I taught Research and Methodology for the Social Sciences at West Point in the 80s. Stats for students who are afraid of numbers, but need to learn how to use them. I told my classes that I hated stats. They gasped in surprise. I added, “You must learn statistics so you can screw your enemies to the wall.” They liked that and grinned.
The Pew Report had some hard numbers (absolute changes) and many per centages. The absolute numbers interest me more.
The reference number – the one to remember – is the increase of 18 million adults between 2007 and 2014. 18 million in 7 years. That’s interesting enough just to figure out who these 18m are by demographics and states. Not in the report.
19 million more Americans call themselves ‘None’ – not affliated and not Christian. That’s a lot of cultural Christians not feeling any moral suasion or other reason to merely claim to be Christian – regardless of what they believe or do. It includes some people losing their Christian faith – but the traffic goes the other way too – a number to be shown below.
There are twice as many Muslims in 2014, as a per cent of the population, as 2007. The hard numbers weren’t in the report. About .9 of a per cent of America is Muslim. That is a doubling in 7 years.
About 1.9% of America is Jewish. That per cent has changed little. Twice as many Jews as Muslims as a per cent of the U.S.
Black Protestants in black churches stayed about the same in numbers.
There are 3 million fewer Catholics in the U.S. Despite heavy Hispanic immigration.
There are between 3 to 7.3 million fewer Mainline Protestants. Based on their embrace of homosexual marriage, I refer to them as Sissy Christians.
There are between 2 to 5 million MORE Evangelical Protestants. MORE. There are MORE Southern Baptists, Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Lutheran Missouri Synod, Presbyterian Church of America and non-denominational independent churches. The report said it’s more likely to be 5m MORE. MORE Evangelical Christians.
5m more Evangelicals vs. 19m more ‘Nones’. If we – Evangelicals – had helped 7m of the new Nones convert, then we’d be even in growth. Not that numbers are everything. We win, because sooner or later the Lord God of the Bible wins. Yet, clearly, the fields are white for the harvest.
For every one person getting religion, four persons lose it or their profession of whatever they had.
For every 1.0 persons leaving an Evangelical church, like folks out West leaving the Southern Baptists, 1.2 come in the front door as converts. We’re gaining. We need to gain a lot more.
Our Evangelical families have a fertility rate of 2.3. Not great, but gaining. We need to have a lot more babies – even though we don’t have infant baptism.
So, one million more Americans became ‘Nones’ than were added to the adult population.
Evangelical Protestants grew by about 5m. Five million is good. A full 5 plus 19 = 23 million would be better. What a great opportunity we have to share the Good News of Lord Jesus Christ here in America.
Let’s do it.