Category Archives: Culture
The Barna Organization published their 2019 list of “The Most Post-Christian Cities in America.” Since the city where I live and minister, Chicopee, is nestled between Springfield and Holyoke, it means we’re #1 (or dead last, depending on your perspective) on the list.
Using Barna’s FaithView tool, here are some of the key metrics for each city that make up the post-Christian definition:
Have not read the Bible (in the last week):
- Springfield-Holyoke, MA: 87%
- Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX: 67%
- Charleston-Huntington, WV: 58%
Have not attended a Christian church (in the last 6 months):
- Springfield-Holyoke, MA: 65%
- Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX: 45%
- Charleston-Huntington, WV: 37%
Have never made a commitment to Jesus:
- Springfield-Holyoke, MA: 60%
- Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX: 37%
- Charleston-Huntington, WV: 22%
Have not prayed to God (in the last week):
- Springfield-Holyoke, MA: 47%
- Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX: 27%
- Charleston-Huntington, WV: 25%
Disagree that faith is important in their lives:
- Springfield-Holyoke, MA: 41%
- Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX: 25%
- Charleston-Huntington, WV: 13%
Do not believe in God:
- Springfield-Holyoke, MA: 11%
- Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX: 6%
- Charleston-Huntington, WV: 6%
So much has changed in 300 years from the time of the Great Awakening when Jonathan Edwards preached in this region. Needless to say, we desperately need God to bring salvation and revival to our region.
The creator of the comic strip Non-Sequitur accurately expresses how many people treat God–ignore his instructions, do whatever you want, and hopefully, he will go away.
Romans 1:18–19 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
Now, more than ever, Christ followers need to be bold about our faith and witness
Author Rebecca McLaughlin believes that Christ followers should share what we believe about Jesus. But we change our approach. In her article entitled, “Christians, It’s Time to Go on the Offensive” she explains that we need a “gentle offensive” in our approach.
When it comes to giving reasons for our faith, we Christians are playing far too defensive a game.
We’ve believed that Christianity is declining. It isn’t. We’ve assumed Christianity can’t stand up in the university. It can. Too many of us think Christianity is threatened by diversity. It never has been. And too few of us think Christian sexual ethics are sustainable in the modern world. They are. On these and many other fronts, we have conceded far more ground to secularism than it deserves.
But we’ve also been playing too aggressive a game. We’ve majored on point-scoring and culture-warring, when the Bible calls us to “gentleness and respect” (1 Pet. 3:15). We’ve propagated weak arguments without listening to real experts. And we’ve blindly stepped out into cultural traffic, rather than taking our lead from those with the credibility to speak.
If we are to be faithful in this cultural moment, we must be neither retreaters nor attackers, neither (needlessly) defensive nor (faithlessly) aggressive. Instead, we must go on a “gentle offensive.” Here are five things that will help.
Click on the link to read the rest of her thoughts.