Three facts stand out in recent Pew Research surveys of how Americans feel about religion in their country: First, the Pew data confirm that people in our time are spiritually hungry – millions of Americans grasp, intuitively, that there is something missing from their lives and something gravely wrong with the direction of the country they love. They are not sure how to fill the empty place in their own souls or repair the obvious erosion happening all around them. They see lives consumed by activities and things, but no true peace or hope. They see families in disarray, marriages ruptured, children at risk from drugs, violence, fatherlessness, and sexualisation, enduring and serious economic uncertainty, things they know arise because of the growing loss of a firm moral foundation.
Second, the Pew data refute the notion that the American people oppose any relationship between faith and public life. They don’t want the institutional church to run the government, but they also don’t want the state to operate in a values vacuum. They believe people of faith have every right and reason to influence public policy, and are sceptical of those who believe that fixed moral truth is impossible to know or practice. Deeply held religious convictions, and those who hold them, should be a vital part of the public debate over key issues. The American people get that.
Third, Americans are evenly split about requiring businesses to violate their moral beliefs. This indicates the ambivalence and division over a number of the central issues before us – abortion, homosexuality, the role of government, etc.
Christians need to keep advancing the vision of our Founders and the teachings of Scripture with the mindfulness that some of the things we take for granted – are not what sway many of our fellow citizens as they once did. We need to persuade not just with logical argument but with empathy and stories. We need not only to demonstrate the fallacies of being “pro-choice” or for “marriage equality” but that our vision of life is one that affirms and renews and is based on God’s love and wisdom. Our tone must be compassionate even as our message must remain unchanged and expressed with humble and persistent confidence.
“If the national field was ever ripe for harvest, it is now,” says Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council. “God’s people in America have never had before them a greater number of lost and needy people who need to hear about how Christ can give hope, meaning, and eternal life. The challenges represented in the Pew surveys might seem insurmountable, but the One who has overcome the world is our guide and strength. What are we waiting for?”
Source: Family Research Council
BIBLE STUDY: Deuteronomy 8:3
Day 25 – PRAISE: God that there is still a spiritual yearning deep in the hearts of many Americans.
Day 26 – PRAY: That Christians may be wise to seize this opportunity for a clear, prophetic witness.