the same “team” as convictional Christians, who did order their lives around their religious faith, so nominal Christians tended to join with the more religious Christians in broader cultural decisions.

As many nominals have become the religiously unaffiliated, they identify less with convictional believers.

However, the religious, in some ways, are becoming more religious. While fewer people said religion was somewhat important to their lives, there was a jump in those who said religion was very important. Of those who identify with a religion, Pew found an increase in reading Scripture at least weekly, participating in a small group and sharing their faith at least weekly. Church attendance numbers were relatively steady.

As the religiously unaffiliated grow and their influence widens, a secular worldview has become the dominant influence in academia, the arts and popular media. Some Christians feel marginalized and mocked when they turn on their televisions and send their children to school.

For years, Christians could assume a person with whom they struck up a conversation was probably a fellow believer. If not, the other person would at least share their cultural values. But that is no longer the case.

Increasingly, Americans are just as likely to have no faith background, be of another religion or even hold a hostile view of faith. That’s new territory for most Christians, not the home-field advantage of the past century.

Source = America is undergoing a religious polarization }