Who Attends Church And How Often?

We are told America is no longer a Christian nation.  However, the Gallup Poll tells us that out of a poll of 800,000, 78% claim to be a Christian.  However, only 43% say they attend regularly or weekly.  We realize that many are not honest when they are polled but we still believe more than 50% of Americans believe they are Christians.

The poll reported that 43% of Americans attend weekly.  Those living in Mississippi, 63% attend church weekly whereas; only 23% attend in Vermont.  Nevada’s attendance is 46th in the nation at 30%.    The three west coast states and Nevada plus the northeastern states attendance is the worst.  Those who do attend 55% are conservatives and 27% are liberals. Ten percent more females attend church than males.     Those who are 65 and older, 53% attend and those 18 to 29 only 35% are church goers. It is believed that the closer one gets to death makes a person think a life change may be necessary.

Our churches, on an average weekend, have more than 1.5% of Las Vegas’ areas total population attend. On special occasions almost 2.5% are in attendance at one of our six related churches or satellites.  As the city grew so did our attendance.

Approximately 80% of Americans believe in heaven and 70% believe there is a hell.  The more educated and the wealthier, the less they feel a need to be church goers or believers in either God or life after death.  The 70% who believe in hell also believe in a devil.  Some believe hell is fire and brimstone and others believe hell is being without God and heaven.  Of those believing in a heaven 77% believe they are going there.  Why would 23% of those believing in a heaven and also believing in a hell not want to make preparations to be assured of going to heaven?  It would be like believing possibly many of those attending church, at least sometimes, need to make a commitment.  In case you may be wondering this may be why preachers offer prayers of acceptance to those having never asked for forgiveness and repented.

A number of years ago at a retreat a Ph.D in Theology shared with us that in most churches only about 20% of those in attendance make up the core of the church.  They tithe, play an active role in the church and they can be counted on when needed.  Then there are many who attend but are not truly committed as Christ teaches and it appears many do not live holy lives. If God or His Spirit commands them to do something they will ignore Him. They continue to do things they know God would not approve. They do not realize that sin causes negative consequences and if they do, they do not care.  If this is true, what does that mean?  It is like polls may say, more than 80% of Americans believe in God but how many have a personal relationship with Him and live holy lives?

What about the many, if we can believe statistics, who attend church who never get serious about living a holy life?  Do we take Scripture seriously that says: “Anyone who refuses to live by these rules (living a holy life) is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you”?  My concern is: are we allowing Christians to assume they are saved because they accept Christ but never followed through in allowing their lives to be spiritually changed?  We then have to ask, are we talking about working our way to heaven or are we saved by grace?  James tells us faith without works is dead. By our deeds we will be judged.  Therefore, is it not necessary to live holy lives?

How do we interpret 1 John 2:15? – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Doesn’t that put a limit on how we are to live? Will the Holy Spirit be in the life of a person who does not have the love of the Father in them to live by His will?

I believe most Christians will agree we will be judged by our heart, our attitude, our relationship with God and our love for others.  It is my belief that we will see many in heaven that we do not expect and maybe more who we would expect, but will not be there.  There is only one judge and that is Jesus Christ.  But shouldn’t every Christian be taught what the rules are that we must live by or is that called meddling? Many new Christians have absolutely no idea what living a holy life means.  But, if the Holy Spirit is truly in them, their lives will progressively change because they will be sensitive to His leading.  If not, chances are there will be little or no change and they will continue to live as the world lives ignoring 1 John 2:15.

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2 Comments

  1. Fascinating take on this subject, mind if I reference this on my blog?

    Reply

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