In today’s world, many things are preventing religions from being what they once were. With stiff divides between churches, and fewer people of the next generation practicing a single religion, many question what is happening, and why these things are happening to church and religion.
The simple answer, is that many people don’t try to understand church or religion anymore. Social media and the internet have given way to sensationalism over a few extremists — in every religion around the world — and are deterring young people from the church. Take recent events, for example.
Over the last ten years, one song has topped all others for worship songs: “How Great is Our God.” The people behind it, Chris Tomlin and Ed Cash, went on to launch what many today call a cult, according to ChristianityToday.com. A group called The Gathering International looks upon Wayne “Pops” Jolley as a spiritual father and prophet.
This group tells him anything from where they live to with whom they associate in order to ensure that he approves of it. Responding to the comments on him being a cult leader, he says he doesn’t care, and that his detractors are “controlled by demons.”
But this is an isolated incident, which many true Christians are denouncing.
However, when the internet only spreads stories such as this one, it can be difficult to explain to young people where they fit within the church. Fewer than six in 10 Millennials now identify with any type of Christianity, compared to more than seven in 10 supporters in older generations. It could be a sign of the times, too, as fewer members of the younger generation are working full-time jobs, often taking contract or freelance work instead.
A recent report noted that the decline in Christian church membership isn’t just happening in the United States, though. The Middle East is hanging on by a thread in terms of having any Christians.
“The whole Middle East without exception is presently engulfed by a nightmare that seems to have no end and that undermines the very existence of minorities, particularly of Christians,” Ignatius Youssef III Younan, patriarch of Antioch for the Syriac Catholic Church, told the Hanover Evening Sun.
Younan is referring to the fact that Christians are being persecuted for their faith in the Middle East by radicals like ISIS.
With events like these going on in the world, it is more important than ever for Christians to support each other, as well as continue to show people the way.