TELL ME IT ISN'T SO
Pew Research Center: Decline of Christianity in U.S. Continues at Rapid Pace - An update on America's changing religious landscape. October 2019
The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.
It is being reported that, contrary to current practices, Jesus, also known as the Son of Man, says He did "not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many".
This breaking news seems to run contrary to the practices of many contemporary religious experts, religious denominations and theologian's practices.
While the great majority of Christian leaders, teachers, preachers and pastors apparently agree in principal with the teaching and practices of Jesus, their personal lives and business practices, say something quite different.
We present the following examples, as evidence.
One recent survey titled, "Most Famous living American Pastors", wouldn't draw particular attention except for Jesus' ability to draw astounding crowds, despite His attempts at "making himself of no reputation, and taking upon him the form of a servant, who was made in the likeness of men" which is in stark contrast with contemporary Christian leaders, teachers, preachers and pastors.
Additionally, although Jesus travels extensively throughout Jerusalem and the surrounding territories, He is reported to have claimed that He has no special financing for His traveland frequent speaking engagements. He even claims He has no permanent residence. He has been heard saying that even the birds of the air have nests and the foxes of the ground have lairs, but that He has not place to lay His Head, which seems an odd way to explain His circumstance.
In contrast, Five of the most Famous living Christian preachers practices seem to go against the trend set by Jesus.
1. The list is headed by Joel Osteen. His financial wealth comes from Royalties from book sales, radio show, public speaking fees, and church collection reportedly generate $55 million per year. He and his wife, co-pastor Victoria Osteen, live with their two kids in a $10.5 million mansion in the Houston suburbs. Osteen’s net worth is reported as $40 million.
2. Pat Robertson is listed in the 2nd spot. Televangelist Pat Robertson is a Southern Baptist with a charismatic ideology. In 1960, he founded Christian Broadcasting Network, which now broadcasts shows in 180 countries in 71 languages. The flagship show, The 700 Club, airs daily, featuring news, live guests, music, and testimony oriented around the Christian lifestyle.
In addition to his TV network, Robertson, founded the Christian Coalition, a Christian Right organization that raises money for conservative political candidates. He is also founder, CEO, and chancellor of Regent University. Robertson’s net worth is reported as $100 million.
3. Listed as the third most famous is Joyce Meyer. In 2004, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article listed her and her husband’s assets, which were reportedly all paid for by her ministry. They included her $10 million jet and several million-dollar homes, as well as a $107,000 silver Mercedes. She has a net worth of $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
4. Rick Warren is listed high on the popularity list. Warren, 63, and his wife Kay Warren live on 10 percent of their income and donate the rest to charity. “I drive a 12-year-old Ford, have lived in the same house for the last 22 years, bought my watch at Wal-Mart, and I don’t own a boat or a jet,” Warren told Forbes. Sounds like Rick knows people are watching. So he does the right public thing, but he can afford it because his net worth is $25 million, as reported by Celebrity Net Worth.
5. Although he didn't make the top five in popularity, Creflo Dollar is listed as the 5th richest pastor. As his last name suggests, televangelist Creflo Dollar has amassed some riches – and he has the possessions to prove it. Dollar is an American Word of Faith teacher, pastor, and founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International, based in Fulton County, Georgia. In 2007, he had a congregation of 30,000 as well as $69 million in cash collection revenue. Dollar preaches his philosophy that “it is the will of God for you to prosper in every way.”
Dollar has a reported net worth of $27 million. He has been criticized for his lifestyle and possessions, including two Rolls-Royce cars, a private jet, and million-dollar homes in Atlanta and Manhattan.
When asked about these breaking stories, some of Jesus' disciples said, "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
And as we comment earlier, Jesus also said "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
When asked, a former antagonist of Jesus, one Paul of Tarsus, a former lawyer, remarked that "Although God, Jesus made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men".
In an earlier article, a Hebrew named Isaiah, reputed to be a 'prophet', wrote that, "Jesus was not much to look at, and when you see him, there nothing attractive about Him so that you should like him." In fact, "He is pretty much despised and rejected by most; He is a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: he is despised, and most have no esteem for him."
Jesus, when asked how He expected others to respond to His message, He said, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
But when the people heard this statement, most, "sadly went away; because most Americans own property."
In remarks to His followers, after this and other interviews, Jesus reportedly told to His disciples, "I'll tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, and I know it sound like an exaggeration, but, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
It is further reported that when His followers heard this, they were very astonished and said, "Then who can be saved?"
Jesus answered them directly saying, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
One of His more outspoken followers, a man named Peter, asked Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?", whereupon, Jesus said "I am telling you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." This reporter and wells as many present did not understand His reference.
Jesus continued, however, by saying that "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. And, many who are first will be last; and the last, first." Again, a mysterious remark by a controversial Man.
Jesus finished this interview by way of a strange invitation to those listening, "All of you who are weary and heavy-laden, come to Me and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
And, The Decline of Christianity in U.S. Continues at Rapid Pace.
Folks, it is past time we come together as THE BODY OF CHRIST outside the confines of the 501(c)(3) church and shake things up in the Name of and by the Blood of Jesus, wouldn't you agree?
Please accept this invitation, we need you. This world needs Jesus.
Your Brother and Co-laborer