I submit that lovelessness in the Church is the root of the problem.
(PRWEB) October 09, 2012
In 2007, Christian apologist and worldview analyst Anthony Horvath put forward the idea that the Christian Church itself was creating atheists, prompting conversation and criticism among both believers and atheists. Today, that contention wouldn't even be regarded as controversial.
A new Pew Forum study released today highlights the realities in their title: "One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation."
According to their site, "The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling."
Horvath is the executive director of Athanatos Christian Ministries, a Christian apologetics ministry. Such organizations are focused on defending the Christian faith, usually on intellectual grounds.
As someone who was briefly an atheist just prior to the great dip in numbers of people reporting being part of a religious organization, his work has coincided with the decade long trend, allowing him a firsthand perspective of the implications of the changes that the Pew Forum has documented.
In response to the report, Horvath says: "Voltaire famously said that within a hundred years, Christianity would be no more. He said that in the 1700s, and of course Christianity is still with us. Bill Nye recently made a similar prediction. He'll be shown wrong, too. Christianity won't die because Christianity is emphatically true. However, there is no question that different regions and time periods have seen a growth or decline in the numbers of Christians within particular areas. The United States, to me, is clearly showing such a decline at present. Everyone sees it. However, what is the real cause?"
His previous suggestion, that the Church itself was creating the decline, should be seen in a larger context, Horvath says. "Yes, the data shows that people are avoiding organized religion, but is it really because they are concerned about churches only caring about money, power, politics, and legalism, as the Pew Forum suggests? No. Those are symptoms."
Horvath has been exploring these symptoms and the causes in an online course offered through his ministry's online apologetics academy titled "The Death of Christianity." In addition to this free course, Horvath has a website by the same name that also lays out his own explanations for the decline--and his proposals for a solution. The website is deathofchristianity.com.
"I submit that lovelessness in the Church is the root of the problem," Horvath says. "That said, I probably mean something different than people expect. Many people hear 'love' and think 'tolerance.' I would be happy if people just stopped for a moment to think through just what exactly 'love' is. It would make for a good start."
Anthony Horvath has appeared on numerous radio programs and given presentations on a number of topics, including the decline of Christianity in America. He is available for interviews at director(at)athanatosministries(dot)org or 202-697-4623.