With the advent of the world emerging as one, people are exposed to other cultures easily and are able to understand, interact with those cultures more freely and hence are able to find the answer to some problems in those cultures/religions more satisfactory and less dogmatic.
For instance when people are exposed to Non dualism and at the same time polytheism and find that both can coexist in one system they lean towards it:it is surprising to them atheism is also considered a part of religious thought in Hinduism.Dogmatic inflexibility by the Church takes a beating.on this score.
The more the lay man becomes literate in Christianity with out Dogmatic interpretations, which are subjective, he/ she questions Christianity.Without answering them satisfactorily the Church insists on blind following of the clergy which literate Christians abhor.. Unfortunately while the populace is becoming literate, the Church is mired in traditional interpretations with a siege mentality.
Yes, the moral absolutes have ceased to an effective force because of materialism and lack of application by the Church to carry the message of Christ to people correctly.
Those who are supposed to set examples of virtue and good moral behavior have been found to moral debauchees ..Yes, this existed even before.But now with advent of internet and swift communications, the peccadilloes draw immediate attention.People will judge a religion by the behavior of the followers more than by books they preach.Christ’s life is His message.
Regrettably the Church is being run as a MNC and not a creed propagated by a Simple Soul who preached Love and High thinking.
The out reach of Christianity-The statement is true.Like olden times Christianity believes and performs conversions with more vigour than before , allocating budget for conversions when it is not warranted. Now that the society has changed and people are literate they have choice in analyzing and accepting new thoughts which are more rational and acceptable and they find other Religions like Hinduism is intensely personal and not institutionalist..This is abhorrent a freethinking Christian.
True, the Americans look for practical solutions for day-to-day life; they are in abundance in the Bible.It is not being propagated properly to people.
Non provision of complete information is Church’s mistake.
Unless the Church spreads the true message of Christ, sans conversion, dogmas, Christianity shall undergo travails till such time a true preacher comes along.
Again social action is discharged more by individuals/community rather than by the Church which is trapped in administration and pomps of office, grandeur and mega budgets which does not reach for whom it is intended for but mainly to charlatans.
- The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate.
- Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented.
- Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.
- Among Christians, interest in participating in community action is escalating.
- The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian Church.
- The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.
Here are a couple of observations from the study (that are troubling if they are indeed accurate):
Our biblical illiteracy and lack of spiritual confidence has caused Americans to avoid making discerning choices for fear of being labeled judgmental. The result is a Church that has become tolerant of a vast array of morally and spiritually dubious behaviors and philosophies. This increased leniency is made possible by the very limited accountability that occurs within the body of Christ. There are fewer and fewer issues that Christians believe churches should be dogmatic about. The idea of love has been redefined to mean the absence of conflict and confrontation, as if there are no moral absolutes that are worth fighting for. That may not be surprising in a Church in which a minority believes there are moral absolutes dictated by the scriptures.
Practical to a fault, Americans consider survival in the present to be much more significant than eternal security and spiritual possibilities. Because we continue to separate our spirituality from other dimensions of life through compartmentalization, a relatively superficial approach to faith has become a central means of optimizing our life experience.
American culture is driven by the snap judgments and decisions that people make amidst busy schedules and incomplete information. With little time or energy available for or devoted to research and reflection, it is people’s observations of the integration of a believer’s faith into how he/she responds to life’s opportunities and challenges that most substantially shape people’s impressions of and interest in Christianity.
If this is all true, then we really need to pray for the American church. Gimmicks won’t fix this; only God can.