There has been an “unprecedented drop” in the number of Bible users in the United States since last year, according to a report released by the American Bible Society.
The estimated number of Scripture-engaged Americans dropped from 64 million in 2021 to 49 million in 2022. At the same time, the estimated number of Bible disengaged Americans rose from 100 million last year to 145 million this year.
Sadly, only thirty-three percent of baby boomers “strongly agreed” that Bible reading was important to a child’s character development,. Even less with Generation X at 28%, millennials at 19%, and Generation Z at 20%.
In his article “How the triumph of LGBTQ+ activism has negatively impacted the Church” in Christian Press Voices on June 20th, 2022, Michael Brown writes about the change in American culture from respecting the Church to instead condemning it in favor of promoting LGBT ideals. He notes there have been many reasons for this shift over the last 30 years, including Former President Obama’s endorsement of gay “marriage” in 2012 and the Supreme Court redefining marriage in 2015, but points out that true followers of Jesus still adhere to the Bible—which condemns homosexuality—and explains this has put believers at odds with today’s culture. In short, if gay is good, the Church is bad. This is another reason why many have left the Church, especially among the younger generation.
Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a major TV show that doesn’t have an LGBTQ+ character. Even cartoons and children’s shows feature LGBTQ+ characters and themes, while the number of gay or bi, or trans superheroes grows every year. Talk about a massive cultural shift. America has never seen anything like it before.
In the past, being pro-Christian and pro-natural marriage meant swimming with the tide. Today, it is the exact opposite.
And make no mistake about it: this is an intensely personal issue, not just a theoretical issue. After all, we’re talking about someone’s child. Or their best friend at school. Or their favorite media personality. “You’re telling me that they’re going to hell because of who they love? You’re telling me they can’t serve in your church? If so, I want nothing to do with your religion or your God.”
Writing on the MSNBC website on February 26, 2014, Jane Timm stated that “One-third of young people who left organized religion did so because of anti-gay teachings or treatment within their churches, according to a new study.” Yes, “A full 31% of young people (ages 18 to 33) who left organized religion said ‘negative teachings’ or ‘negative treatment of gay people was a ‘somewhat important or ‘very important’ factor in their departure, as surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute.”
The problem for true followers of Jesus is that the Bible hasn’t changed, which means that God is still against homosexual practice and identity. And so, if we want to be in solidarity with the Lord, we will find ourselves at odds with the prevailing culture.
At the same time, we do not want to drive people away from the Lord by making opposition to LGBTQ+ activism our primary cause (as opposed to the Great Commission being our primary cause). Nor do we ever want to appear (or be) mean-spirited, judgmental, or hypocritical.
What, then, do we do?
First, we ask God to fill our hearts with His love for those who identify as LGBTQ+, then we seek to share that love with them, face to face.
Second, we make clear in our messages that all of us are fundamentally flawed, which is why all of us need a Redeemer.
Third, we make a distinction between an aggressive agenda and individual people.
Fourth, we hold to biblical standards regardless of public opinion (and regardless of how much these standards challenge our own lives).
Fifth, we give ourselves to prayer, also believing that those with anti-biblical values will continue to overplay their hand, further exposing the wrongness of their position.
Sixth, we share the testimonies of those who have been transformed through the Gospel, making clear that our message is filled with hope and life.
Seventh, we let the chips fall where they may. We need to remain determined to preach Jesus and live for Jesus no matter what, always remembering that this world is not our eternal home.
It is true, that, for many reasons, people are leaving the Church. It is also true that many others are meeting Jesus powerfully. That’s because, what the world so desperately needs, we have in the fullness of the Gospel. Let us not be ashamed to live it and proclaim it. Time is short, we are in the “end times“.
The following Scriptures are Jesus’ answers to his disciple’s questions on the”end times“. He tells them that believers will be hated and persecuted for their Biblical faith. But then Jesus raptures the church to heaven before God pours out His wrath upon the unrepentant. Next, Jesus returns to earth with the glorified Saints to defeat the Antichrist and his army at the battle of Armageddon. He will then rule and reign with the Saints on this earth for 1000 years.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13
“Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Revelation 24:30-31
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! ,,, Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10, 13-14
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, he judges and makes war… And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.” Revelation 19:14-15