On Friday, The Washington Times carried a commentary on the inability of Christians in America to bring up their children in the faith, CROUSE: We don’t believe.
Christianity Today recently documented the fact that America’s churches are not only “failing to attract younger worshipers,” but they are also “not holding on to the ones” raised in the church. Research studies indicate that “70 percent of young people leave the church by age 22” and that figure “increases to 80 percent by age 30.” The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) revealed that the “percentage of Americans claiming ‘no religion’ almost doubled in about two decades” (8.1 percent in 1990 and 15 percent in 2008). Among the young (18 to 29 years old) the number doubled (11 percent in 1990 to 22 percent in 2008), with 73 percent coming from religious homes and 66 percent describing themselves as “de-converts.” Consequently, according to the Southern Baptist Convention (America’s largest Protestant denomination), church growth is not keeping up with the birth rate. (continued here)
When we see such a failure, we look for someone to blame. We rarely look into the mirror and wonder what we are doing wrong. As Christians, we cannot afford to blame someone else. The Bible offers us no such latitude. Remember what God said to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 33:7-9 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked people, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, those wicked people will die for their sins, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sins, though you yourself will be saved.
Christ gave his disciples the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). Thus, he made us all watchmen. When we see our people giving up the faith and taking up wicked ways, we must each do our part to give the alarm, or He will hold us accountable for their blood.