Christians are being encouraged to display ‘salt and light,’ and be a positive influence on the world.
Evangelical church attendance has dropped precipitously since the beginning of the pandemic, and many people who dropped out of church have not returned.
According to research conducted by the Arizona Christian University (ACU) Cultural Research Center, Bible reading has also decreased, with fewer people reading the Bible outside of church events. Even those who consider themselves Christian have continued to decline in numbers, and there has been a significant decline in church attendance over the last six years.
“For a nation that used to have more than nine out of ten of its adults who at least claim to be Christian, now down to two out of three, that’s something that we need to pay attention to,” George Barna, Director of Research at the ACU Cultural Research Center, told CBN News.
“Evangelical churches are losing their theological distinctives as far as the public is concerned now one Christian Church is pretty much the same as any other.”
Theological distinctives refer to the unique beliefs and doctrines that distinguish one Christian denomination or tradition from another. Barna suggests that evangelical churches are losing their theological distinctives as far as the public is concerned, meaning that they are becoming less distinguishable from other Christian churches in terms of their beliefs and doctrines.
“When you look to that group of people in our nation who can stand up biblically against many of the unusual bizarre, immoral changes that are being proposed in public policy that are being taught in our public schools that parents are wrestling with – they’re trying to figure out how to raise their children in all of these areas – we’re finding fewer and fewer people who embrace biblical perspectives.”
So what can be done to arrest the decline in evangelical church attendance?
Barna uses the term “salt and light” to encourage Christians to be a positive influence in the world and to defend biblical perspectives in the public square.
The term “salt and light” is a biblical metaphor used by Jesus in the New Testament. In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells his followers that they are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”
Salt refers to the preserving and purifying influence that Christians should have on the world, while the metaphor of light refers to the illuminating and guiding influence that Christians should have on the world.
“It’s one of those situations I think where all of us need to sit back and say wow, am I part of the problem or part of the solution?” said Barna. “If I’m part of the solution, how committed am I to being out there in the marketplace being that Solution on a daily basis.”
Watch the full interview below: