My 1998 edition of the New York Public Library Desk Reference tells me there were 60 million Roman Catholics in America a few years ago. It adds that there were some 83 millions associated with "Protestant" churches that same year. The estimated U.S. population in 1995 was 262.7 million. Some 54 percent of Americas considered themselves to be Christians then, leading a number of politicians and journalists to declare that America is a Christian nation.
In July of 2001, the U.SA. Census Bureau estimated our nation's total population to be: 293,655,404, of which 220,377,406 were 18 years of age or older. Another survey put the over-21 population at 207,882,353.
How many of those millions of estimated Americans were Catholic? That is a question that only God can answer. As I Googled for data, I encountered a variety of figures, none of which can be confirmed. For this paper, I have chosen to use data provided by agencies I consider reliable.
A survey conducted in 2001 estimated that 76.5% of over-21 Americans considered themselves to be Christians. Catholics constituted 24.5% of the adult population. [ Largest Religious Groups in the United States of America, © 2005 by Adherents.com]
According to the study, only 48% of adult Catholics attended church at least once weekly, which is one of the commandments of the Catholic Church.
Another report offers more recent data on America's Catholics:
Is America a Christian nation? The survey results suggest that it is.
Would a Christian nation ban God from our schools, courts and state legislatures?
Would a Christian nation legalize the murder of unborn children?
Would a Christian nation legitimize same-sex marriages?
Would a Christian nation be more concerned for the welfare of spotted owls, whooping cranes, fountain darters and other "endangered species" of animals than for human beings suffering the sequelae of abject poverty?
Would a Christian nation tolerate false prophets and false teachers, especially in the media?
Would a Christian nation support heathen efforts to take Canaan from the Jews and restore it to the Pagans God took it from in the first place?
These are but a few questions those who consider themselves to be Christians should be asking themselves.
Do YOU believe America is a Christian nation?
There is a huge difference -- and eternal difference -- between professing Christianity and being a follower of Christ. In these days, when media evangelists preach salvation by putting one's hands on the TV set, or sending a "love" offering, God seems to be have been set aside and Christ ignored by many who claim to follow Him. Overt acts of piety appear to be more important than inner spirituality, as though earning the approbation of men were more important than pleasing God.
According to the latest edition of the CIA World Factbook (updated May 15, 2008), there are about 304 million souls living in America. Of these about 51% are said to be Protestant; 24% Catholic, about 10% other religions and 12% have no religious preference and 4% have no religion. If those figures are accurate, then there are some 73 million Roman Catholics in America -- about one for every 4.2 Americans. When's the last time a Roman Catholic stopped you at the mall and spoke to you of Christ? One source of religious information informs that, at the turn of the century, Baptists represented the largest Protestant group in America numbering about 33 million. There are a lot of "flavors" of Baptist, but they all once were noteworthy for their zeal for evangelizing. Has a Baptist knocked on your door lately?
We live in an age of couch potato religion. Sometimes, it seems the only evangelizing being done - other than Mormon, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. - is on cable TV and AM radio. Many involved in that are preaching a strange gospel often linked to donations and "love" offerings.
This study is intended to be a wakeup call for all of us who love Jesus and are trying to walk in His footsteps. Wouldn't America be wonderfully changed if every believer were to devote as much time and energy to sharing the Gospel as some do in defending or attacking Bible versions? Wouldn't the world be changed if every believer were to hold to a biblically sound personal theology instead of a denominational theology? How much would change if every professing Christian were to prayerfully read the Scriptures and strive to live by them?
Many believers, it seems, are caught up in the subtle seductiveness of ecumenicalism. They want to love everybody and to call everyone "brother." They swarm to walk behind "Christian" leaders who urge them to join in ecumenical union without regard to doctrine. They flock to pop psychology movements to hold hands with pagans and unbelievers and make public promises to be good men or to experience God. And when they join in ecumenical embrace, they aren't even aware of the goal of the program they espouse, which is to place everyone under the control of a false prophet.
How many Christians, true Christians, are willing to stand on the Gospel and defend their faith against heathen attack? How many are willing to intervene when they see a new brother or sister being wooed by a cult? Do YOU confront error when you encounter it? or do you stand quietly by because you don't want to be accused of being judgmental? Was Christ judgmental? You darned tootin' He was. Was Paul judgmental? You bet your boots he was. Are we to be judgmental? Yes, we are, for we are called to not cast pearls (the Gospel) before swine (Mat. 7:6), to come out and be separate from unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:15-19) and to reject heretics (Titus 3:9-10) How can we do that if we don't judge? Are we not told in Scriptures that we judge all things, yet are not judged by any?
And so we don't judge, lest we be criticized by self-righteous others. We fail to serve God because we don't wish to offend others or to be labeled as judgmental.
God help us to know and do His will.
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