Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On "Shifting Borders of Faith"

U.S.A. Today had a very interesting article in today's Life section, entitled "Shifting Borders of Faith." It was an article by Cathy Lynn Grossman on The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey conducted recently by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Much of what was revealed in this survey is not much of a surprise. The 1950s was a long time ago and the cultural and religious character of our nation has been in a flux of change for many decades. However, there were a few observations made by Grossman that caught my attention.

  • "51.3% of Americans call themselves Protestant, but roughly one-third of this group were 'uanble or unwilling' to describe their denomination." Can we say that there is a yearning for genuineness in faith rather than structure and tradition.

  • "Nearly three in four U.S. Buddhists are converts." Consider that statistic for a moment. How many in churches are 'converts'? I would be shocked if genuine converts (not 3rd, 4th, 5th generation believers) number more than 1 out of 10 in most churches.

  • "25% of adults under age 30" are unaffiliated with a church. What does this say about the church in 10 years . . . in 30 years?

  • Those who are "self-proclaimed" pagans (0.3% of the U.S. population) is roughly equivalent to the number of those who belong to mainline Churches of Christ. Read that statistic again. Does that catch your attntion?!!!

I will comment further on these findings in a future posting. I would like to hear your insights on the matter, so leave a comment or two.