Poll numbers keep reflecting the same thing.Â TheÂ group of people who identify themselves are practicing Christians has stopped growing.Â TheÂ groupÂ who identifies themselves as nonbelievers is the fastest growing section of the faith spectrum.Â Â Why is this?
One explanation I read recently is theÂ focus on consumerism.Â That is, owning and enjoying things is contrary to the old austerity message of Christianity.Â Young people today do not see themselves as relating to this message.
AnotherÂ explanationÂ seems more powerful to me.Â It is technology, i. e., the computers you and I are looking at.Â I recall about 20 years ago, columnist George Wills wrote that this little box had changed theÂ political thinking of young people at that time.Â The personal computer lead themÂ away from government as a souce of success in their lives and toward the view that they, themselves, held the power to control their own future. Wills used thatÂ as an explanation for young people voting conservative at that time.Â
The computerÂ may also have empowered them to seekÂ challenges toÂ the other outside source of well being their parents believed in, the Almighty.Â At their finger tips is a powerful myth-busting machine.
The sense of community has also been changing.Â Whereas, generations of Americans have used their chruch and its other members as a source of friendship and support, the new generation goes on line to find like minded people.Â Why sit through an uninspiring sermon when there is a lively on line conversation you can tap into immediately?
So, here’s something to pass along to every preacher you know.Â Â Christianity’s real enemyÂ isÂ the computer.Â Smash it with a hammer and you have slayed the Devil.