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July 12, 2023

Faith Without Works

A recent article about faith in America grabbed my attention. According to Gallup, church attendance in America is still below pre-pandemic levels, and down significantly from the historical norm.

At the same time, one of the fastest growing demographics in America is known as "the Nones"—meaning people who have no faith at all. In fact, there's a new book coming out later this summer called, The Great Dechurching.

Professor Ryan Burge, one of the authors, recently wrote a column with this striking assertion: "Atheists are the most politically active group in American politics today."

His claim runs contrary to the conventional wisdom that white evangelicals are the most politically active, but there's something to Burge's analysis and it should concern us all.

According to a major study conducted after the 2020 election, atheists were:

  • More likely to attend political meetings than evangelicals.
  • More likely to contact elected officials.
  • More likely to put up a political sign.
  • Twice as likely to work for a candidate.
  • Twice as likely to donate to a candidate.
  • And nearly four times more likely to attend a protest or demonstration.

There are many explanations for this, but the bottom line is atheists overwhelmingly lean left and these leftists are outworking conservative Christians by every measurement. This trend has serious consequences for America, a nation deeply rooted in faith and founded on the idea that liberty comes from God, not government.

For example, I often hear people say, "You can't legislate morality." That's nonsense. All law is someone's idea of what's right and what's wrong. The question is: Whose morality is going to decide?

While Christians are donating to and volunteering for their churches and other ministries, I have often noted that the left sees government as its god, and many leftists are literally tithing to left-wing big government causes and candidates.

Meanwhile, too many pastors are avoiding cultural and moral issues. But if we surrender the political field and the public policy arena, or simply lose too many elections because the left is outworking us, the results will be predictable.

It's no coincidence that the top five least religious states in America are all in New England, and they are all dominated politically by the left. Think Massachusetts and Vermont.

Yes, America needs a revival. But we also need more "civic evangelism" from more Christians. We must put our faith to work in the public policy arena in defense of our values or we will continue to lose our country.

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