CHRISTIANITY NO LONGER
By Dr. Richard Ing
Group does research into attitudes found in the body of Christ and also among
non-believers and from time to time, publishes books containing their
findings. In 1997, they printed the
following poll results:
1) 34% of born-again Christians, 53% of
all Christians and 73% of mainline Protestants believe that if a person is
good, he will go to heaven. You
don’t need Jesus to go to heaven.
2) 66% of evangelicals don’t believe
that the Bible is totally accurate; 74% of Catholics agree and 42% of all
3) 28% of born-again Christians, 65% of
evangelicals, and 40% of all Christians believe that Jesus was a sinner when
He walked the earth.
4) 52% of born-again Christians, 72% of
Catholics, and 80% of all Christians don’t believe that the devil is real,
that he is only a symbol of evil.
5) 55% of born-again Christians, 61% of
all Christians don’t believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, that He is
only a symbol of God’s presence and power.
6) 35% of born-again Christians and 39%
of all Christians do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead bodily. (All underlinings are mine)
results are pre-1997. Since then, the percentages
HOW TODAY'S YOUTH VIEW CHRISTIANITY
the last week of November 2011, Margot Fernandez of the Tucson Liberal
Christian released a summary of the Barna Group Report published a few days previous. The Barna Group reported the following
There is a negative perception of
Christianity that is contributing to Black Americans converting to Islam. In addition, Buddhist and Hindu faiths have
attracted young whites from the sixties on.
Ten years ago, the majority of Americans felt favorably towards
Christianity; today, only 16% of non-Christians between 16 and 29 said they
have a good impression of Christianity.
Only 3% of non-Christian youth view evangelical Christianity positively.
Negative perceptions of Christianity include the feeling
that present-day Christianity is judgmental (87%), hypocritical (85%),
old-fashioned (78%) and too involved in politics (75%).
Favorable perceptions include the belief that Christianity
teaches the same basic ideas as other religions (82%), has good values and
principles (76%), is friendly (71%), and is a faith they respect (55%).
Twenty-three percent of young non-Christians thought that
"Christianity is changed from what it used to be" and
"Christianity in today's society no longer looks like Jesus." Amazingly, even young born-again Christians
believe the same (22%).
Many young unbelievers and even Christians do not see Jesus
in the church. It is not the same church
or religion that Jesus gave the world. What
they see is a political, social, philosophical and old-fashioned belief system
that is out of touch with modern trends.
It is viewed as having essentially the same basic ideas, morals, values
and principles as other religions. Like
other religions, it is friendly and deserves respect. From the perspective of many young people, there
is little reason to choose Christianity over other religions today, except
perhaps national or family tradition.
LACK OF ZEAL IN CHRISTIANITY
When I was in the Philippines
a few weeks ago, I went to the airport to pick up a friend arriving from Hawaii. As we waited in an upper floor overlooking
the visitor pickup area, we noticed hundreds of Muslims in the parking lot and
waiting areas. The intercom announced
that a certain flight had arrived. The
Muslim crowd began shouting and running to the pickup area and then began
climbing walls and sprinting up the ramp to the arrival area. This area is off-limits to the public and
arriving passengers are required to walk across the street from the main
building and down a ramp to the street below to be picked up. The security guards were vastly outnumbered
and could do nothing to restrain the surging crowd from entering the main
building. The Muslims were so excited
that their fellow Muslims were returning that masses broke through security
lines just to greet their members.
My colleagues engaged an older Muslim in conversation and
found that the Muslims were greeting their "brothers and sisters in
Allah" who were returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca. Five thousand were arriving on thirty
flights. I was impressed by their
enthusiasm and fervor. It was
scary. I've never heard of Christian
crowds flocking to the airport to welcome Christian brothers and sisters in
Christ returning from Israel. By contrast, Christianity in America
is laid back, dead and divided. Why has
Christianity fallen to such lows, especially with the younger generation?
IS MISSING FROM CHRISTIANITY?
I too was once fervently and diligently looking for God and
then fell away from the church. I was
baptized in an Episcopalian church at two years of age. I later became a Baptist but returned to the
Episcopalian church at twelve to be confirmed in the faith. I diligently attended church every Sunday for
over eight years. I was a member of the
choir and the youth ministry, and served as an acolyte. I once held the record of not missing a
single Sunday service for four years as an acolyte. I was a serious seeker but I could not find
the Jesus of the Bible in the church. I
attended Bible classes every Sunday after service. All I got was Bible stories, pats on the back
and kind and reassuring smiles. I quit the
church when I was twenty years of age and never returned for twenty-five
In the interim, I graduated from college, went into the
army, worked as a civil engineer, then graduated from law school, got married
and had four children.
For the sake of my children, my wife and I began seeking God
again when I was thirty-five. My wife
had also been a Christian and we were married in her church. We decided that we didn't want to return to a
Christian church because they had little to offer. We were bored with the dead, ritualistic and
hypocritical services and lifestyle of present day Christianity. We decided to seek God through other religions. We joined the New Age Movement, became
followers of a Hindu guru, then studied Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism and a
smattering of other religions. We were
looking for the Jesus of the Bible - the One that cast out devils, healed the
sick and raised the dead. When others
prayed to Shiva, or Buddha or other gods, we substituted the name of Jesus
under our breath.
Other religions taught how to fight against devils, tell the
future and heal people miraculously. Hinduism,
Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Kahuna and other religions all had “spiritual” power. Mainstream Christianity did not. They only had stories and good morals. They were powerless to heal the sick, cure
mental diseases, raise the dead, defend against dark forces, cast out devils, hear
from God and predict the future.
Of course, I didn't realize at the time that the source of
power other religions have is actually demonic.
They didn't know it either.
One day, when I was one month short of forty-six years of
age, my wife and I were meditating in a Shinto temple when the priestess tapped
me on the shoulder and asked us if we used to go to a church with a cross and
worship a god by the name of Jesus. When
we answered in the affirmative, she related that Jesus Christ had just appeared
to her and He told her that we belonged to Him.
"Time is short," she said, "Go to your God. He is waiting for you. Hurry up and leave and don't come
back!" I was stunned.
From that day on, the Lord Jesus began to do miracles in my
life. He directed me to a church that
believed in speaking in tongues, casting out devils, healing the sick and
raising the dead. I finally found a
church that was alive and powerful. I
found what my soul was longing for. I
had found the real Jesus, the Jesus in the Bible; or rather, He found us. We repented of our sins in getting involved
with strange religions and God forgave us. We were water-baptized, then baptized in the
Holy Spirit and spoke with new tongues.
Since then, we have seen the power of God in setting
thousands of Christians and non-Christians, alike, free from demons and healing
all manner of sicknesses. We've seen
cancers disappear, the dumb speak, the blind see, the deaf hear, the paralyzed
walk. diabetes cured, pains disappear and so forth. Two of my students raised the dead. We've had visions and dreams from God, heard
the audible voice of the Lord, have known his voice and presence, seen angels
and demons, seen the Lord on the cross, been to heaven three times in vision, witnessed
many marvelous miracles, experienced His supernatural protection, and received
revelation and knowledge directly from the throne of God. The Bible came alive and all the stories became
totally believable. My wife and I know
for a certainty that Jesus Christ is the only true God. He is Lord!
That is what the world is searching for in Christianity, but
finds only religiosity, self-promotion, uncertainty, division and powerless platitudes. To many Christians, the movies Lord of the
Rings and Hobbit are far more interesting than the Bible. They want to be entertained, just like in
Satan has deceived the very elect of God (Mt. 24:24) and
convinced Christians everywhere that the miracles in the Bible are not for our
modern times and that the Holy Spirit is no longer doing signs and wonders on
earth. Instead of being the most
powerful religion on earth, Christianity has become only a shadow of its former
self, tricked by the devil and about to fall, weak and with nothing to offer
the world except false promises of blessings and prosperity, a good moral code
and lots of fellowshipping, family closeness, entertainment, good feelings and worldly
love. There are no more hard sermons on
sin, repentance or spiritual power - just a good old religion for the family
that will help us stumble through life by relying on religious stories and good
What a shame! The
church was birthed in firepower from on high.
Signs and wonders were wrought by the apostles. Ac. 5:12-16, etc. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was for
everyone and they all spoke in new tongues, cast out devils and healed the sick. Mk. 16:17-18.
Spiritual power and signs and wonders were not just for the apostles,
but for every believer in Jesus Christ.
Today, most churches no longer believe in miracles, the
existence of a demonic kingdom in conflict with the kingdom of light, and the
power of the Holy Spirit. Signs and
wonders, speaking in new tongues, casting out devils, healing the sick, raising
the dead and other miracles have been rejected by mainstream Christianity. Ho. 4:6.
Even most Pentecostal denominations no longer speak in new tongues or do
That's why we are losing our youth to false religions and
cults. We have believed the lies of the
enemy. We have been robbed of our
spiritual power and relevance in the world.
God is pleading with His people: “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4.