Monday, March 09, 2009

Religion in America

"More Americans Say They Have No Religion," a Yahoo News Article was a sad read for me this morning. As a Christian. I believe that humans have a spiritual element that is an important part of human life. When we neglect the spiritual, we are diminished. For me, it is part of wanting to be the best human being that I am capable of being. Whereas I know I fall very short of being all that I dream, I have confidence that God through Christ guides my destiny, using even my mistakes to make me stronger and a better person.

I have to wonder if somehow we as Christians are failing in some way to show God's love to all people. I don't think we can badger people into becoming believers. I think we have to build our own relationship with the Father first. Then I think that His light will shine from our hearts.

I also believe that because we live in a technical world, we have lost some of our connection with the natural world around us. Agricultural societies know that they are dependent upon things outside themselves - weather, rain, hail, heat . . . All these things outside their control determine whether their crop or their livestock will flourish. In the technological world, we get caught up in thinking it is our own hard work (and yes, hard work IS important for success) that gets us ahead. We think we are the master of our destiny, we carry the illusion that we can plan and chart our destiny. But life has a unique way of humbling even the strongest of us. Even people who eat right, work out regularly, manage their stress,etc become ill with life threatening diseases. We are now facing some of the worst economic times in my life. People who have worked and saved all their lives are seeing their retirement funds wither as stock prices fall and home prices plummet. People with seemingly secure, important jobs are discovering that life is constantly changing, that job security can be an illusion as businesses fail or downsize.

I hope that this report on the state of religion in America is only a short term glimpse - not a long term trend. But as a Christian, I want my voice to be one of encouragement and faith and love as our nation and our world goes through this current economic turmoil. God is love . . . as Christians our voices must reflect that love to those around us - one person at a time. As Christians we need to pray asking for God to touch and open the hearts of those who no longer seek Him or for those who have never met Him.

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