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America headed for “310 million people with 310 million religions” September 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.

My friend Steve B apprised me of this article at USA Today, which shows that religion in America continues to fragment and splinter, with mainline protestant sects declining and a seemingly infinite number of ‘evangelical’ churches sprining up in their place.  The main reason for this seems to be the tailoring of Christianity to suit exactly what each individual wants:

The folks who make up God as they go are side-by-side with self-proclaimed believers who claim the Christian label but shed their ties to traditional beliefs and practices. Religion statistics expert George Barna says, with a wry hint of exaggeration, America is headed for “310 million people with 310 million religions.”

“We are a designer society. We want everything customized to our personal needs — our clothing, our food, our education,” he says. Now it’s our religion. [It’s also the predictable end result of the infection of modernism and it’s indispensible twin, religious indifferentism, in our society.  Modernism says the only truth that matters is the “truth” that matters to you.  We don’t know what Truth is anymore.  It’s amazing how many people think they REALLY REALLY KNOW Christianity, and then you scratch the surface and they know nothing]

Barna’s new book on U.S. Christians, Futurecast, tracks changes from 1991 to 2011, in annual national surveys of 1,000 to 1,600 U.S. adults. All the major trend lines of religious belief and behavior he measured ran downward — except two.

More people claim they have accepted Jesus as their savior and expect to go to heaven. [‘once saved always saved’ is one of the vilest heresies ever visited on ostensibly believing Christians.  More on this later] 

And more say they haven’t been to church in the past six months except for special occasions such as weddings or funerals. In 1991, 24% were “unchurched.” Today, it’s 37% . [Wow.  More than a third]

Barna blames pastors for those oddly contradictory findings. Everyone hears, “Jesus is the answer. Embrace him. Say this little Sinners Prayer and keep coming back. It doesn’t work. People end up bored, burned out and empty,” he says. “They look at church and wonder, ‘Jesus died for this?'” [Again, the reductionism of Christianity – it’s just a way to get a cosmic goodie bag when I die.  But the evangelical protestant way, it’s ethos, is a vehicle for people exiting Christianity, by and large, not coming in.  The fervor and emotionalism is not sustainable.  It lacks the dying to self, interior life, and commitment of the will that engenders true faith, not bare emotionalism]

The consequence, Barna says, is that, for every subgroup of religion, race, gender, age and region of the country, the important markers of religious connection are fracturing.

When he measures people by their belief in seven essential doctrines, defined by the National Association of Evangelicals’ Statement of Faith, only 7% of those surveyed qualified.

Barna laments, “People say, ‘I believe in God. I believe the Bible is a good book. And then I believe whatever I want.'”……….

……….Sheila says: “I can’t remember the last time I went to church. My faith has carried me a long way. It’s Sheilaism. Just my own little voice. … It’s just try to love yourself and be gentle with yourself. [This Shiela is heavily influenced by new age rhetoric] You know, I guess, take care of each other. I think God would want us to take care of each other.” [I found this incredibly surface depiction of religion repeated frequently by the friends of the ‘Catholic ramadan fasting girl’

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12).  This phenomenon described above affects the Church to a sad degree, too, of course.  Far too many Catholics want a ‘pick and choose’ religion.  When they hear Jesus say “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6),” they ask, like Pilate, “What is truth? (Jn 18:38)”   Fundamentally, its about not submitting oneself to the yoke of Christ, but continuing to serve the world (and self) first. 

So  many Saints indicate that the vast majority of humanity is lost, that they are damned.  St. Louis de Montfort saw the fates of every person who died on a particular day in the entire world – out of tens of thousands who died, 1 went to Heaven and 4 to Purgatory.  The great Carmelite Saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross despaired that even a handful of humanity would be saved.  The Bible is full of types.  A type is an Old Testament precursor to a New Testament event.  The Exodus from Egypt and travel to the Promised Land is a type of our life on earth and our hope for our heavenly home.  The Jews had the manna in the desert which came down from Heaven, we have the Real Bread which comes down from Heaven and is True Food indeed.  How many Jews left Egypt?  Six hundred thousand.  600,000.  How many arrived in Israel?  Two.  Not Two hundred thousand, not two thousand, 2.  And that is a type for our salvation.  But everyone expects to be saved.  

 Cling to the See of Peter, cling to the established Doctine of the Faith, receive the Sacraments frequently, perform regular examinations of conscience, and practice the virtues to the best of your ability.  Make your Faith in Christ Jesus and His Church an irrevocable act of the will.  Make your practice of the Faith the most important aspect of your life, by far.  All of the above is predicated on being sent the Grace to be drawn to Christ, so strive always to remain in a state of Grace.  If you do all the above, you should be in pretty good shape when your particular judgment arrives.  Forsake them, and you are dependent entirely on God’s Mercy. 

May God have mercy on us all.

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