We Baptists have all known for years that it is almost impossible to find loyal church members anymore. Baptists shop churches the same way they shop movies, department stores, or restaurants. The attitude is if you do not like something, then simply trade it in until something that you like better comes along. Marketplace Christianity is a scary reality in our country. It is no wonder that so many are leaving the church in droves.
The report, released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is the first selection of data from a 35,000- person poll called the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Says Pew Forum director Luis Lugo, Americans “not only change jobs, change where they live, and change spouses, but they change religions too. We totally knew it was happening, but this survey enabled us to document it clearly.”
The CNN (AP) article begins with a telling quote, “The U.S. religious marketplace is extremely volatile…” Calling the church a “religious marketplace” makes one wonder if there really is a true Church in America anymore.
It is no wonder our brothers and sisters in the two-thirds world church (that is Africa, Latin America, and Asia) look to the West with compassionate disgust.
Is this a wake up call to our churches to stop playing the marketplace game? I wonder and pray if Americans will ever return to a true Christianity. I also wonder if we Seminarians are prepared to re-establish a true church or will we continue playing religious games that so many rightfully see as false religion? This is a religion they want nothing to do with — neither does our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.