For many reasons, religious beliefs have greatly influenced American public policy and political elections. Because of its demographics and history, the United States has numerically more Christians (and more Protestants) than any other country in the world. There are nearly 313 million people in America, making the United States the third most populous country in the world.
According to the 2012 U.S. Census, three quarters of Americans claimed adherence to the Christian faith. (Whether or not they understand Christianity is another matter.) These Christians have various affiliations: 140 million are nondenominational, 62 million are Catholic, 40 million are Evangelical Protestants, and 26 million are Mainline Protestants. The states with the greatest number of religious congregations are Texas, California, and Pennsylvania.
The next largest group categorized by the Census is comprised of those who identify as having no religion. Following this group are those who identify as Jewish, Agnostic, Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu. more >>
Former evangelical megachurch leader Ulf Ekman, who in March announced to his congregation at Word of Life in Sweden that he was leaving the Protestant ministry to join the Roman Catholic Church, recognized in a new article that the decision had caused an "uproar" among the faithful.
"It caused more than just a stir when I told the congregation of the Evangelical megachurch that I served as pastor since I founded it 30 years ago that my wife and I intended to become Catholics," Ekman begins in a lengthy article published online by The Catholic Herald on Wednesday.
"It caused a real uproar in my country of Sweden, which remains overwhelmingly Protestant. The period from that day, March 9, until May 21, when we were received into the Catholic Church, was marked by contention and debate. I have binders full of articles, comments and reactions that appeared in the traditional media and on the internet." more >>
Part two is the best way to launch this commentary. It is a definite response to those who appealed for help after my recent article, I'm Ashamed to Admit I Have a Problem With Masturbation.
One person expressed it this way: "I appeal for part 2. This area is epidemic-especially among men. Please don't leave us hanging. We need more info and real solutions!"
So that's exactly what we will do. Let's lay out a strategy for success. more >>
Like many others, I've taken an interest in the brouhaha centering on the Dove Award-winning musical artists Michael and Lisa Gungor. The Gungors let it be known they don't believe that everything in the Bible can be taken literally. In particular they express skepticism over the Biblical accounts of Creation and the Flood, citing this reason for their position: "science and rational thought."
Alas, it's a story all-too-familiar to me, a theoretical physicist and follower of Christ. I encounter it wherever I speak or sign books or in the emails I receive from all around the world. I hear it from people who are loosening or losing outright their belief in the words of the Bible because of some inaccurate understanding of what science and logic requires of a reasonable person. I hear it especially from men and from parents of college-age kids reared in the Church who are now surrendering to various degrees of apostasy.
I hear it directly from the young people themselves, who are filled with questions about science and faith and don't know anyone competent and honest enough with whom they can speak about the possibilities of uniting these two unique and seemingly antipodal human gifts, reason and faith. Indeed, in the United States, I'm convinced that if the Church does not awaken to this growing phenomenon it will alienate an entire generation. more >>
"How do You live with it, Lord?"
That's a question I recently asked God in prayer as I thought about all the suffering taking place around the world today, especially as human beings slaughter one another in the most horrific and barbaric ways, including reports of Muslim radicals beheading Christian children.
"Lord, how do You live with so much suffering and pain when you see it and know it all?" more >>
Highlighting that a Baptist church recently canceled one their events due to a swirling controversy over their views on the Bible, Christian couple Michael and Lisa Gungor of the Grammy nominated, Dove award-winning band Gungor affirmed their faith in God Wednesday and insisted that "NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally."
In their most recent explanation of their theological position, Gungor tweeted late Wednesday night: "For those who heard rumblings of apostasy or scandal, we'd like to clear the air. Fundamentalists, 'I'm with you.'"
Included with the tweet was a link to a blog post, titled "I'm With You," from Michael Gungor addressing the ballooning controversy and apologizing to fans who may have been under the impression that they were fundamentalist Christians. more >>