The title seems melodramatic, but realistically, it’s true. Evangelicalism, as both a movement and as a word interchangeable with Christianity, is dead. There are still Christians in America, and even some within Evangelicalism, but by and large, the idea of a Christian America where everyone at least had some knowledge of the Scriptures is over. Some of us, myself included, have suspected this for some time, but a recent survey released by George Barna through Arizona Christian University is actually worse than my worst nightmare scenario.
Consider some of these responses from people attending Evangelical churches. 48% believe works are part of salvation, 44% believe the Bible is ambiguous about abortion, and an astounding 43% believe that Jesus sinned! And this is just the tip of the iceberg! A jaw-dropping 75% believe man is not inherently sinful! 62% believe it’s good enough just to have faith, it doesn’t have to be in Christ. 52% believe there are no moral absolutes. No wonder we’re seeing nothing but problems in the church! And this does not include the people who know the right words to say, but live as functional atheists!
Folks, it is estimated that around 25% or so of Americans identify as Evangelical Christians, at least according to Pew. The American population is 328.2 million as of 2019. Basic math means that there are roughly 83, 362, 800 self-identified Evangelicals in the United States. That sounds like a lot of people and it is. However, based on Barna’s data, the number of actual Christian’s is much smaller. Given that 75% of Evangelicals believe man is not inherently sinful, I think its safe to assume that same percentage are false Christians. There is no way to become a Christian without recognizing your sinfulness before God and how abhorrent that is to a holy God. That reduces the number of actual Christians to 20,840,700. Since the margin of error for this study is a mere two percent, which is quite good for polling data, this number is not exact, but it represents a good approximation. The number is still large. Were that number to represent a nation, it would rank sixtieth in the world in size, of two hundred and thirty-five nations that worldometer recognizes.
However, the number looks much less pleasant when placed as a percentage of the US population. The number of actual Christians in the US is a mere 6.35%. No wonder America is going off the rails and false religions are springing from the ground like weeds! The restraining influence of a culture inundated with Spirit-filled Christians has been done away with. Now the culture is best described by the comment repeated throughout Judges “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
The moral vacuousness of the culture also explains the headlong rush towards authoritarianism we are seeing. When man rejects God and His moral law, society begins to degenerate. Because most men will gladly trade freedom for security, the loss of God from the culture leads to the rise of a desire for strong leaders. Israel exemplifies this in their request to Samuel that he give them a king. This also shows up in churches, where people want to follow the man behind the pulpit who they can see, rather than the God they cannot.
The church, of course, is hastening its own destruction, because most Christians have all the discernment of a moss-covered rock. This may in part be because most so-called Christians are not Christian at all. They had a religious experience at some point in their life but never truly trusted Christ. Alternatively, among true Christians, it may be a desire for an easy life in this world, or simply lack of training and understanding that drives them to be so simple. Regardless, the church, by cutting back on the number and length of services, and turning their one service a week into an entertainment loaded festival rather than a teaching of the Word, has destroyed itself. By accepting most, if not all of the world’s premises, from millions of years and evolution, on to secular music styles, to movie-themed sermons, the church has created a culture where the serious seeking of the Lord is discouraged and superficial, emotion-driven experiential theology is encouraged. No wonder American Evangelicals have no clue which end is up doctrinally speaking! The church has never made any attempt to disciple the few true Christians, nor preach messages that convicted the non-Christians of their sin.
The few churches that dared do this; that dared to preach the Word, challenge the sinner, and teach the saint, were written off as ignorant fundamentalists. Given the stigma that word holds, for many people, being called a fundamentalist was crippling to their ministries and careers. Maybe it’s time the remnant of Evangelicalism stopped sneering down their noses at the Fundamentalists. Just maybe all that compromise the Evangelicals did with the world, and with people who had different doctrinal beliefs has come home to roost. The Fundamentalists, by and large, did not compromise with the world, or with errant doctrine, and they are the ones still holding the line. The survivors of the Evangelical meltdown might find that the only churches left to them are the Fundamentalists they once despised. Because Evangelicalism itself is dead and cannot be resurrected. The time for compromise, if there ever was such a time, is long over. Now is the time for pure, unadulterated truth.
Do you know what’s going to happen when you die? Are you completely sure? If you aren’t, please read this or listen to this. You can know where you will spend eternity. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to talk to you.