Newsweek – The End of Christian America
The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.
The story of the temptations of Christ is a familiar one. After forty days and nights of fasting, the devil came to Jesus with three temptations. The first was to turn stones into bread, the second, to throw himself off the peak of the temple and have the angels catch him, the third, to have all the kingdoms of the world. We could summarize these as temptations be comfortable, to be impressive, and to be powerful. I am inclined to believe that those are also the three most common temptations of the church. Until recent years, the American church was offered each of those and gladly accepted them. Christianity was the default religion for the world’s greatest superpower—a position that should have made us tremble with concern that we were in danger of sliding off the path of self-denial that leads to the cross—but it seemed to occur to very few people that having such a position could be spiritually problematic. We built impressive structures, including dining facilities, recreation and entertainment centers. We turned praise and worship into a profit and star-making industry, and we gladly took our place in the halls of power. It seems that Satan offered us the same things he offered Christ, but we responded “Yes! Yes! Yes!” I doubt that the contemporary trends that are stripping away the power and prestige of the church are the work of the evil one—more likely it is the work of the Holy One, who is leading us step by step back to the paths of righteousness.