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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, February 03 2022

Why are so many abandoning Christianity?

Organized Christianity is in significant decline and church attendance is plummeting. Long held biblical values have been rejected by both society and traditional Christianity, with churches becoming a reflection of worldly values.

Statistics show that each succeeding generation is becoming less religious than the previous one. As The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015, “churches are being closed by the hundreds, deconsecrated and rehabilitated as housing, offices, restaurants and the like, or just abandoned” (Daniel Dennett, “Why the Future of Religion Is Bleak,” April 26, 2015).

According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey of 15 Western European countries, most people still identify as Christian yet few go to church. In the United Kingdom, only 18 percent of professing Christians attend church on a regular basis. In Canada it’s merely 13 percent, in Australia  17 percent, and in New Zealand just 15 percent.

Many reject the authority of the Bible on the basis of what they believe to be science. A Pew survey found that in the United States: “Some 73% of adults who seldom or never attend religious services say science and religion are often in conflict” (“Perception of Conflict Between Science and Religion,” Oct. 22, 2015). The Barna Group also conducted a study to learn why nearly 60 percent of young Christians had disconnected from church after age 15 and found many responses were related to science: “‘Churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in’ (29%)... [and] ‘Christianity is anti-science’ (25%)’” (“Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church,” BioLogos, June 5, 2017).

Organised Christianity is in many ways culpable in its own demise having increasingly accepted evolutionary concepts and watered down or forsaken eternal truths and moral values to fit in with society. By not standing up against moral laxity such as abortion, extramarital sex and gay marriage, churches have become a reflection of worldly values. A July 2019 Pew study found that 67 percent of Canadians said it was unnecessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values. The Bible, however, teaches otherwise. When we attempt to decide for themselves what is right and wrong, we usurp God’s role.  

The disintegration of the family has also contributed to the disregard for Christian values. A 2019 survey by the American Enterprise Institute found children raised by divorced or separated parents received less robust religious experiences during their childhood. The Bible gives the following crucial instruction to parents: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). 

A 1994 Swiss survey discovered a father’s religious conviction was the primary factor in determining if the parents’ religion will be carried on by their children. If the father is non-practicing and the mother is a steady church attendee, only 2 percent of their children will become regular worshippers and 37 percent will attend sporadically. Plus, when the children become adults, more than 60 percent of them will stop church attendance entirely. It’s vital a father fulfill his responsibility to set an example of spiritual faithfulness for his children to emulate (Ephesians 6:4). But sadly it often falls to the mother alone in broken homes with absent fathers!

God is calling people to come out of the evils of human society and its corrupting influence (2 Corinthians 6:17; James 4:4). Also although many people are forsaking any form of Christianity today, it’s important to understand Jesus Christ said He would build His Church and it would prevail (Matthew 16:18).