There was a report on the CBS program Sunday Morning that a survey concluded 20 percent of Americans, one in five, claim they have no religious affiliation whatsoever.
I can believe this, given the decline of Christian values I've observed in the American culture and the accompanying rejection of God having a place in our politically correct society. In this observation the problem is we have become too comfortable, too prosperous, too enamored with our own individual freedom. What need is there for "religious affiliation" when things are going so comparatively well?
Thus it has ever been in the written history of God's dealings with His children. Things go well, we drift from Him. Because we feel no reliance on Him, being God He allows us to go our own way. Going our own way leads inevitably to trouble. Trouble leads inevitably to crying out to God, which leads inevitably to His comfort and reassurance.
We saw this crying out on 9-11. Whatever was said about why God would allow this horror, the churches opened and were filled. In the face of the ungodliness of man, very few claimed to have no religious affiliation.
This week before Christmas, 20 families in a town we'd never heard of will bury their babies. There may be someone with answers to questions about why God would allow this, I do not. What I do know is that when the local church doors opened that night of horrors the people coming to seek Him and His comfort could not all be fitted into the building. In the face of the ungodliness of man, very few claimed to have no religious affiliation.
Somehow, being human, we need something bad to draw our attention back to God; to remind mankind we really do need "religious affiliation".
And so we are challenged this week before Christmas: In our comfort, and convenience, and Christmas cheer could we ourselves not seek God with the same veracity as will those 20 families in that town we'd never heard of? Or, ignoring such a challenge as God's people so often do, have we condemned ourselves to waiting for the next 20?