How has the body of Christ become so divided in the arena of politics? Don't we worship the same God – Jesus? Don't we believe that He is the source of morality? How could a nation founded on Judeo-Christian ethics be worse off in race relations in 2016? I'm afraid the answer is no longer a cliché. Overwhelmingly, Americans are choosing their government over their god. Truth has become relative and largely based on one's own experience rather than objective reality. The political party one affiliates with has become to many not only what determines your value system, but also the source of one's hope.
In a column published last week in The Atlantic entitled "The Surprising Reason Why More Americans Aren't Going to Church," the columnist explained that although America is still overwhelmingly religious, with 40 percent claiming to pray daily or weekly, "Americans are less likely to attend services or identify with a religious group than they have at any time in recent memory." Today, churches aren't the epicenter of social and cultural life as they were 50 years ago. However, a Pew research survey conducted recently showed that although Americans as a whole are attending church and worship services less, ironically, many people are actually going more. This gives me hope for America tomorrow.
Nonetheless, these are the three primary reasons listed in the column as to why more Americans are avoiding religious institutions: 1) logistics are the biggest obstacle of regular church attendance; 2) many simply have a mistrust for religious institutions; 3) others claim they're too busy and lazy, and would rather do other things with their time off. With religion, particularly Christianity, under assault in media and academia as well, it's no wonder many Americans no longer view church attendance as their primary source for spiritual nourishment and enlightenment.
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I contend that although the column was very thorough in its research, it missed a major factor as to why fewer Americans feel compelled to attend church services – politics! That's right! I believe many people today derive and shape their moral opinions largely based on which political party they vote for.
Consider our two major party presidential choices. If you're honest with yourself, both of them are morally decadent people. The only argument that can be legitimately made against the other is "at least my candidate isn't as corrupt as yours."
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For the sake of this column, let's consider former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. How is it that she can find a single voter in light of the obvious pay-for-play scandals, Benghazi and despite the fact she's so disliked, even amongst her own party? Well, in spite of her personal corruption, her constituents find morality in what she represents – the Democratic Party. Democrats, whether knowingly or not, derive their sense of morality largely based on issues they're convinced they're voting for. Issues such as abortion, gay rights, wealth confiscation and redistribution, censorship of Christians, big-government education, rights for illegal immigrants, and anti-war rhetoric don't just make them feel good. They makes them feel more moral than you and I. Therefore, God is replaced with a party platform. I mean, who needs that silly thing called a Bible?
Likewise, Trump supporters are salivating at the mouth to coerce Democrats and disagreeable Republicans into submission if they refuse to back the left-leaning and deeply flawed Republican nominee. Why? Because they want to make "America moral again," and they believe Trump is the man, with all of his bravado, to do just that by being the antithesis to the Democratic Party platform. Don't get me wrong, the Democratic platform is worth fighting against. It's morally bankrupt! But, I realize that not because I'm affiliated with a major political party, but because I know a great God!
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The bottom line is this: If America is truly going to be great again, perhaps those of us that do attend worship services regularly should spend more time chasing souls rather than chasing votes.
Media wishing to interview Carl Jackson, please contact [email protected].