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I made a comment to someone the other day that resulted in a lively discussion. We were talking about how one of the biggest mission fields on earth is right outside our front door in America, meaning our own neighborhoods.
I noted it’s sad that American churches will pay $25,000 to send 10 people oversees for a week to build a wall, dig a hole or lead children in games when they don’t even speak the language fluently. Yet, they’ll ignore the fact more people are abandoning Christianity in America today than at any other point in history.
A study released in October by pollster George Barna and the Cultural Research Center highlighted some shocking results. Of the evangelical Christians polled:
- 52% reject absolute moral truth.
- 61% did not read the Bible daily.
- 75% believe people are basically good.
- 60% believe the Bible conflicts with their beliefs.
- 54% are unwilling to define human life is sacred.
- 50% claim the Bible is vague on abortion.
- 43% believe Jesus sinned.
- 58% believe the Holy Spirit is symbolic.
- 62% of church-goers say it is important to have some type of faith.
- 50% do not view sex outside of marriage as sinful.
- 40% do not believe lying is sinful.
- 48% believe in salvation through works.
- 43% do not believe in a God-Given purpose for humanity.
- 42% seek moral guidance from somewhere other than the Bible.
- 34% reject marriage as only one man and one woman.
- 34% approve of abortion if it spares the mother from emotional and financial hardship.
- 36% fail to seek and pursue God’s will for their life each day.
I claimed our biggest mission field is literally right down the street where we can engage our friends and neighbors. We must pay attention to that mission because if our enemy is successful in using his diversionary tactics to the point America falls, the ripple effects will be devastating to the worldwide Christian community.
Another person chimed in to suggest I was engaging in hyperbole. Surely, she noted, a new Christian community somewhere else would pick up the slack and continue the evangelism traditionally done by Americans.
Not so fast, I responded. If America stops becoming a Christian nation, a lot of horrible things will result. Consider these points:
1. American Christians are among the most generous people on earth.
In 2019, Americans gave away $449 billion, which was about 2% of our country’s gross national product, or the combined economic output of every person. A significant portion of that went to religious charitable organizations to the tune of $128 billion.
Imagine 128 33-story skyscrapers stacked floor to ceiling with $1,000 bills. Americans gave away that much in 2019 just to faith-based organizations.
Ironically, while America held the No. 1 spot in the world for charitable giving for decades, the country slipped to No. 4 in just three years. Could that have anything to do with the fact fewer Americans identify themselves as Christians?
2. American money supports missionaries in the field
The money generous Americans donate to faith-based organizations is also used to assist pastors and missionaries around the world.
These are real missionaries, not Christotourists looking to feel good about “doing something” in the five days they engage in some type of work project before heading out to tour the area and fly back to their comfortable lives in America.
The professional missionaries supported by America’s Christians are much different. They learn the language. They move into a community. The get to know their neighbors. They develop relationships in which they can effectively share their faith and answer questions.
The money these missionaries receive is put to use in bringing clean water to a community, building and staffing schools, providing desperately-needed medical or dental care, and taking action that can have a dramatic impact on the lives of local residents.
Perhaps the missionaries are teaching better agricultural methods, helping people start businesses to improve their standard of living, installing solar or wind energy, and introducing absorption refrigeration technology to the community.
If America ceases to be a Christian nation, which countries will fund these life-changing services and supply the people to train them? China? Give me a break.
3. American technology is bringing Christ to every country.
United Bible Societies reports that God’s word has been translated into 3,324 languages. Who funds the bulk of that effort or, better yet, prints and disseminates those books? Americans.
Biblical messages and training is transmitted daily via satellite to every nation on earth – even to countries behind the iron curtain where people are executed for believing in Jesus. Where are those companies located? America.
Where is most of the faith-based software developed to ensure biblical text is available on any type of mobile device? America.
Which country produces more online tools to help missionaries and pastors around the world to study and share the Bible with people in their communities? America.
Severing the funding pipeline
As American gallops toward socialism so that everyone is equally poor, the discretionary funding used to support full-time kingdom work will dry up, too. Yes, believers in other countries will take it upon themselves to continue spreading the gospel. But, with America out of the picture, it will be significantly harder to get the word out.
Some countries are worried enough about our nation’s spiritual decline that Christian churches there have started sending missionaries TO America. That reaffirms my point that Christians around the world know if America is lost, the ripple effect will be devastating.
A monstrous portion of the infrastructure supporting Christianity around the world will vanish if America falls and the pipeline of cash and servants is severed.
Is there any wonder why Satan is seeking to speed Christianity’s demise in the United States?