There’s probably some sort of theological joke I should make here, how, after Easter, when most of the disciples saw Jesus, doubting Thomas, who was not present, said, “You’re kidding me!”
The last time Easter was on April 1 was in 1956; no wonder I don’t remember it. But before that, it was in 1945, 1934, and 1923, each eleven years apart. There was another wave in the 19th century: 1888, 1877, 1866, eleven years apart.
After 2018, it’ll happen again in 2029 and 2040. Yup, 11 years. This kind of thing fascinates me.
So why is it that modern Christianity isn’t appealing to more people? Is it that secularism is “winning”?
Or is it that some folks, purporting to lift the Christian banner, foolishly embrace concepts that do not seem to be consistent with Jesus’ teachings of feeding the hungry and welcoming the outcast? Those looking from the outside may think, understandably, “If THAT is Christianity, to hell what that!”
Interesting results of some Pew Research polling in the last couple years:
The term “spiritual but not religious” label applies to a growing share of Americans. And the methodology was fascinating – The survey “asked two separate questions: ‘Do you think of yourself as a religious person, or not?’ and ‘Do you think of yourself as a spiritual person, or not?’ The results presented here are the product of combining responses to those two questions.”
A growing share of Americans say it’s not necessary to believe in God to be moral. Interestingly, “attitudes about the necessity of belief in God for morality have also changed among those who do identify with a religion.”
And the vast majority of these religious “nones” (78%) say they were raised as a member of a particular religion before shedding their religious identity in adulthood. “One-in-five express an opposition to organized religion in general. This share includes some who do not like the hierarchical nature of religious groups, several people who think religion is too much like a business and others who mention clergy sexual abuse scandals as reasons for their stance.”
Having gone about 360 degrees in my own religious quest – no, that’s not correct, since I didn’t end up in the same place as I started – I understand more than most the feelings of those who believe in God and those who don’t.
I DO wish each side could find a way to hear the other’s point of view. But perhaps that’s my own foolishness.