The latest religious study by the Pew Research Center has made headlines for the past week made headlines touting the “Decline of Christianity continues at a rapid pace.”
But is religion declining or is it that people are taking their faith in a new direction?
The number of US adults identifying as Christians have fallen 12 percentage points over the past decade. In 2019, only 65% of American adults described themselves as Christian, down from 78% ten years earlier.
Within individual Christian denominations, all are seeing an increasing drop in affiliations. At the same time, the numbers described as “nones,” or those who are affiliated with “nothing in particular, atheist or agnostic” make up 26% of US adults.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
–2 Timothy 4:3-4
Humans, by and large, have a spiritual side. While many have abandoned their Christian beliefs, they are filling their spiritual void with other types of beliefs.
Far and away, the New Age Movement has been a significant draw. It originally arose during the 1970s, but has made a strong comeback in recent times, as explained in the book The Second Coming of the New Age, written by Christian authors Josh Peck and Stephen Bancarz.
They provide an in-depth and detailed explanation of all the associated beliefs and practices within the New Age, as well as their association with the occult.
Other types of beliefs are “humanism,” a belief system that emphasizes human-based critical thinking and evidence.
An offshoot of humanism is transhumanism, a belief that through technology we can replace our vital organs, as well as, use technology to improve upon our original parts, and in essence live forever.
Yet another type of belief is a very earth-oriented belief, such as Gaia, the “Mother Earth” goddess. This belief has close ties with environmentalists and those today who are focused on climate change.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,”
–1 Timothy 4:1
The occult is a strong draw that is growing and pulling people away from Christianity, just as the Bible predicts.
As an example, a search today in Amazon bestsellers for books on comparative religion finds only two books on Christianity in the top 20.
However, it was populated by seven books on witchcraft and/or Wicca.
An additional eight books on witchcraft, Wicca or magic are found if you review the top forty.
This serves as an at-a-glance example of the direction people are moving as they move away from Christianity and seek to find an alternative source of spirituality or belief.
Moreover, it is a search for a type of belief where the believer feels empowered. Witchcraft and Wicca are all about creating your own destiny.
There is no need for God because you can use magic to invoke your own godlike powers.