Chuck Baldwin is a conservative American Christian who has been heavily involved in politics in the past. He has recently written a piece commenting on a survey showing a sharp decline in faith among nominal Christians in his country: “America’s Pulpits Under Indictment: Let the Adjustments Begin!”
The findings of that survey confirm something I predicted based on what I learned from Gary North. When I saw how churches throughout the world, but particularly in the Western world, reacted to Covid, I predicted a further decline of faith. The clergy’s reaction was in principle identical to what they did, according to North, during the Plague or Black Death. Back then, they fled the towns for the countryside instead of ministering to the sick and dying. This cost the church a lot of credibility and paved the way for the Renaissance. The Renaissance was an intellectual movement that delved into the writings and philosophies of pre-Christian ancient Greece and Rome, looking for sources of truth other than the Bible. This ultimately led to thought centred on the human being instead of God.
The Renaissance in turn led to the enlightenment which first relegated God to a role of disinterested and distant Creator (so-called “Deism“), until essentially discarding God entirely. The “death of God” (Nietzsche) then led to the horrors of the French Revolution which, after having been defeated and staved off (just about) for a century (in which time the Industrial Revolution brought untold blessings to untold millions), led to the various horrific, ideologically driven mass slaughters by the millions in the 20th century, a phenomenon which essentially has to this day not yet abated.
During Covid, the clergy didn’t flee the towns. Instead, they locked the churches, implicitly declared their services “non-essential” and fled into cyberspace and Zoom services. They thus relinquished spiritual space, so to speak, which will now be populated by alternative beliefs of all sorts. They had been seeping in for some time, but this seepage is now becoming a torrent.
It will be interesting to watch how the churches recover from this blow.
Addendum: There is an interesting other recent survey with a somewhat contrary message: “Surprising Surge Of Young Americans Turn To Religion“.
Zero Hedge writes:
The story of religious trends in America has been one of increasing disaffiliation among younger generations. But a new study reveals an unexpected resurgence of faith among youngsters in a post-Covid era.
Some young adults had an awakening during Covid as the entire world crumbled around them. They were in search of a higher power to get through the government-forced lockdowns and controlled demolition of the economy, as well as watching loved ones and friends contract Covid-19 that some federal government agencies believe leaked from a Chinese lab.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a new study commissioned by Springtide Research Institute found about one-third of 18-to-25-year-olds believe in a higher power, up from one-quarter in 2021. The findings were based on polling data from December.
Continue reading here.
However: Will the churches be able to offer these young people a long-term spiritual home?