The New York Times recently ran an op-ed piece regarding Americans and God that provides a trite and concise look into the modern day pandemic of agnosticism. While the author, Eric Weiner, has a lot of understandable misconceptions about the nature of God, Christianity, and spirituality, his perspective is incredibly valuable to Christians, as it represents and contextualizes a growing sub-group of spiritually unaffiliated Americans. This group, he calls the “Nones” are “the roughly 12 percent of people who say they have no religious affiliation at all.” According to Weiner, they’re growing more quickly than any other self-identified religious demographic, which means we’re losing ground. His analysis brings Christians a clear perspective on our failings to live our lives like we’ve been bought at a price.
God is not a lot of fun these days. Many of us don’t view religion so generously. All we see is an angry God. He is constantly judging and smiting, and so are his followers. No wonder so many Americans are enamored of the Dalai Lama. He laughs, often and well.
While certainly, God is not concerned with being “fun” or our Friday night poker buddy, He does want us to live a life free of sin, and full of satisfaction and joy. Imagine our life from His perspective. God gave the life of his Son for us, so that we might be free from sin, and yet here we are complaining, judging, and constantly absorbed in others sins, and comparatively minor issues. How ungrateful and wasteful! We leave no time to laugh, to love, and to enjoy the life that Jesus paid a very high (read: ultimate) price to give us. As we approach Christmas, pray we remember to be full of joy, peace, love, grace, and fun—because the life God has given each of us, didn’t come cheap. What better way to thank Christ for the ultimate Christmas gift he came to give, than to make the most out of every moment. And remember, the Nones will be watching and judging your every move—just don’t judge them back because they don’t know what they’re missing. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in.” Romans 15:13 (ESV)
You can read the full op-ed here, and discuss: What are some ways we can correct the misunderstandings so many “Nones” have about Christianity?