God’s Solution to the ‘Nones’ Who Have Left the Faith

It can be summed up in three words: truth, encounter, and consistency.

By Michael Brown Published on August 25, 2016

An important new survey by Pew Research asks why people who were raised in religious homes but who now identify as religious “nones” — having no religious affiliation — decided to leave the faith of their childhood.

The results were varied, but according to the survey, “Half of ‘nones’ left childhood faith over lack of belief, one-in-five cite dislike of organized religion.”

Of this half (more exactly, 49 percent) of “nones” who say they no longer believe, many “mention ‘science’ as the reason they do not believe in religious teachings” while others “reference ‘common sense,’ ‘logic’ or a ‘lack of evidence’ — or simply say they do not believe in God.”

Of the 20 percent who cite their dislike of organized religion are “some who do not like the hierarchical nature of religious groups, several people who think religion is too much like a business and others who mention clergy sexual abuse scandals as reasons for their stance.”

This chart summarizes the survey’s results:

Chart

Pew Research Center

What is God’s solution to this growing problem of religious “nones”? It can be summed up in three words: truth, encounter, and consistency.

Specifically, I’m referring to truth discoverable by reason, research and divine revelation (the Bible), truth that answers the questions and refutes the lies; divine encounter, as in a real, life-transforming experience in God; and a consistent, Christian witness full of integrity and authenticity.

Of course, even with all this, there will be people who disbelieve and reject the faith, just as there have been in every age. But as we do a better job of disseminating the truth, as we help people come to know the Lord for themselves (as opposed to simply knowing about Him), and as we live out our faith without hypocrisy, many of these “nones” will return to God, while some will genuinely come to Him for the very first time.

With regard to truth, I am convinced that the more scientific discoveries we make, the more we must realize that there had to be a Creator. As expressed by the British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

There is today a robust field of Christian apologetics focused on demonstrating the powerful evidence for intelligent design in both biology and in the origin of the universe, and it includes highly respected scientists and scholars who affirm unequivocally that all the evidence points to the existence of an intelligent Creator. There is also a growing body of learned Christian philosophers who are responding with clarity to the great moral questions of human suffering and apparent divine indifference.

Along with this are the many solid teachers and professors and authors who are providing sound responses to the wide-ranging attacks on the reliability of the Scriptures and the exclusive claims of the gospel. (There are Jewish scholars who are part of all these endeavors as well, with the exception of the specific defense of Christian beliefs.)

So, there are answers to the many questions that are being raised on university campuses and on the internet. We just need to do a better job of getting those answers out, thereby helping many of these “nones” regain their lost faith (and helping others not to lose their faith in the first place).

With regard to divine encounter, it is very possible, if not highly probable, that many of those who left the faith never were truly in the faith, meaning, they may have attended religious services and participated in religious rites, but they didn’t know the Lord for themselves. And religion without God can be boring, empty, dry, and even dangerous. As the German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke once commented, “Christianity, boring? So is television … if we don’t plug in.”

Exactly.

Many people think that going to church makes one a Christian or being raised in a religious home makes one a believer, but our faith calls for a direct connection with the living God so that we become His daughters and sons. Without that, we have form without substance, activity without reality, the body without the spirit. Who wants that? To quote Rev. Bonnke again, “The less Holy Spirit we have, the more cake and coffee we need to keep the church going.”

One of the things we learn from the Old Testament is that every generation in Israel had to have its own encounter with God. Otherwise, when the elders would die out, the younger generation would fall away.

So today, America needs another great awakening, one which will convert the unconverted, restore the backslidden, and set the complacent on fire. Whether they know it or not, the “nones” are crying out for this very thing.

With regard to consistency, hypocrisy is a terrible turn off, especially when it comes to religious faith, since the world really does expect the Church to be different. That’s why scandals involving pastors and priests and rabbis are all the more noxious. They are supposed to be holy yet they are secretly doing the opposite of everything they preach and believe.

The younger generation in particular is looking for authenticity (which is one of the reasons for the rise of things like reality TV and homemade internet videos), and when God’s people demonstrate authenticity, showing a consistency between what we believe and what we do, practicing what we preach and preaching what we practice, this younger generation will be much more inclined to listen to our message.

So, the problem of people leaving the faith is real and should not be minimized. But the solutions are ready at hand and God is certainly longing to bring back His lost sheep.

Shall we work with Him to help recover these “nones” so that, in the coming years, we’ll be reading about the exciting new trend of those who are done with being “none”?

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  • Gary

    Millions of people were taken to church by their parents when they were young. A few of them became believers. Most of them didn’t. Many of those who did not become believers left going to church when they got grown. The ones who remained in church, but never became believers, are the main source of the problems within the churches. I mean actual, Bible-believing churches. Many people, as children, attended churches that did not believe the Bible. so it is no surprise that they have abandoned going to church, or belief in God.
    What to do? Not much. Adults who have been exposed to the truth in their youth, and who God wants to save, will eventually become believers. And those who God wants to save from among those who have never been taught the truth will be exposed to the truth and become believers. The majority will continue in their unbelief the rest of their days.

    • m-nj

      Gary… your response reveals your theology that salvation is all of God. but methinks Mr. Brown leans Armenian, so….

      • Ashley Bowen

        What do you mean “leans Armenian”? He’s a Jewish Christian. And that’s DOCTOR Brown; not MISTER.

        • RoundRocker

          Actually, Mr Brown refers to himself as a Messianic Jew, not a “Jewish Christian”- whatever that is.

          • Ashley Bowen

            Same thing. It’s just more polite to say “Messianic Jew” than to say “Jewish Christian”, but I have seen people (in the City of San Francisco, California, of all places) who say that they are “Jews for Jesus” and call themselves Jewish Christians. Either way these people are Jews who believe that Jesus IS the Messiah.

      • Gary

        He has said he used to be Calvinist, but he got over it. Or words to that affect.

      • Greywolf

        To be clear, only a hyper-Calvinist wouldn’t believe in evangelism. The Scriptures are clear that the Word of God preached, the Christian witness of the Gospel, is the vehicle by which we are saved. Whether you think it’s the elect (as I do) or otherwise.

        That said, good article by Dr. Brown. Christian truth must be defended and proclaimed faithfully, and consistency in Christian character can help with skepticism. Although I would take issue with the idea of authenticity. By “authentic,” what does that mean? I’ve seen circles where someone said you were authentic if you were honest about your struggles but as soon as you were growing in sanctification you were no longer authentic. I like Dr. Brown’s definition here for authenticity.

  • peterbuilt

    The recent spread of young earth creationism and Bible literalism continues to drive many from the church. The conflict these narrow views create with science have become a huge distraction from Christ and is now a focal point of how many people view the Christian faith. Stemming the tide of ‘nones’ will require some self-examination by Christians and marginalization of ant-science teachings that have little or no biblical basis. We must celebrate scientific discoveries that reveal His greatness rather than respond with knee-jerk reactions born of our own pride and insecurity.

    • Gary

      “Young earth creationism and Bible literalism” are not recent. They have been around since the Bible was written and have been the view of real Christians the whole time.

      • peterbuilt

        If that is true, then why do all major denominations including Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and most others reject the literalist view?

        • Gary

          Because they don’t believe the Bible, and are not Christians.

          • peterbuilt

            So do you believe that the sun moves around the earth and can be stopped? Or is that too literal?

            Joshua 10:12-13
            Then spoke Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the men of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Aijalon.” And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.

          • Gary

            God controls the universe. I cannot explain how God did that, but I believe it happened because it is recorded as an historical event. The earth spins and that is what makes the sun rise, move across the sky and set in the evening. On that day, God delayed it somehow.
            Is there anything in the Bible that you believe actually happened? Or do you think everything in the Bible is just metaphor?

          • peterbuilt

            So now your interpreting because of the obvious fact that the earth moves around the sun? My point is that it’s not all or nothing. The bible is incredibly complicated as many passages have multiple layers of meanings. Metaphor is commonly used because it is a very effective way to communicate. Jesus spoke almost entirely in parables. No one understands the whole text. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes that it is foolish to pursue absolute truth as it can only be known by God. What is crystal clear though, and what makes us all Christians, is God’s desire for a relationship with us through Jesus who died to save us and was resurrected. Our purpose as Christians is to spread the gospel and bring people to Jesus. Period. Not argue science, history, philosophy, and especially, not to judge who is and who isn’t a Christian.

          • Gary

            I disagree. We have to judge to who is and isn’t a Christian, and we are instructed to do that in the NT. And if someone does not believe that God stopped the sun for the Jews in Joshua, they probably won’t believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, or rose from the dead.

          • Godhimself8

            Everyone is MY child regardless of their religion.

          • Gary

            You are not God.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            Dont think, that is dangerous to the faith. Thinking people are no longer believers. Dont question, dont challenge, dont disagree, dont judge, dont discern, dont have a chance to change and to be truly anything but a carbon copy of programmed inhumanity.

          • wawoo

            Gary, there ya go, proving religion is all belief and discounting reality. And saying only you and those who believe as you do have the secret sauce and the handshake to go with it. The Bible is stories, not the revealed word of YHWH, but stories told and written by men, and in the case of the Bible particularly, filtered by men for a particular purpose.There were a bunch of competing Gospels before the Council of Nicea and the Byzantine Emperor, very much a man of the world, had given direction as to what he wanted out of it. And made sure he got it. YHWH is a creation of man, not the other way.

          • Gary

            I disagree.

          • wawoo

            Gary, right there, your own words. Only you and those who believe as you do have the recipe for the secret sauce and know the handshake.
            What I said about religion is the truth as to how they come about.

          • Gary

            I don’t believe you are correct, but I don’t mind if you are wrong.

          • wawoo

            OK, two distinctly American religions, Mormonism and Scientology.
            Both started by known frauds, both clearly nonsensical.
            And Mormonism the fastest growing religion and Scientology selling its nonsense like hotcakes as well.
            And the evidence being clear for the founders of both being total cons.
            What makes you think any other religion is any different as to how it came about?

          • peterbuilt

            Lamark’s theory of inheritance, spontaneous generation, the Bohr atom, the population bomb, the coming ice age of the 70’s – all scientific theories proven to be wrong. What makes you think any scientific theory is true?

          • wawoo

            peterbuilt, none of what you just posted is true. None.
            And what you just tried to do is a major logical fail, deflection.
            And a meme I saw and posted is clearly true, human flew before Newton discovered gravity./S 🙂
            That explains the angel reports and other things.
            The scientific method has more the stood the test of time. The knowledge derived from using it has been of immense benefit. And oddly enough as I suspect you cannot grasp it, the intent of the scientific method is to prove the proposed hypothesis to be false.

          • peterbuilt

            You used two examples of false religions to conclude that all must be false. What is the logical fallacy in doing the same for scientific theories?

          • wawoo

            You cannot show any religion to be true. That.
            Which makes Mormonism and Scientology as true as whatever you claim.
            And Islam beat Christianity every day for having a coherent system of belief. As does Judaism.
            And both, just as is the case with Christianity are post hoc constructs that made up their founding myths. And of course Judaism is the parent of both Christianity and Islam.

          • peterbuilt

            They also can’t be proven false (the importance of doing such you previously pointed out). Your statement about Islam is an opinion… Judaism being historical is undisputed and not sure how that is relevant.

          • wawoo

            All of your statements have been opinion that is not grounded in fact or logic.
            And you do know there was no Moses, no exile to slavery in Egypt and etc.?
            That founding myth being made up while some part of the Jewish tribes were in actual Babylonian captivity from Sumerian stories with the Egyptian Pharoah as the bad guy rather than the Babylonian King for obvious reasons.
            And that the Babylonia Captivity is when Judaism became monotheistic.
            The Jews being the Canaanites from the Samarian hill country. Who had YHWH and his wife as the prime deities with many minor deities.

          • peterbuilt

            I didn’t claim any scientific facts. Your statements about Moses and the exile are not facts either. There is no doubt that the biblical account of the exile is not complete and very well may not be 100% accurate from a historical perspective. The purpose of Moses’s account of the exile is to teach us about God’s relationship with His people…it wasn’t written to be History book for school.

          • wawoo

            They are facts, the Moses was a made up charatcter and the exile and slavery in Egypt never happened.
            Archeology in Israel and Egypt having absolutely shown it to be the case.
            And you do realize you just admitted the Moses tale to be a story don’t you?
            Something that was made up for the purposes of men, the Jewish Priests and Tribal leaders.
            I think that amounts to surrender on you part.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            Many sciences are propaganda as much as the bible is, certainly evolution can be easily disproven. The fact of the matter is, that man likes to have power over others, likes to oppress, deceive, manipulate, and exploit others, and will do so with government, religion, and media, as well as through institutional education and the (in)justice system, and finally, through imposed “health’ system.

          • peterbuilt

            Evolution cannot be easily disproven. The evidence for it is overwhelming. But it is complicated and down right amazing when you dig into the details. Life is remarkable. You miss out on God’s majesty when you reject science.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            Okay, non-challenging Einstein. How did species like mammals evolve one generation from the green-slime, from one-celled life to mating reproducers without the reproductive system fully in place, how did they develop? or how about the eye,with its seven individual characteristics, all which are interdependent and necessary, how did it manage to function and form, all at once to work?

          • peterbuilt

            Way to much to discuss in a thread. Start with wiki and move on to numerous other writings on the subject. Evolution is not linear. It is very complicated with organisms having various levels of functionality. You don’t go from a single cell to a mammal in one step. There are millions of steps, both forward and backward. Scientists have reconstructed thousands of them in various organisms, enough to provide proof that the process occurs. Modern genetics has been put the nail in the proverbial coffin with the advent of genome sequencing. There is still much to be learned but the fact that living things change and adapt over time is about as proven as a thing can be.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            duh, not from a single step.. uh, I did not think of that?? duh.. excuse me, but I made a statement not reflecting stupidity, but giving you a challenge, which you could not meet, so you condescended to tell me the more than idiotic obvious. A true visionary and intelligent person, or scientist (definition- one who seeks for ultimate truth) challenges all information that is important to him. Reading difficult but important issues calls for questions and clear answers. I was told by the inventor of the heart defibrillator (yes, he was family friend- by the name of Louis Saper) that a sign of true intelligence is the ability to explain complex issues so that a five year old could understand. YOu basically told me to trust scientists. These scientists somehow have changed their minds multitudes of times on how long it took to evolve, multiplied the time for evolution by the thousands when DNA was discovered. You said these things were proven, but anybody can say that, CAN YOU DO THAT!! I want to see your explanation. If you cant, you have believed superstition. Definition of superstition= believing in things that you dont understand.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            To validate and make clear my question- How did animals go from self-reproducing to mating with male and female procreation, how did any species develop therewith, without having a reproductive system already complete and evolved, in one generation?

          • peterbuilt

            I said nothing of the sort. I urged you to read and learn about evolutionary biology. You want the info spoon fed but it doesn’t work that way. You are asking about incredibly complex systems. I suggest you start with more simple cases. Here are some examples. Yeast undergo both sexual and asexual reproduction. They don’t have male and female but rather different mating types. The mechanisms and origins of these systems are well described. Likewise, bacteria undergo a form of sexual reproduction where they exchange genetic information stored on sort of mini-chromosomes called plasmids. Please read more about these. If you start by learning about these simpler systems you will begin to see how they are connected. In many cases, the same or similar genes underly the same processes in different species and both their rate of genetic change and subfunctionalization imply common origins. A good example is found in immune systems where IRAK kinases and NOD-like genes control innate immune systems in flies, animals, humans, and even plants. The genetic information links them all together like a big puzzle and reveals both the evolutionary order and timescales. We are very far from filling all the gaps (which those like yourself love to try and exploit), but the amount and quality of information provides a mountain of evidence for evolution. Gaps are being filled every day and the thousands of scientific publications by labs from around the world each week all support this conclusion. Nothing makes sense in biology anymore except from the viewpoint of evolution.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            You still did not answer the question of evolving. YOu dwelled on unevolving organizisms, and made a conclusion about change from an existing species, that has no indication of evolving. YOu read something without challenging it, and believe it. That is why you are a christian believer. Something seems right, no proof needed, and it is fact. And dont give me that science- babble. You look smart because you can say in five syllables what I say in two syllables. You paid for a college education where you learned to regurgitate information as fed to you. YOu paid hundreds of thousands to be an unwitting carbon copy of the establishment, an evil principality.

          • peterbuilt

            Unevolving organisms? You know too little to even understand the questions let alone answers. I didn’t make any conclusions about change in an existing species. We know they change- just ask any animal or plant breeder-, it’s just a question of how. You have it in your head that there is this strict dividing line between species. There is not and we have thousands and thousands of examples. Google teosinte and look at how what we call corn today has changed.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            Maybe I did not write clearly, because you insist on avoiding answering what I am asking. I am asking a question, and you are saying that I dont understand what I am asking. Perhaps it is you who doesnt understand, so I will rephrase. HOw did simple organisms which self-reproduce, and those which “exchange information” (whatever you are trying to say), become complex organisms like mammals, which reproduce sexually, without the reproductive systems in place? In my estimation, without a completed (or close to it) reproductive system, you cannot reproduce. Where did the first generation of complete species get there, if they could not be born?? And please dont use science-babble, it is a way to look intelligent, but doesnt fool me. It is just an appearance of knowledge, but no more than an image of it, no real smarts involved.

          • peterbuilt

            Yes, you response confirms that you do not understand basic cellular biology. I cannot explain it to you on a thread. Buy some cell biology text books at a used book store and you will find answers to your questions…but perhaps you don’t want to waste your money on education.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            You are absolutely right, i dont want to waste my money or my time on deceptions that can be destroyed by the foundation. You obviously are not capable to question and to think, you believe concepts you do not understand, and agree without researching opposing viewpoints. You blame the questioner for not understanding the question he raised, and are unable to answer, and tell the one who wants to know to pay for a college education that you did not comprehend, because it is false.

          • peterbuilt

            You are caught in a viscous cycle of expecting concrete answers from the Bible or science. In all things there are always unanswered questions, things that do not make sense, and direct contradictions. All we can do is believe with our hearts and marvel at the Universe with our minds. Read Ecclesiastes. Solomon reminds us that we cannot know everything and it is a fools errand to try. No one fully understands the entire Bible or God’s plans. Neither science or any religion offer what you are seeking. Belief in Christ must be experienced. You cannot think your way to forgiveness or salvation. The Bible shows us we must give up and surrender ourselves. It is subjective not objective. All I can tell you is that when I did it changed every part of my life. I can’t explain how only that it didn’t come from any pastor, book, or scholar. It happened by centering my life around Christ.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            God’s majesty.. hmmm billions of people worshiping a being that sends most to hell, but claims to love them.. okay.

          • peterbuilt

            Where in the bible does it say most people are sent to Hell? It says we can choose to be with God or not. God does not send us, we choose our fate. And no man knows the fate of any other man. Jesus saved a murderer in his dying moments on the cross. All we are supposed to do is try to bring people to Christ. It is a journey not a finish line. We become saved when we turn our hearts to Him. That opportunity is there until our final moment.

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            Joh 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

            All unbelievers are condemned, so the four billion or so nonChristians go to hell, according tot the bible. Now about the few who say they are Christian:

            Mat 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
            Mat 7:14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

            and:

            Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
            Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

          • peterbuilt

            I don’t see the word Hell anywhere…and you are pulling those passages out of context and interpretation. Jesus was not saying that the Kingdom is small. He was saying the way is hard. The last passage is referring to works without faith. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”

          • truthforce57 yehoshuamk

            You are absolutely right. You asked for it. I will now prove the bible lies. We will take it in context

            Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
            Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
            Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
            Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
            Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
            Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
            Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
            Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
            Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

            all the pastors who preach for money, who give false prophecies, who do not call out the other false teachers as commanded to, who did not visit in prison, who did not follow the law, who wanted to look good, who want to be called pastor, they all go to hell. In addition, according to John, Jesus says he loves everybody, then sends them to hell, that is, most people

            Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
            Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
            Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
            Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
            Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
            Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
            Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

            How many people not only repent of sins, but confess them publicly, bringing them to light?? Who hides their iniquity?? Most. There is more.

            Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
            Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
            Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
            Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
            Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
            Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

            Have you done these?

          • Gary

            Christianity is based on truth. Including history. Jesus actually was crucified and rose from the dead. Now, if that is not true, then Christianity would be no more legitimate than any other religion.

          • wawoo

            You believe that. But it is not true.
            That tale was concocted over decades after the death of Jesus.
            And the early church had disagreement on that.
            Who lived and died as a Jew.
            And has been very, very dead ever since.
            And Christianity is in point of act no more legitimate than any other religion.
            And you even claim that most Christian’s are not even Christian.
            The secret recipe and handshake being known only by you and those that believe as you do.

          • Gary

            What is true then? Is there a religion that is true?

          • wawoo

            In point of fact there is not a religion that is true as to its theological constructs. None.

  • RoundRocker

    You seem to miss the point that many of these “nones” haven’t lost or turned their back on faith, they just choose to pursue their relationship with God outside of organized religious groups. I personally agree with many of their reasons for turning their back on organized religion; hypocrisy being one of the biggest reasons of all. I cannot and will not support a group (sect, denomination, whatever you want to call it) that claims to be followers of Christ while proudly flouting His teachings to love one another, to do unto others. If you want to draw people back to the church, stop excluding them!

    • Gary

      If a church is preaching and teaching the truth, people who love their sins and refuse to repent and believe the Gospel usually won’t hang around long.

      • RoundRocker

        People with integrity also won’t hang around long if they see the church preaching one thing but practicing another.

        • Gary

          I agree with that. I wouldn’t hang around either for that.

    • disqus_TzEkxrJeq5

      Christ said: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 5:32 I don’t know what you expect to find in a church of believers, but I dare say that those without sin (perhaps such as yourself) are in no need of a church.

  • disqus_TzEkxrJeq5

    THERE IS NO REST FOR THE WICKED. The LORD tells us this three times in Isaiah.

    We find Jesus when we ask ourselves how we’re doing without Him. He will not force His way into our lives, but when we ask ourselves how life is working out by ignoring Him we can then come to terms with the fact . . . we might begin to realize . . . that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life . . . receiving the fruit of The Spirit and understanding the love of God.

    I actually had to read and understand the Bible before I understood how little I knew. And this after having lived the American Dream, worked my way through graduate school to a successful career, and raised up a well provided for my family. But it was a house of cards without a proper foundation.

    I had been warned, but I did not necessarily believe . . . fortunately I knew about Jesus, so getting to know Him was an ever-present option, a natural choice that I postponed for far too long.

    Read the article, it may give you a sense of peace in these trying times, knowing that His ways are above ours.

  • disqus_TzEkxrJeq5

    As for science, explained in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, it can only tell us what a thing is, not what it means. For that we must return to the source, which may leave us, as any good scientist will confess, with what we choose to put our *faith in. Hence, as Alan Watts points out in The Wisdom of Insecurity, we find that the Knowledge of Faith is just as valid, indeed more so, as any other form of knowledge, be it “fact” or “belief.”

    *Job 32:7-9; Psalms 119:98-100

  • Sarah Peterson

    I can accept some sort of divine force, but can find zero evidence in a God that retains any interest in Earth or humans, particularly individually. that’s as ridiculous as the tooth fairy.

    • Duke of Dixieland

      That means your mind is narrow. Maybe other people aren’t like you.

      • Sarah Peterson

        Let me guess, he wakes you up with coffee every morning and helps your football team win their games.

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