[by Dean Smith] In my previous post, I talked briefly about America’s changing religious landscape. In 2007, 78.4% of Americans identified themselves as Christian. By 2014 that number had shrunk to 70.6%.
The vast majority of the decline occurred in the liberal mainline denominations whose membership numbers are in a free fall and as well the Catholic church.
Meanwhile those who classified themselves as having no religious association including agnostics, atheists and any who answered “none” when asked their religious affiliation increased over that same period from 16.1% to 22.8%.
However, while pouring through the data, the Daily Beast uncovered an interesting tidbit. They found that nearly 50% of the people who had been raised in a “none” religious homes now associated with a religion.
Basically of the 9.2% of the people who said they were raised in a “none” religious home, 4.3% of them now identified with a religious community.
There are a number of reasons for the turn back to religion — this can include a dramatic conversion experience to marrying a religious person.
But whatever the case, a 50% return rate is a significant number.
In the article, they talked about hospital Chaplain Margaret Fox’s experience. Raised in a ‘none’ religious home, she found God at university and described her interest in spiritual things as embarrassing. In her interview with the Daily Beast, she said:
“My contracts professor tried to convince us to study hard. He told us to think of ourselves as Captain Ahab, and the law as our whale. But I didn’t feel like Ahab, I felt like Jonah, that there was something else I was supposed to be doing, and I felt stuck inside.”
The Apostle Paul says it is God who calls people into fellowship with Him:
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9 NASV)
When the Holy Spirit begins to call our name, we don’t hear an actual voice, but we began to feel drawn to God. Out of nowhere we start having an interest in spiritual things. This call is our invitation to believe on Jesus and accept His salvation.