As Americans celebrate July 4th on Thursday this week and remember our separation from Great Britain, I’ll actually be in England. That should be a strange experience, thinking of the Declaration of Independence while in the country we fought to achieve our freedoms. (See special letter above for more information about this mission, LIBERATE LONDON!) But losing America didn’t end the British Empire. Until WWII devastated England, that Emerald Isle was home to the most powerful country on earth. And one of the most religious. Not so today. As I point out in my letter, less than 10% of people in England go to church, compared to more than 30% declared atheists. There are more followers of witchcraft than evangelical Christians. With the Church of England (Anglicans, Episcopalians to Americans) as the state religion, out of 62 million U. K. citizens, only about a million Anglicans ever attend religious services. Commensurately, the fall of religion has accompanied the decline of England as a leading world power. That’s not a good portent for America. While our weekly attendance at church is said to hover slightly under 50%, that may not be the case. According to a study by the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, an actual head count reveals that only 17.7% of Orthodox Christians (Catholic, mainline, and evangelical) show up on any given weekend.This finding is backed by The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion headed by two prominent sociologists. Why the discrepancy in findings? Researchers call it the “halo effect,” the difference between what people tell pollsters and what they actually do. Out of guilt, Americans over-report their interest in religion.
The answer? 1 Corinthians 1:18 says that, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” That’s the problem. In America we’re good at getting out the message (books, TV programs, radio shows, conferences, etc.) but fail to emphasize the power of the Gospel. Deliverance does that and until we get back to the one miracle that compelled the Early Church – casting out demons — our decline will continue. As England has gone, I fear America will also go unless there is a drastic change in attitudes toward the signs and wonders of God.