"You cannot legislate devotion"; no truer words have never been spoken. This was a challenging statement of a professor in a class I'm taking about a principle that has borne itself out over the last almost 2,000 years of church history.
First of all, the latest statistics show that Christianity makes up about 33 per cent of the world population. Interestingly, 88 percent of Americans identify themselves as a Christian. Out of this we need to know what percentage of the total 33 per cent of the world actually attend formal church activities on a weekly basis.
Lets look a various attitudes about church from 1991 to 2011. What we find is that:
- 44 percent of women attend church during a typical week.
- 36 percent of men attend church during a typical week.
- 40 percent of women read their Bible during a typical week.
- 41 percent (up 1 percent from 1991) of men read their Bible during a typical week.
- 17 percent of women attend Sunday school during a typical week.
- 13 percent of men attend Sunday school during a typical week.
- 63 percent of women (down 6 percent from 1991) hold their faith in high regard.
- 42 percent (down 7 percent from 1991) of women who firmly believe the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches
- 33 percent (down 10 percent from 1991) of men who firmly believe the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches
So we can certainly draw a conclusion from the statistics above that church and its activities have become much less popular than it was in 1991 when it was already in a decline. Within the group of men above you have a small percentage, about 18 percent in 2011, who are both willing and able to do voluntary work for the ministry.
This includes visiting the sick, those who are unable to attend church regularly, and those who have expressed an interest in talking about becoming a Christian. Within this core group of the church body you have only a small percentage of men and women who are willing to make sure the church is ready to roll up their sleeves and clean the building for the next scheduled event.
What exactly are the problems that the church is encountering and what is the root of that problem? I would like to hear your thoughts on this if you've ever attended church or currently are attending, and let me know what your thoughts are. You can post them to Facebook or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can say with some confidence that moral relativism is the rule for most people today, which is clear whenever we hear it said rather matter of factually that “you cannot legislate morality". The most ironic thing of all about moral relativism is that moral relativists consider it to be an absolute truth, as seen in the objections that are raised each time someone tries to define ethics objectively. The culture we live in believes in moral relativism.
After all, people have the right (free will) to believe whatever they want (moral relativism). The book of Judges reveals that when society embraces a consistent ethic of relativism, society is headed for disaster. We read in Judges 2:11 how Israel practiced evil during the time the judges ruled Israel.
Moral relativism led to this evil, because Judges 21:25 tells us everyone in Israel "did what was right in his own eyes" in that day. Refusing to obey God, Israel pursued autonomy with a vengeance, and each person became the law unto himself.
The bottom line: the Bible is the moral barometer that each devoted Christian must align his/her life and decisions to. To the degree that Christians do so, so goes the health of the body of Christ. To legislate devotion is almost impossible and to do so enters the realm of a cult.
While those that are taught to give their lives 100 per cent to the blood cleansing redemption of Jesus Christ don’t need rules to stay in line, instead, they are doing the will of God out of true devotion of a child to a Father (Matthew 19:14).
Thank you for reading the articles. Please subscribe at the + sign above and below the article. My hope is that you both learn and enjoy the articles. I'm not here to convince you to believe as I do. I will always try to prepare the body of Christ for the soon coming rapture, warn against apostasy, and allow you to study the Word of God and then come to your own conclusions. God's blessings to you and your family. You may contact me at email@example.com.