I’m excited the North American church is dying. Christians not having the influence we once had in the 1900s gives me great hope. For the past 100 years we’ve had a lot of cultural converts. Everyone is a Christian because they grew up in Texas. Or they go to church. Or their mom and dad raised them that way. Hell, according to the U.S. census 70% of Americans identify as “Christian.” But the vast majority of those responses are nothing more than cultural identification, not Christianity. I imagine that’s why so many people despise Christians. Their belief is cultural, and no one intends to follow the man they claim governs their life, so we end up this giant homogenous blob of hypocrites that judge and condemn people, instead of looking like they did in 165 AD. Instead of rushing to the aid of others, or paying for pagan burials like our ancestors did, we have half-hearted followers who run rampant through the streets of social media pointing the finger to everyone except themselves.Last night I watched another '70s counterculture movie -- Vanishing Point, which has an awesome Dodge Challenger as its real main character -- and was reminded of how 'small and strange' that version of Christianity is. It's really strange, but not really bad: the "Long Haired Friends of Jesus" in the song (and movie) Convoy.
The reason I’m excited about the shift is because as the cultural converts die, vibrant Christians will take their place. Churches will be smaller and stranger to the public, but they’ll be healthier.
It's true that I meet fewer and fewer young people who recognize obvious Biblical references in movies or television. "That's Ecclesiastes," I'll tell them, and they kind of seem surprised that something so cool could have come out of the Bible. We none of us control any of this, and what is going to happen will happen. Still, there is some reason to hope that it won't all be bad.