Secular Dominance & Christian Hypocrisy
by Jim Josephsen
A recent Newsweek article:
The Decline and Fall of Christian America* has sparked
heated debate across America. Has America moved into a post-Christian era? Are
Americans less Christian, less religious? Is America going godless?
Of course one may argue, why equate
Christianity solely with godliness? After
all, there are many religions, many faiths, many spiritually based affiliations
within America; all of which worship some type of superior being.
The results of several surveys recently undertaken, indicates American
Christianity is on the decline. According to a recent Newsweek poll, fewer
people now think of the United States as a “Christian nation” than did when
President George W. Bush was in office. Two thirds of those polled now think
religion is losing its influence in American society. In America, those who
believe religion “can answer all or most of today’s problems” are in the
minority. Only 48 percent, a historic low, now believe religion has the answers.
According to the
American Religious Identification Survey, the percentage of
self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percent since 1990; from 86 percent to
76 percent. Based on this survey, it is believed that America is entering a
The author of the Newsweek piece writes, “Evangelical Christians have long
believed that the United States should be a nation whose political life is based
upon and governed by their interpretation of biblical and theological
principles. While we remain a nation decisively shaped by religious faith, our
politics and our culture are, in the main, less influenced by movements and
arguments of an explicit Christian character than they were five years ago. The
decline and fall of the modern religious right’s notion of a Christian America
creates a calmer political government and for many believers may open the way
for a more theologically serious religious life.”
Another recent poll, executed by the
Pew Forum, reported that the percentage of
Americans who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith has
practically doubled since 1990 to 15 percent. Since 2005, the percentage of
Americans who call themselves spiritual rather than religious has risen six
percent to 30 percent of the population.
The concepts identified with
Judeo-Christian ideologies are clearly being
challenged in this nation, and never so fervently than in the past three
decades. From decisions rendered by the
US Supreme Court, to legislation signed
into law by our elected officials, to everyday behaviors, the once honored
pragmatic, morally sound, God-defined principles that shaped this country are
less recognized and even less tolerated.
From institutes of higher learning, to American-style entertainment venues, to
the theology of mainstream religions, so-called Christian values and ethics are
losing credibility, losing ground in America.
One need not go any further than the daily papers, the internet news, the
various headline news outlets to witness behavior and lifestyles that are
effacing to common sense and human dignity. From the daily ingestion of music,
television, movies, to the constant drumming of new social and sexual behavior,
America promotes less godliness and more
secularism. These facts cannot be
escaped. Our cities are flowing with blood, as homicide,
familicide blanket the country. How fitting the prophecy found in the
Christian and Hebrew Bibles; by swearing and lying and killing and stealing and
committing adultery, they break out and blood touches blood (Hosea 4:2). An
endless sea of human blood paints city sidewalks and stains the homes throughout
this nation, the result of increasing rejection of God-ordained laws and
principles; the result of a judicial system that is defective.
Prominent Senator Jim Webb has decried, “[The United States] incarcerates 756
inmates per 100,000 residents, a rate nearly five times the average worldwide.
About one in every 31 adults in this country is in jail or on supervised
release, all at a cost to taxpayers of some $68 billion a year. Either we are
the most evil people on earth or we are doing something very wrong.” [See
Of course the concept of evil people is challenged by the liberal left and by
the up surging liberal Christian left. Why, you can’t pin labels on people! And
when the question comes up about gender-orientation, gender roles and
responsibility, we have already seen how several Christian denominations have
allowed practicing gays, male and female alike, among their bishopric and
Behavior across the country reveals sharp departures from what the Christian
right had hoped. More school authorities are siding with science as opposed to
creationism in disputes over evolution. In Iowa and Washington rulings have
prevailed allowing for the recognition of same-sex marriage. Many states,
including those thought as Republican strongholds, are now acquiescing, allowing
legal same-sex partnerships. Abused first amendment rights now promote
increasing incidents of pornographic transmissions over the Internet and now the
cell phone. The picture of marriage across this land is stained with infidelity
and mockery. The United States holds the highest percentage of failed marriages
within the first five years, some 23 percent. The percentage of cohabitation
relationships (once considered sinful) that break up after five years is 55. The
percentage of kids under 15 whose parents break up is 40 percent.
The economic issues so turbulent in the past six months, Wall Street abuses,
trillion-dollar bailouts, the decay of investments that our maturing population
so desperately need, although not seeming to be religious in nature, are all the
consequence of broken biblical laws and principles. America’s faltering economy
and financial failings is a direct result of America’s disregard and
disobedience to God. Christian principles, not to mention civics and ethics, are
no longer taught in our school systems.
Contributing to America’s religious uncertainty, we see the Evangelical
Christian community being pounded by secularism. In a recent article,
Evangelical Collapse, author Michael Spencer laments Evangelical Christians
“will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st
Century.” He further goes on to explain, as a result millions will quit.
Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced if not
eliminated. This will all be the consequences of an increased intolerance of
Christianity throughout the post-Christian West. Public opinion and public
policy will become hostile toward Evangelical Christianity, seeing it as nothing
more than archaic and an opposition force against common good.
Evangelical Christianity has based its gospel in political arenas and on
subjects that are emotionally charged. Their highly charged doctrines are based
on their interpretations of the Bible. Even more embarrassing, many of the
faithful are guilty of knowing less about the Bible but more about divisive
political issues. The Evangelical Christian movement is losing its way, as a
result of its growing hypocrisy, as many of the faithful cannot live up to their
own ethics. The world is overcoming these Christians. All this errancy is
forcing the faithful to rethink the church’s doctrines and standing in the
Godlessness in America is picking up steam through shear force of secular
dominance and transparent Christian hypocrisy.
On the other side of the debate, a loud protest has gone out; claiming the
predicted fall of American Christianity is highly exaggerated. Proponents of
this argument are quick to point out that at many critical periods throughout
America’s history, when times were difficult, questions about godlessness arose.
Those who reject the idea that America is going godless, state all one has to do
is look at history.
During the Civil War,
during the Roaring-20’s,
Stock Market Crash of 1929 and more recently, during
9/11, the cries rose up, America’s moral and
religious fabric is crumbling; Godlessness has been exposed, society and
religion are decaying. Today it is no different, so say these proponents.
America is simply going through an economic funk, domestic and global political
challenges and social readjustments. The American ethos, social and moral values
are in a phase of modification. That which works best will prevail. This too
shall pass, they say. In the past, society neither collapsed nor did religion,
specifically Christian religion, fail. And so today, the outcome will avail a
stronger society and greater religious soundness.
The fulfillment of democracy, individual freedom and patriotic idealism will
prevail. Godliness will once again thrive. Christianity will survive. How will
this happen? A new type of Christianity will develop, based on a greater
understanding of a more loving, merciful Jesus Christ. A new Christianity
adjusted to co-exist with new political and social behavior will arise.
These individuals articulate that every generation has its prophets of doom,
predicting the rise of godlessness. Nothing is new; the predictions failed. At
this moment of angst and uncertainty, anger and fear of government, Americans
and Christian Americans alike, are battling the ideas of existentialism and
humanism versus dependence on God for solutions to life’s difficulties.
Look at daily behavior within this country. Notice the moral fabric of society.
Immorality and decaying virtues are prominent. In the main, Judeo-Christian
principles are no longer valued. It is believed these principles are no longer
efficacious in the 21st Century, post-Christian West.
Ironically, the United States of America had the opportunity to succeed under
godliness, morality and Christian virtues. America failed. Ironically, American
Christianity has not even lived up to the challenge; has not obeyed the
teachings of its namesake. Ironically, disobedience and rejection of God’s Laws
and Christ’s teaching has caused American Christianity to foster and promote
godlessness. America is going godless; it has chosen to do so.