Empty churches now stand in the cities and the countryside as monuments to the triumph of the new religion of secular humanism. Hollow shells of buildings shadowing streets filled with hollow souls, the disease was the result of a predictable spread of ideas that seemed harmless enough to start with, and then mutated into a plague that killed the soul of an entire nation in two generations - and this same disease is being spread around the world (Ham 17).
This scene would seem to fit best in a science fiction novel written about some sort of nuclear holocaust or super disease, or perhaps it would fit in a novel like 1984. Sadly both scenarios would be incorrect. The quote is actually written by a researcher traveling through England. The grand churches that were once filled with thousands of members now stand as ghostly reminders of what used to be, a time was the church was the center of daily life. Now these churches rarely have services, but rather cater to tourists who come to marvel at their architecture. But what do we care about church building in England? Why should Americans take note of their decay? Because the disease that spread throughout England is gaining speed and territory in America. It is picking off a generation of people and it doesn’t seem to be slowly down. That disease is called by many names – humanism, secularism, antinomianism, evolutionism, etc. This paper will take a look at this disease and see how it is ravaging the current church, why it’s happening, and how we can stop it.
In 2001 researcher George Barna conducted a survey that tried to put into numbers what we already know to be true. People are leaving the church in droves. In 2009 another research group, Answers in Genesis, conducted a survey of 20 – 30 year olds who had once been in the church, but were no longer. Their findings were even more startling than Barna’s. Both of these surveys will be referenced to throughout this paper. We can no longer stand by and watch the church be rattled and dismembered by the old evil foe. With the power of Christ behind us, we will proclaim the Gospel to the lost souls whom we see every day. But first let us look at the numbers.
“A majority of twenty-somethings – 61% of today’s young adults – had been churched at one point during their teen years but they are now spiritually disengaged (i.e., not actively attending church, reading the Bible, or praying) (Ham 19).” Something is occurring to the majority of young adults that causes them to lose interest in the church. I don’t think we should be so accepting of the attrition rate of our confirmands. This stat means that for every ten teenagers confirmed, six will have left the church by the time they are twenty. That is sad fact. What is happening in those all-important teen years? Let’s look at a series of statistics and analyze them afterward. Out of 1,000 young adults surveyed, 53% said the church is not relevant (Ham 119). “83 percent of...