Newsweek: ‘Christian God’ is Less of a Force

Newsweek writer, Jon Meacham, armed with an erroneous survey, first assures us that the ‘Christian God’ is not dead, then proclaims him as “less of a force in American politics and culture.”

NEWSWEEK’S TWEAKING OF AMERICA: part two in a series
open bible on american flag

Thank you, Newsweek! I was beginning to worry God was a no-vote in the 2008 U.S. election, and just when us dumb Americans were trying to figure it all out, you comforted us by saying God was OK and that he is only “less of a force.”

Here’s how Meacham put it after painting a dreary picture of a Southern Baptist school president, about to suffer clinical depression from the survey news of a “less Christian” nation:

There it was, an old term with new urgency: post-Christian. This is not to say that the Christian God is dead, but that he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory.

And all though the story headline proclaims, “The End of Christian America,” Meacham, like some Santa Claus listening to our wish list while we are sitting on his lap, attempts to throw us Christians a candy cane to suck on…

Let’s be clear: while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated.

Again, Meacham does not know that Christianity, a faith in Christ, has nothing to do with religion or denomination. In fact the survey is equally misinformed about it’s so-called conclusions.

For example, the survey says:

“The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.”

FALSE because Christianity is not “challenged” at all. The body of Christ, His Church, survives eternally. Christianity is not about some membership drive either. There will always be challenges to individual Christians because Jesus was challenged some 2,000 years ago. Why should anything be different now?

“One sign of the lack of attachment of Americans to religion is that 27% do not expect a religious funeral at their death.”

Perhaps a better question to determine a growth or decline in the number of Christians, would be to ask, “When you die, where do you think you will go?” Whether someone wants incense burning, a pastor’s message, or gospel music playing at their funeral has no bearing on whether they have a relationship with Christ or not. The “attachment” anyone should desire before death is to Jesus, not religion.

And so it goes… the survey is skewed, the media misinterprets and bangs the drum of ignorance, and Americans are dished a load of nothing.

Although Meacham surmises:

To the surprise of liberals who fear the advent of an evangelical theocracy and to the dismay of religious conservatives who long to see their faith more fully expressed in public life, Christians are now making up a declining percentage of the American population.

He is wrong because theocracy is the furthest thing from the mind of a follower of Christ. Christians express their faith…whether it is understood or seen in public or not. And certainly, no stray survey or misguided journalist can conclude that Christians, those that have experienced the transforming power of Jesus, are “making up a declining percentage.”

Part One: Newsweek Misuses Poll, Flies ‘The End of Christian America’ Banner

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Christianity Will Not Die Out in This Generation
The End of Newsweek?

Christian college club exists on campus ‘unofficially’

Newsweek Misuses Poll, Flies ‘The End of Christian America’ Banner

It’s not a small detail, but for most in the media, including Newsweek, the difference between the words “religious affiliation” and a “faith in Christ” (Christianity) does not exist. Apparently unaware that a relationship with Jesus Christ is not about religion or religious affiliation, the words have become interchangeable…especially if they can be used to indicate a decline in faith.

NEWSWEEK’S TWEAKING OF AMERICA: part one in a series
U.S. and Christian flag

The non-denominational tag that many Christians take while knowing that having an “affiliation” is not the key, also appears to not have been a factor in a recently released survey and subsequent opinion from Newsweek. The “scoop” has the publisher waving the “The End of Christian America” banner headline.

Newsweek staff and writer, Jon Meacham, took the liberty to interpret that a 2009 American Religious Identification Survey showing that “the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent,” means that Christianity is on the decline in America.

Sucking blood out of a rock, Meacham leads his opinion piece by framing a prominent Baptist school president as being “despairing” and someone who had “grown even gloomier” since the poll results…and since, more than likely, the president began fielding questions from Meacham, who appears to have hedged his interview with pre-conceived notions and this Christian-shattering survey.

Meacham uses plenty of drama in the lead of his story, garnering some geographical data from the poll to illustrate some seismic shift in the “religious” makeup of the United States. Too bad he didn’t investigate further into the movements of the “non-denominational” or growing number of “born againers”…two affiliations missing from the story.

Meacham’s lead in Newsweek, published online April 4th:

It was a small detail, a point of comparison buried in the fifth paragraph on the 17th page of a 24-page summary of the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey. But as R. Albert Mohler Jr.—president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest on earth—read over the document after its release in March, he was struck by a single sentence. For a believer like Mohler—a starched, unflinchingly conservative Christian, steeped in the theology of his particular province of the faith, devoted to producing ministers who will preach the inerrancy of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means to eternal life—the central news of the survey was troubling enough: the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent. Then came the point he could not get out of his mind: while the unaffiliated have historically been concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, the report said, “this pattern has now changed, and the Northeast emerged in 2008 as the new stronghold of the religiously unidentified.” As Mohler saw it, the historic foundation of America’s religious culture was cracking.

To be a Christian is not about being “steeped in theology” or being defined by a “particular province of faith.” To be a Christian is not about proclaiming affiliation to a religion…especially in a survey. A Christian proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ in many ways, mostly by the life he or she lives.

The “historic foundation of America’s religious culture” maybe “cracking,” but the power that moves people to shout the Good News of Jesus, to give up all to further His kingdom, and to live in any part of the country or world to do so is unshakable…regardless of the prevailing media or social thought.

It’s a bit early in the game to be smash-mouthing Christians…especially when the Newsweeks of the world want to be a part of tweaking America in the wrong direction.

…to be continued in part two.

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Moment of Silence Survives in Texas

It’s a given that the Christian faith is under attack in the U.S. on many fronts. Secularists, agnostics, and atheists emboldened by the false understanding of what America’s forefathers meant by the separation of church and state have filed lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit.

Students praying


So paranoid of a “Christian influence” are some of these groups, that suits are now filed at the mere whiff of anything even remotely spiritual.

I had no idea that moments of silence were now found to be objectionable as well. That is until I read today’s story in the Christian Post, Court Upholds Texas Moment of Silence Law as Constitutional.

A federal appeals court upheld on Monday a Texas law allowing students to observe a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day.

A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling, rejecting a North Texas couple’s claim that the moment of silence law, which took effect in 2003, was unconstitutional.

The panel ruled that the statute is “facially neutral between religious and non-religious activities that students can choose to engage in during the moment of silence.”

After the ruling, David Cortman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case last year, stated, “A moment of silence is not a government endorsement of religion just because someone might use the time for prayer.

“No student is compelled to pray under the Texas law. The 5th Circuit was right to uphold the district court’s determination that the law is not an establishment of religion.”

Afraid of silence…

In 2006, David and Shannon Croft sued on behalf of their three children, who attend school in the Carrolton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. They argued that the 2003 amendment that specified the moment of silence as a time for students to “reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity that is not likely to interfere with or distract another student” was an endorsement of prayer.

Better than Ritalin…

Texas Attorney General Abbott who maintained that the 2003 statute was constitutional, commented, “The United States Constitution plainly protects young Texans’ right to observe a moment of silence before school each morning.”

“In an age where children are bombarded with distractions, beginning each school day with a moment of silence offers a welcome moment of quiet contemplation,” he added.

To be intolerant of a moment of silence is lunacy. Perhaps some of us Americans need to take the iPod earplugs out of our ears, turn off the cell phone, get away from the TV, enter a quiet place and listen…someone may be calling you. May you find Him now!


“Fast Forward post-election, the dust has settled, ACORN’s man won, and guess who is being summoned to help in the 2010 Census? ACORN. Yes you heard it right.” – The Liberal Heretic: The Census Has Officially Been Hijacked by the Left

UC Hastings College of the Law can deny recognition and funding to a Christian student group because it excludes gays, lesbians and non-Christians, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. – San Francisco Chronicle: Christian law group loses fight with Hastings

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Keyes: President Obama? Not So Much!

“Have people gone mad in this country?” – Alan Keyes

I wrote here last year that fighting an educated campaign was the only way to go against Barack Obama. The photos of “silly” grandma, Muslim conspiracy chat, piling on Michelle’s verbiage, and thinly veiled racism coming in viral emails were not only over the top, but I feel in part helped Obama win. There was even testimony of Republicans and conservatives turned off by so much of these political hack jobs that they voted for Obama. For the most part, it was an embarrassing time to be a conservative.

Now, and even before, we have Alan Keyes, who often operates below the radar, consistently calling out Obama as only Keyes can. Keyes is such an intellectual (in a positive way), that I often wish he would simply come down to earth and talk with a little more humility. However, he is right on in most cases.

Above is a recent interview with Keyes. Here’s what the Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm, writes in his blog about the taped interview:

…Keyes, who lost to Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois that launched the new president’s national political career, calls Obama a communist and usurper and says he refuses to acknowledge the validity of Obama’s inauguration over lingering questions in the minds of many conspiracists about the 44th president’s birthplace.

The video contains comments by Keyes that are alarming. However, closing our eyes and covering our ears, simply falling lock step with Obama Nation would be a mistake. My take? Pray, don’t take part in personal attacks, and wisely oppose that which is not right. Use words if you must!

After all, Obama said in his victory speech, “I especially welcome listening to those with opposing views.”

Let’s hold him to that.


Economic Recovery, Step 1: ‘We admitted…’

We are now deluged with talk of the economy. It’s inescapable.

Economic Recovery: One in a series.

As the numbers and analysis continue showing a downward trend, as we are touched in personal ways, sometimes already burdened for quite a long time, other times just beginning to experience pain, many of us feel like we are falling from the upper floor of a burning house, looking for someone to catch us.

So, we perk up when we hear words like “bailout,” “stimulus package,” “loan modification,” “foreclosure prevention,” and so on. But what is the “plan?” And who has it?

Who holds the key to economic recovery? Is it the Democrats, who are infused with confidence because of their control of Congress and the White House? Or is it the Republicans, who are digging into their foxholes, ready to launch a new wave of conservatism?

I propose that “The Plan” is bigger than just the U.S. government can provide. Some of us already recognize this. As in the personal recovery from all kinds of maladies, many of us have not only applied the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, but have discovered that their “Higher Power,” is God, who sent His son Jesus for our salvation.

When I opened up the Life Recovery Bible, I found it to be the Big Book of AA multiplied times 1,000. The Bible, of all things (when I was a newbie in Christ), was making sense…and not only making sense, but illuminating, refreshing, and life-giving. You can take a look at one of my posts on the Life Recovery Bible here.

So, maybe, just maybe, individually and as a country we can apply some of the principles found in the Bible towards an economic recovery. Let’s give it a whack, shall we?

Let’s start with Step One:
Number One
We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies–that our life had become unmanageable.

I think it’s fair to say that some of our finances at least appear to have become unmanageable. If we recognize that there is a problem, that we may have become dependent on wrong financial choices–and those choices have led to some partially or completely unmanageable situations…then, we’ve taken the first step.


More from the Economic Recovery series
(1) Economic Recovery, Step 1: ‘We admitted…’

(2) Economic Recovery: Change Our Destiny

(3) Accountable To No One? Economic Recovery, Step 2: ‘We came to believe…’

Breeze: Friday Top Five

In my defense, I may be a day late, but I’m not a dollar short on this Friday feature…well, maybe sort of…in today’s bail-me-out psyche.

Through Peter P’s “Rediscovering the Church” blog I found Kevin Martineau’s “Friday Top Five – What where your favorite posts from last week?” This “Shooting the Breeze” feature is a must read…and if so inclined, a very fruitful promising participation.

Here’s my quick recount of last week, in no particular order:

1. No better time than now to know where that Light can be found. Thanks, Yvette, for Light that Candle in a Dark Place found in your Fresh Wind Ministries blog.

2. A greater and deeper look at baptism. Should we always look at it from a “water” perspective? Two thumbs up for Brother Mark’s Baptised Into The Body of Christ!

3. Uplifting and thought provoking poetry can always be found at Versical’s Blog. Mike’s post Happiness is one I chose for this week…how true, how true!

4. There aren’t fitting words to describe my reaction to this video of an abortion survivor’s talk and message. “Wow!” is one of the responses I had and from many others who sent me a response back from my forward. The Life of Thomas is truly an excellent blog…and this particular post, Inspirational Video has already touched many hearts.

5. Oh, what the heck…here’s one of mine…after all, it IS Super Bowl weekend! Super Bowl Faithful Unashamed.

Have a blessed day…and please consider joining us on this Friday Top Five journey!