Is Christianity Dying on the Vine in America?

The decline of Christianity is actually a good thing, SBC's Russell Moore says. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

News and polls surrounding Christianity don't show a good prognosis: Americans would be more accepting of a gay president than an evangelical one, more than a quarter of millennials are not religious and most Americans believe the church is on the decline

Let it fall, says Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

"Secularization in America means that we have fewer incognito atheists," Moore says. "Those who don't believe can say so—and still find spouses, get jobs, volunteer with the PTA, and even run for office. This is good news because the kind of 'Christianity' that is a means to an end—even if that end is 'traditional family values'—is what J. Gresham Machen rightly called "liberalism," and it is an entirely different religion from the apostolic faith handed down by Jesus Christ."

Persecution of Christians across the world is higher than it's ever been. Internationally, Christians are tortured and beheaded. In the United States, they're being punished financially

To Moore, these are the real Christians. The churches they're a part of aren't just alive—they're thriving. These are the churches that, rather than adapting to culture to be relevant, are standing out and fighting for the gospel every day.

"The book of Acts, like the Gospels before it, shows us that the Christianity thrives when it is, as Kierkegaard put it, a sign of contradiction," Moore says. "Only a strange gospel can differentiate itself from the worlds we construct. But the strange, freakish, foolish old gospel is what God uses to save people and to resurrect churches."

The dead churches aren't the ones that stuck to the gospel, refusing to conform to this world. The churches that only exist in a building with impressive coffee, lights and sound systems to appeal to the masses are the ones that are suffering. 

Because, as Moore puts it, there aren't any more atheists in America now than there were decades ago, there are just more honest atheists who are willing to look past the church swag and see the dead souls underneath. 

"People who don't want Christianity, don't want almost-Christianity," Moore says. "Christianity isn't normal anymore, and that's good news."

If the true church continues to stick to its gospel guns, following Romans 12:2, "the future of Christianity is bright."

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