Turn That Frown Right Side Down, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 19, 2017 1 comments

by Steve Risner

Last week we began point #5 made by a friend of mine from high school who is an atheist. His statements were concerning his take on Christianity. Last week we covered a little about authority—Who has it, where does it come from and what's our response to it? We also talked about the difference between a pure democracy and a constitutional republic. This week we will wrap up his point by getting in to the state of the Church the world over as compared to the state of the Church in America. There's a lot to be said about the American Church and the sickness or sleep it's been ravaged by, but I plan on simply looking at the numbers today.

An interesting error I find is very common among many of us, myself included on occasion, is that this atheist seems to believe that how things seem to go here in the US is how it happens all over the world. This is a huge mistake. It's true, I believe, that the US is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. We are powerful but benevolent. We've done a great deal of good in the world and the world would be a much different place had it not been for America—and I mean likely a much worse place. We've made mistakes, please don't misunderstand. We've had our share of poor decisions. But the world is in its current state rather than filled with Nazis or communism because of the US. But there is 96% of the planet that is not found in America. We are a nation of just over 300 million in a world of nearly 7.5 billion. There's a lot going on that we are totally unaware of in places very different from us. The US is 2% of the entire world land mass. That means 98% of the world is not found in America. That's a lot of space and over 7 billion people NOT in America!

Here's some interesting information for you: Christianity is the fastest growing faith on earth adding over 175,000 new believers every day. The total number of Christians has quadrupled in the world in the last 100 years. Six new churches open in South Korea every day! For several years in a row, the best-selling book in Japan has been the Bible, and the #1 all-time best seller in the world is the Word of God! It's translated into more languages than any other book in the world. In fact, by 2020, it may be at least partially written in every currently used language on earth. Africa is on fire for Christ, with over 50% claiming to be believers (the only continent to do so). Every single day, 25,000 new believers are born again in Africa. There could be nearly 100 million Christians in China. This is amazing, considering the fact that Christianity is heavily “regulated” or even outlawed. You cannot gather as a Christian for religious purposes if more than 3 people will be attending unless you have government approval. You can be ostracized or beaten for being a Christian in China. It is believed more Christians are imprisoned in China for their faith than anywhere else. Yet, despite this opposition, there may be nearly 100 million believers there.

Teaching the Bible in school is mandatory in some countries. In the US, Christianity as a whole is in slight decline, but more Christians live in the US than any nation on earth still (granting we don't know how many Christians are in China). That's profound when we consider the statements made by this atheist. Atheism is also growing in the US—up to 3% currently. If we include agnostics, we're up to a dominating 7%. Two-thirds of these atheists are young males. That sounds more like they are just defiant and don't want to be accountable to anyone but themselves, but that's another topic we can get in to another time. Their numbers are heart breaking and you wonder how they can adhere to such an irrational worldview and belief system, but they do. The Word tells us man will do this in Romans 1:25—they will exchange the truth of God for a lie. They willingly deny what they know in their hearts is true.

Here are the facts then. Christianity is the largest religious affiliation claimed by people the world over. It is overwhelmingly the largest faith in America, although it has declined slightly in the US. Other religions have grown as well. Pantheism and paganism are on the rise. Wicca has a growth rate of nearly 150% annually in the US. The number is very small, but is growing rapidly. But no faith on the planet claims adherents nearly as large as Christianity. Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 claim Christ as their Savior. Studies indicate that this will still likely be true by 2050.

Perhaps my friend is concerned with the Church because he believes more and more churches are closing every year. But the fact is that over 4000 churches open every year in America which outpaces the number of churches that close. And around the world, there are nearly 40 million churches. That's one church for every 185 people. That's amazing! However, as we all know if we follow Jesus Christ, the Church is us—we are the Church. We are the temple of the living God. His home is not a house of wood or stone but of flesh and blood.

As I think we've seen many times now, atheists and facts don't get along well at all. My atheist friend has a very skewed understanding of Christianity that has forced him to reject it. That's very unfortunate and it makes me sad. If he could know Jesus Christ and know what living for the glory of God means, it would radically change his life. He's very angry and very bitter. My experience is these feelings are replaced by love and peace but also an urgency to let others know what they've found. When you find the greatest thing the entire universe has to offer, you kinda get excited about it! I covered the points my friend made sorta in reverse order of how he stated them, but I hope that was okay. We've got a lot more to cover from this discussion I had. Stay tuned and thank you so much for taking time to read.

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Steve said...

...2 people every second find Jesus Christ!