From Believing in God to Believing in Everything Else

By Michael Brown Published on October 23, 2017

G.K. Chesterton once said, “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.” This has proven true time and again in history. Now, we’re seeing it in America.

A recent headline on MarketWatch.com announced that “millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology.”

So, young people are not simply ditching spiritual beliefs. They are ditching belief in God for belief in witchcraft and astrology.

An Increase in Secularization

According to the report, “Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials.”

Yes, “more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science, compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry — which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services — grew 2% between 2011 and 2016.”

Having abandoned belief in the Creator Spirit, they now believe in all kinds of spirits.

To support this anecdotally, MarketWatch cites “Melissa Jayne, owner of Brooklyn-based ‘metaphysical boutique’ Catland.” Jayne says “she has seen a major uptick in interest in the occult in the past five years, especially among New Yorkers in their 20s. The store offers workshops like ‘Witchcraft 101,’ ‘Astrology 101,’ and a ‘Spirit Seance.’”

This is in keeping with the findings of historian and anthropologist Rodney Stark. I cited him in Saving a Sick America to support the Chesterton adage.

Stark points to Sweden, which, he notes, “is almost always presented as exhibit A in the case for the triumph of secularization.”

But how secular is Sweden? Stark points out that “more than 20 percent of Swedes say they believe in reincarnation; half believe in mental telepathy; and nearly one in five believes in the power of lucky charms. A third believe in New Age medicine such as ‘healing Crystals’; 20 percent would consider purchasing their personal horoscope; 10 percent would consult a medium; and nearly two out of five believe in ghosts.”

It’s Not Just America and Sweden

Or how about Iceland? According to Iceland Magazine, “0.0% of Icelanders 25 years or younger believe God created the world.” Yes, that’s right. Zero percent.

But that only tells part of the story. Having abandoned belief in the Creator Spirit, they now believe in all kinds of spirits.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream »

To cite Stark again, “… 34 percent of Icelanders believe in reincarnation and another 16 percent aren’t sure about it. Moreover, a national survey found that 55 percent of Icelanders believe in the existence of huldufolk, or hidden people, such as elves, trolls, gnomes, and fairies. Consequently, planned highways are sometimes rerouted so as not to disturb various hills and large rocks wherein huldufolk may dwell.” Stark also says “Icelanders planning to build a new house often hire ‘elf spotters’ to ensure that their site does not encroach on huldufolk settlements. In addition, half of Icelanders have visited a fortune teller, and spiritualism is very widely practiced; it is popular even among intellectuals and academics. According to a Reuters dispatch (February 2, 2015), a rapidly growing group of Icelandic neopagans broke ground for a temple dedicated to worship of the old Norse gods.”

The same holds true in Russia. There, atheism was dominant for decades and the organized church suffered great persecution. Belief in God may have declined, but belief in other beings and spirits did not. Stark even cites a Russian news account stating that, “Russian newspapers are full of ads for all manner of urban witches and wizards.”

An Exchange of Worship

So there’s the bad news. The good news is that turning back to God in word and deed, in spirit and truth, will produce a return to morality.

This is in keeping with biblical teaching and biblical history. Israel turned away from the one true God to follow idols. More broadly, human beings exchange worship of self, the creation, or other spirits for worship of (and obedience to) the one true God.

Ironically, as American morals continue to slip and slide, the MarketWatch article notes that, “The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals.” That’s according to a study released last week by the Pew Research Center.

So there’s the bad news. The good news is that turning back to God in word and deed, in spirit and truth, will produce a return to morality.

And there’s also a silver lining to this whole article. Most people know that there is more to this world than the material. They’re just bored with traditional religion. If we can introduce them to a real encounter with the living God, they will come flocking.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Kathy

    Television shows like “Long Island Medium” have most likely contributed to the popularity of the psychic service industry. The disturbing thing is that the medium’s husband wears a cross pendant, giving the impression of ascribing to the Christian faith.

    • Paul

      Hollywood has long been busy popularizing occult practices. I dream of genie, Bewitched, Buffy and countless other vampire and zombie type shows and movies, the list is long.

  • JustThink

    The widespread belief in global warming is a new religion. Its dogmas cannot be proven by science, only accepted on faith.

    • ncsugrant

      Sadly, we get to pay for the shrines, altars, and priests of this new religion with our taxes.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.” (2Tim 3:1-9)

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2nd Tim. 4:3)

    God says one will reap what they sow. That applies to societies as well. We’ve now have 50yrs of schools that have kicked God outta the classroom and replaced it with the lie of Evolution. We’ve got from Absolute Truth to Moral Relativism and Situational Ethics. We’ve moved from a basic Judeo/Christian mindset to now the main theme amongst most today is that there is no One True God but all gods are the same. So when one realizes that you reap not only what you sow but later than you sow and more than you sow, should it be any surprise that the stats now reveal what they do? We live in a day and age when one can find anything on the internet and any church that will tell them what they want to hear.

    The bottom line is they KNOW the Truth and they CHOOSE to reject it. There are more than ample Biblical teachings on this issue (or others) that can be found with a simple Google search. James White, Michael Brown, Jeff Durbin, Paul Washer, John MacArthur and MANY others have some fantastic debates and teachings. There is more information on the Truth today than ever before and more opportunity to research, study, and learn than ever before. So there is NO excuse.

    The real silver lining, at least to me, is that this is no surprise. God said it would happen and He’s applying pressure to force people to choose. He’s separating the goats from the sheep.

    Hallelujah! People of God rejoice! Look up for our Savior draws nigh!!

Inspiration
‘Your Heavenly Father’
Charles Spurgeon
More from The Stream
Connect with Us