Barna, the evangelical Christian polling firm, came out with a survey recently which revealed that 25 percent of Americans are practicing Christians, compared to 45 percent in 2000.
Barna defines a “practicing Christian” as someone who identifies as a Christian, agrees strongly that faith is very important in their lives and has attended church within the past month.
According to Barna, half of those who identified as practicing Christians in 2000 fell away from consistent faith engagement, essentially becoming non-practicing Christians (2000: 35 percent vs. 2020: 43 percent), while the other half moved into the non-Christian segment (2000: 20 percent vs. 2019: 30 percent).
When you have a church that avoids facing its sin, such the pornography or spiritual abuse that is prevalent in its ranks, doesn’t equip people on how to be overcomers, or plays Ostrich with the hard issues and tries to keep everyone in their happy place, it’s no wonder we’re seeing survey results like this.
My hope is that this time with the coronavirus will cause many in church leadership to reboot and go after these issues, but, I’m not hearing of many who are talking about porn in their livestream services. Many are reportedly praying that God will lift the coronavirus quickly. This is desperately needed; I hate to see so many people suffering and lives being lost, and as many of you know I’m a big believer that our churches should be houses of prayer. At the same time, I can’t help wondering if many are suddenly praying because they want the virus lifted so we can go back to business as usual. We’ve been in a freefall to evil for years and many churches have acted as if we’re not at war or losing ground fast to an enemy who has taken massive amounts of ground quickly.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
At some point, our prayer needs to be accompanied by confession of sin and our desperate need for mercy and healing.
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Too often, the idea of God’s people turning from their wicked ways gets left out of the conversation. We like to study such verses and post memes on them. Doing it is something else.
This is why I wrote The Rogue Christian. You, my friends, are the key. We can no longer wait for leadership that wants to keep us stuck at the status quo (Look where that’s gotten us). My hope is that you will start taking the action steps you can take now to make a difference, whether it’s getting help for your struggles with porn and/or the need for healing, starting or converting to a rogue church, spending more time in fervent prayer, approaching church leadership on the need to change, giving away a free copy of The Rogue Christian, or partnering up with us at Blazing Grace to put on a a From Porn to Grace conference in your area.
The Rogue Christian will give you the action steps to take to make an impact. It will also walk you through healing and equip you to be the spiritual warrior God has called every believer to be.
I’ve written in large, sweeping terms. They are churches that are devoted to prayer, fellowship, and the Word, but not enough. Many are filled with isolated believers with little in the way of a prayer life, while porn and other sins ravage their flocks.
We’re making plans now for conferences in other countries in the fall of this year. You can make a difference.
photo credit: Anastasiia Stiahailo