According to Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, Christians make up 33 per cent of the world’s population, and is considered “dropping”. The next largest group is Islam, at 19 per cent, considered “gaining”, followed by Hinduism at 13, noted as “stable.” While atheists make up approximately 2 per cent, those who answer census and poll questions with “No religion” are fourth in line at 12 per cent.
Many today look at mankind’s progress and have determined that myths are no longer necessary. Everything is relative, changeable with the passage of time, adjustable to the moment. Belief that mankind is constantly evolving upward into something better is sufficient.
Dependence on a higher power has been relegated to archaic anomalies, unnecessary for daily living. If necessary for peace in the family, attendance at some religious-based holiday may be tolerated. Then again, it may be the impetus for general disagreement. That seems to happen often when confronting those who hang on to myths.
As I wrote last August many today look at religion and: “[d]efine, redefine. Take a look around the current culture and accept the current wave of thinking. Toss out, or reinterpret, what the Bible states – or simply rewrite the church, as the United Church of Canada has done. ‘With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe,’ according to Gretta Vosper.” A review of her book states she “believes that what will save the church is an emphasis on just and compassionate living—a new and wholly humanistic approach to religion. Without this reform, the church as we know it faces extinction.”
I would venture to say that Ms. Vosper would include herself in the 33 per cent Christian, were she to be polled.
Was this “dropping” in Christianity unexpected? Or, the changes in teaching?
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. [2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV]
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 KJV]
These teachers, this falling away, removes the focus of the Bible from God to man. They are asking that we trade something – our faith as Paul stated it: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. [Acts 24:15 KJV] – for nothing.
The Bible teaches us to do good for mankind.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. [Romans 15:1-2 KJV]
But we are also required to acknowledge the source.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [Matthew 22:37 KJV]