Thursday, April 30, 2009
Good News of the Day: Rise of the Secular Humanists
Polls show that the ranks of atheists are growing. The American Religious Identification Survey [pdf], a major study released last month, found that those who claimed “no religion” were the only demographic group that grew in all 50 states in the last 18 years.
South Carolina, generally regarded as the Home of God, has seen the numbers of the unchurched grow by leaps and bounds, perhaps threatening the long-term plan to secede from the U.S. and establish a Christian nation—
Nationally, the “nones” in the population nearly doubled, to 15 percent in 2008 from 8 percent in 1990. In South Carolina, they more than tripled, to 10 percent from 3 percent.
Today's good news is a "twofer." According to the AP, based on a report from the Southern Baptists,
The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches fell for the fourth straight year in 2008 to the denomination's lowest level since 1987, and membership dipped slightly as well.
Baptisms last year dropped nearly 1.1 percent to 342,198, compared with 345,941 in 2007, according to an annual report released by LifeWay Christian Resources, the Southern Baptist Convention's publishing arm.
Total membership was 16,228,438 last year, down nearly 38,400 from 2007.
The Godless are said to be taking their growth strategy from the gay-rights movement while the Saved are engaged in a 10-year central plan more along the lines of the Soviet model, hopeful that the drop in output is merely a part of the normal business cycle. As former pastor Rick Lance
The timing for the GPS strategy (God's Plan for Sharing) for Southern Baptists could not be better. This 10-year initiative is the right focus for the right time.... Our goal is to increase the population of heaven and to decrease the population of hell. GPS is a timely strategy to share the timeless message of Christ with the mission field we call North America.
Perhaps, we should view this as a temporary recession, not a permanent trend, for our denominational family. Recessions are downturns in the business cycle; therefore we are definitely in a recession currently. However, even the most pessimistic forecaster would admit that this recession will end at some point. What will bring it to an end? One way to answer that question is to reply, "When there is a revival in the economy."
My prayer for my denominational family is that in 2010 we can look back and see the beginnings of a revival among us and the end to our own denominational recession.
It appears the Baptists haven't yet realized that we are in a depression, not a normal recession, and are all going to hell in a handbasket.
"Come out of her, my people" - South Carolina to secede again (6/24/04)