The apostasy and falling away

The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians about a falling away ahead of the return of the Lord. He also says in 1 Timothy 4:1-2, “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” While theologians debate what this actually means, trends in the United States and other countries indicate that there is an exodus movement away from religion. This has been taking place in America over the last several years, and the “church” appears to be losing ground faster each passing year in its duties to make disciples as evidenced by recent polls.

Pew Research says 28% of US adults are now religiously unaffiliated. They are called “Nones.” Pew says, “Our survey data shows: Most “nones” believe in God or another higher power. But very few go to religious services regularly; Most say religion does some harm, but many also think it does some good. They are not uniformly anti-religious; Most “nones” reject the idea that science can explain everything. But they express more positive views of science than religiously affiliated Americans do.” Pew adds: “Nones” tend to vote less often, do less volunteer work in their communities and follow public affairs at lower rates than religiously affiliated people do. But the latest data shows that on a variety of measures, lower rates of civic engagement are concentrated among “nones” whose religion is “nothing in particular.”

This phenomena has been trending for more than a decade. In June 2008, a Pew Research Poll of some 35,000 people indicated that 57 percent of American evangelicals believe many religions can lead to eternal life. In December 2012, a Pew poll indicated that 20% of all American adults and 32% of adults under 18 had no religious affiliation, yet 68% say they believe in God. Notwithstanding, 88% said they were not looking for a religion. In September 2017, a Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) poll of over 100,000 Americans indicated that the religions of youth in America are becoming more non-Christian: “Roughly one-third (34%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans are also under 30.”

In an August 2017 Annenberg Public Policy Center poll, 37% of Americans could not name any rights guaranteed by the First Amendment; 85% did not know the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of religion; and 52% didn’t know that freedom of speech was guaranteed. In 1963, Florida Congressman A. S. Herlong, Jr., submitted for the Congressional Record the “Current Communist Goals” excerpted from “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen. Goal 27: “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.” Along with other goals like promoting homosexuality and discrediting the family structure, Apostle Paul’s words are becoming reality each day here in our homeland.


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Bill Wilson