Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Would Religions Disappear? Christianity Extinct by 2067?

            Researchers predict that religion will soon be extinct in nine countries namely, Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. “A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers.

            The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation.

            The team's mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one.

            The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.

            The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

            Their means of analysing the data invokes what is known as nonlinear dynamics - a mathematical approach that has been used to explain a wide range of physical phenomena in which a number of factors play a part,” claimed BBC in March 2011.1

            Another report from the British Census Study states that Christianity would be extinct by 2067 [in England], “A new governmental report on Christianity is making some waves, though, according to the report, not as many waves as one might think. The core of the report is that Christianity, once the religion that wasn’t to be trifled with, is quickly on the decline, and at a much faster rate than anyone really thought. Christianity is declining so quickly that experts believe the religion will be “statistically nonexistent” by 2067 — or, in other words, extinct.

            The report that leads to a prediction of Christianity’s demise stems from the British Census Study, the British Social Attitudes survey, and the British Election Study. Though the report on Christianity centers on Great Britain, experts say that Christians would be naive to think that the United States isn’t far behind, and offers evidence and statistics to back up their predictions.

            According to the statistics, between 2001 and 2011, the number of people who followed Christianity fell by over 5.3 million people. To put that on a timescale, that’s about 10,000 individuals per week forsaking Christianity. Following up on those stats, Christianity will fall to nonexistence in England in the year 2067.

            The Social Attitude survey concurs with this data on Christianity. Believers in Christianity fell from 40 percent of the British population in 1983, to 29 percent in 2004, to 17 percent in 2014.”2

            Scary? Are you worried?

            Would religions be extinct in the future?

            That religions would decline in the future is a statement worthy of consideration and belief, but religions cannot possibly be extinct in the future. Why?

            God exists, and there are reasonable evidences positing the existence of God. Because God exists, people would continue to believe in God. When people believe in God, religion will exist and not be extinct. Applying this to Christianity, we could quite easily postulate that Christianity could never be extinct.

            Why could religions possibly decline in the future?

            Needless to say, people ignore or reject God when all is well in their lives. Another article on BBC quotes Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, who posits decline of religion in countries that offer greater security to their citizens, “So not surprisingly, nations that report the highest rates of atheism tend to be those that provide their citizens with relatively high economic, political and existential stability. “Security in society seems to diminish religious belief,” Zuckerman says. Capitalism, access to technology and education also seems to correlate with a corrosion of religiosity in some populations, he adds.”3 (Emphasis Mine).

            Having said that, decline of religion occurs in religious countries as well. If we were to apply the aspect of “security” into this predicament, we have the answer as to why religion could be on the decline in religious countries.

            People reject God in instances of both security and insecurity. When people live a very comfortable and secure life, they tend to ignore or reject God. Similarly, when people are in pain and suffering – when they live an insecure life amidst pain and suffering – they could lose hope and hence reject God. The aspect of security or the lack thereof, motivates people to reject God. Religion declines when people reject God.  

            Could Christianity decline in the future?

            Christ the Lord predicted that Christianity would decline in the future, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24: 10-13, NIV, Emphasis Mine).

            True to what the Lord foretold, Pew Research Center announced in 2015 that the Christian share of the US population is on the decline.4 So let us not be surprised about the decline, for if the Lord foretold the decline, then the decline is bound to occur.

            Matthew 24: 13 states that some will stand firm unto the end. So definitely there will be a remnant that will stand firm in the Lord Jesus Christ.

            How do we develop this remnant?

            It is the responsibility of the local church to develop and disciple this remnant into a position of strength. Young people are abandoning religion, even Christianity, in droves. The local church should develop their young people into growing stronger in Christ.

            Unfortunately that task seems easier said than done. Instead of discipling and developing young people in Christianity, the local church, according to Christian apologist Frank Turek, is producing shallow narcissists.5 These shallow narcissists would then abandon Christianity when all is not well in their lives.

            Most of the local churches are more engrossed in entertaining their customers (read Christians) than developing them into stronger disciples in Christ. If such is the case, the consequence is rather inevitable; Christianity would indeed decline.

            It is then our bounden duty to pray for the local church and also become active in the local church so that we could be instrumental in raising stronger disciples of the Lord. This then is the need of the hour. Frank Turek communicates this truth wonderfully, “We fail to realize that what we win them with we win them to.  If we win them with entertainment and low commitment, we win them to entertainment and low commitment.  Charles Spurgeon was way ahead of his time when he implored the church to start “feeding the sheep rather than amusing the goats.””6

            May the local church raise faithful Christians who would live and die for the Lord Jesus Christ.







6 Ibid.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The real reason for the deckine in christianity. Maybe the only Roman Catholicism and orthodox may flourish as it believes in the Gospel of works.