Christianity Gets a Faith Lift…From Harvard

persecuted-christians-advent Christianity lift HarvardLiberals have stuck to a pretty consistent strategy in dealing with American Christianity: If you repeat something often enough, people will start to believe it. With the media’s help, they set out to convince the country that evangelicals were dying on the political vine. But, as so often happens, they were proven wrong on the biggest of stages when, in 2016, the church’s “withering” influence proved to be anything but.

Since then, teams of researchers have been trying to get a read on the state of Christianity in America — and what they’ve found might surprise you. After years of hearing the same dire predictions, even churchgoers probably assumed the country’s faith had dwindled. Like us, you’ve seen the headlines about declining church attendance or the millennials’ rejection of faith and just assumed the stories were true.

Not so fast, says Harvard University. Their latest study shows that U.S. Christianity isn’t only alive, but growing.It’s a surprising thing to swallow with the media’s drumbeat of liberal bias, but powerful new statistics point to a resurgence of the faith culture the Left so easily dismisses. In a lengthy commentary by Glenn Stanton in the Federalist, he pours over the data and explains, “Not only did their examination find no support for this secularization in terms of actual practice and belief, the researchers proclaim that religion continues to enjoy ‘persistent and exceptional intensity’ in America. These researchers hold our nation ‘remains an exceptional outlier and potential counter example to the secularization thesis.'”

Believe it or not, the authors of Harvard’s report “found that the percentage of church-attending Americans relative to overall population is more than four times greater today than it was in 1776.” In fact, Stanton points out, “The number of attendees has continued to rise each and every decade over our nation’s history right up until the present day.” Despite the hemorrhaging of mainline congregations, most analysts say the brunt of the losses are liberal churches. “When the so-called ‘progressive’ churches question the historicity of Jesus, deny the reality of sin, support abortion, ordain clergy in same-sex relationships and perform their marriages, people desiring real Christianity head elsewhere,” Stanton reminds people. “Fact: evangelical churches gain five new congregants exiled from the liberal churches for every one they lose for any reason. They also do a better job of retaining believers from childhood to adulthood than do mainline churches.”

In other words, Christianity is shifting — not dying. The number of people who read their Bible, go to church weekly, pray regularly has been “steel-bar constant” for the last half-century. “Patently persistent,” as Harvard calls it. It also happens to be in astounding contrast to other nations. “Attending services more than once a week continues to be twice as high among Americans compared to the next highest-attending industrial country, and three times higher than the average comparable nation.” If the people who once practiced a lukewarm Christianity have found other ways to spend their Sunday mornings, it’s probably no great loss to the cause of Christ and has zero effect on the culture.

“The United States ‘clearly stands out as exceptional,’ and this exceptionalism has not been decreasing over time. In fact, these scholars determine that the percentages of Americans who are the most vibrant and serious in their faith is actually increasing a bit, ‘which is making the United States even more exceptional over time.'” Of course, part of the reason for this consistency is the number of children Bible-believing churches tend to have. Christian parents are outpacing the offspring of other populations, and that’s helped to keep the fabric of faith alive.

Speaking of kids, what about the doom and gloom we keep hearing about millennials leaving the church? Is the next generation as lost as the media makes it out to be? Yes and no. One thing to keep in mind about Pew’s research and others’, Stanton cautions, is that a lot of these millennials who are “abandoning their faith” didn’t have much to begin with. “Pew reports that of young adults who left their faith, only 11 percent said they had a strong faith in childhood while 89 percent said they came from a home that had a very weak faith in belief and practice.” Questioning your beliefs, he points out, is also just part of the maturation process.

So the next time you hear that Christianity is “going the way of the Yellow Pages,” don’t buy it. Liberals only argue that to disparage and diminish you. Don’t let them. As much as they’d like to believe otherwise — and as long as there are Christians living out their faith every day — faith is alive and well in America!

From - Family Research Council - by Tony Perkins

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4 years ago

I am a cradle to grave Roman Catholic. Still go to Mass on Sundays, sing in the choir, teach Religion, active in the parish, Faith is seminal in my life. Raised a family of seven, only one of whom still regularly attends Mass , all are doing well in life, but don’t seem to need to practice any organized religion. Looking out over the congregation on Sundays, I see mainly grey heads ( like my own!!) very few young families or children of any age. If the Evangelicals are thriving, what are the Catholic Christians doing wrong???

Bill in TX
4 years ago

God had a purpose for allowing the United States to grow from a colony to a world leader. That purpose was Christian discipleship. Harvard (and all Ivy League colleges) had their start by educating and training ministers. Christian belief expression has been suppressed by the liberals because it was contradictory to their agenda. The Church (all Christian denominations) became comfortable in their big and beautiful church buildings and soon forgot about Jesus’ teaching of go into the world and make disciples. Making disciples is not an easy task. There is resistance. Satan is alive and well. The US Christians (young and old) are waking up and responding. The US is ready for a new “Great Awakening” Pray it comes quickly and bigger than every before.

4 years ago

I have a little problem with these surveys on ‘religious attendance’ , etc. as a measurement of spiritual America as pollsters are wont to do. I know so so many folks who do not attend a church, including myself, but that does not mean they cannot be in the realm of greatness. Religion is all about the spirit and it does not require going to any certain building whenever you are told to. For many years my Wife and I and our family were connected and became stretched in so many directions to where we could not do it anymore. I personally feel more spiritual than I ever was and am grateful for it. So be careful if you are inclined to criticize when someone leaves the building. They just may be a better person than you think!

David Johnson
4 years ago
Reply to  CHARLY

I tend to agree with you to an extent. But, will you please explain what you understand by being “spiritual.”

Gilbert Doan
4 years ago

Harvard -,my alma mater – may have given Christianity – and Judaism – a civil enough stroke, but it can hardly be supposed that universities (or governments or collegiate disciplines or armies or sciences or-or – or – ), in the long run can affect the actual
power and wisdom of the Holy One.

Richard Weise
4 years ago

This study is good and I’m sure it’s results surprised a lot of people. All manner of people, facts, figures, scientific wizardry, moral evaluations and philosophical and religious word wizardry have been pursuing the demise of God since time immemorial. I don’t mean to burst anyone’s political bubble of beliefs (be it left, right, etc); we all need to remember one simple truth, God trumps everything. I mean everything.

Burton Pauly
4 years ago

Thanks be to God for folks who love Him and stood up for religious protection. It has been a thorn in religions side for years. The left is so worldly and anti religious that it reeks. Our God is Our Salvation.

4 years ago

Very encouraging……so all is not lost!

Linda P.
4 years ago

Thank you AMAC for doing the research on this article and bringing it to light! How encouraging it is for us who strongly believe in the Gospel and have strong faith in our awesome God and His precious Savior!! Real Christians know the truth of the Gospel and no amount of negative press will deter us to walk away from our LORD and Savior!!

julie t.
4 years ago

Encouraging. Thank you for this article.

Linda Murdock
4 years ago

The moral to the story: Have babies and then disciple them!!

Rev. R.S. Helms
4 years ago

Thanks for the great post,

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