“In the future, will America re/embrace Jesus Christ (e.g. current Asia) or turn away from Him in their spirituality (e.g. current Europe)?”
Put another way, for those of us living in America 2025/2040/2050 and beyond, what will the spirituality of our friends, our co-workers, our virtual reality selves, our children look like? Will it include Jesus Christ? Or – in the words of the writer of the Old Testament book of Judges – will we be living in a time where, “In those days there was no king in Israel (e.g. America). Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” [Judges 21:25] – a verse that speaks not only of a lack of a literal king, but more importantly of an absence of the worship of God, the true king. The answers to these questions will affect everything about our lives because at the core they have to do with what type of spirituality will motivate and empower people’s character, as well as their eternities.
Figuring this out isn’t just about our thoughts on recent abortion clinic revelations or Supreme Court decisions (or even Starbucks’ holiday coffee cup redesigns!). Virtually every major religious poll over the past several decades leads to the following two conclusions about the future spirituality of America: 1.) Christianity is declining and 2.) the fastest growing category of spirituality among today’s young people is those who would call themselves, “I’m spiritual (and moral), I’m just not religious”. This should bring a sense of urgency to the church of Jesus Christ.
But it’s not just happening in the Christian church. Most organized religions outside of Christianity are experiencing decline as well. Even though Isalm is growing in America, it is still only projected to be no more than about 3% of the religious adherents in this country by 2030. As the aging Baby Boomers (the last generation to grow up in a Christianized culture) begin transitioning roles of influence to the Gen-Xers and Millenials, the spirituality of these later generations – the first in America’s history to grow up without an overall personal or culturally Christian foundation – will set a new trajectory for how the majority view truth, religion and the afterlife.
What many Christians are praying and hoping for is that America will experience a revival towards Jesus Christ like the spread of Christianity in many parts of Asia today. But we who follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should also prepare for a post-Christian America that will bring with her persecution for those who hold that Jesus is the only way to God and that the bible is the only word of God’s truth. Just as compelling is that it just might take the persecution of our faith [Matthew 5:10,11] as the necessary event that helps us find our way back towards God as a nation.