Take a look around

What we have here in this prediction of evangelical collapse is a very typically American failure to look beyond the cultural borders while attempting to contemplate global trends:

We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West. Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the “Protestant” 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.

If the full extent of your cultural awareness is limited to Europe and the United States, as is the case with the New Atheist and most American Christians alike, this perspective makes an amount of sense as long as you ignore the demographic trends. But once you take into account the explosive growth of Christianity in Africa and Asia, the thesis falls apart.

From NPR, of all places: In The land Of Mao, A Rising Tide Of Christianity

Official Chinese surveys now show that nearly one in three Chinese describe themselves as religious, an astonishing figure for an officially atheist country, where religion was banned until three decades ago. The last 30 years of economic reform have seen an explosion of religious belief. China’s government officially recognizes five religions: Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam and Daoism. The biggest boom of all has been in Christianity, which the government has struggled to control….

Some recent surveys have calculated there could be as many as 100 million Chinese Protestants. That would mean that China has more Christians than Communist Party members, which now number 75 million.

I have no doubt that the increasingly “liberal” evangelical church will follow the lead of the old mainline denominations and decline into numerical irrelevance. Once cut off from the nurturing root of the Word of God, Christian churches always die. There are a number of signs, but easily the most reliable one is the establishment of women in the pulpit. An illuminating exercise is to count the number of “I” references in a female “sermon” versus a male one. I can recall one particularly egregious example at Woodland Hills where I finally gave up and stopped counting as the narcissistic monologue was more about this woman and her feelings than the average psychotherapy session.

Because the US government has been fairly successful in bringing the American church to heel through its establishment of federal licenses, it is interesting to note that while China is attempting to utilize the same tactic, the Chinese Christians are familiar enough with the costs of centralization to resist the state’s attempt to control them.

America is following Europe into a secular post-Christian period. But can be seen in Europe, secular post-Christianity is not sustainable and rapidly leads towards rampant paganism. And, as has been repeatedly demonstrated throughout history, paganism is easily trumped by Christianity. It is an observable historical cycle. Unfortunately, History’s cycles are rinsed with blood.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: