America is continuing its slide into a mock-European secular culture.
Fox News reports that Protestants are no longer dominant in the U.S. According to the article, the two primary reasons are a surge in citizens who are “non-denominational” and who are “non-religious.”
The non-religious group is a minority of the population, even though they wield tremendous influence in relation to their numbers, but it is the non-denominational movement that is doing the greatest damage.
A Christian denomination is religion organized and organized Christianity has been falling into ill repute. I have argued that it is because Christians no longer believe they have the final answer in the search for truth in this world and the church is in full retreat from secular aggression:
The motivation for such a movement is fear. A shift from above ground Christianity in churches towards an underground Christianity in homes is a retreat from lost fields of ideological battle. A secular world based exclusively on humanist sciences for knowledge will eventually be hostile to the church. Persecution would be guaranteed for a Christianity that organized and rose up and stood against the establishment. An underground Christianity, without church or religion, would avoid that persecution. In the past, Christians went underground to avoid persecution and history is repeating itself.
Also, the church is viewed not from the established wisdom of adulthood, but from the whimsical weakness of perpetual adolescence.
Having an organized traditional Christianity that transcends generations is vital for religious freedom. A non-denominational church is not in a position to oppose secular encroachment. It can entertain the restless young and spread a joyful and empty message of “love” but it is a sandcastle against the waves of anti-Christian confidence.
Those who are in need of freedom must first organize in order to lay the foundation for their stance against whatever they want to oppose. When a group deliberately decides not to organize, then it is deliberately taken steps to undermine its own strength. The only two rational reasons for moving from an organized state to a disorganized state is either the group believes there is no longer a threat requiring organizing (utopian delusion) or the group believes itself defeated and has moved into an underground survival mode (end times obsession).
Some might argue that Biblically, organized religion is a bad thing, that the early church was not organized. Yet Paul passed down a common creed (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3-7) and his entire epistle to the Romans was an organized presentation of the Christian faith. The early church fathers were collecting the writings of the apostles and working to sift out counterfeit ideas. They understood that in the face of persecution, they needed to get organized to defend the truth.
Protestantism and its major denominations, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist (there are others besides these), were all based on the work of Christian forefathers doing the work of organizing the faith and using that organization to preserve the truth. The creeds and confessions and traditions as well as writings of prominent thinkers like Martin Luther and John Calvin gave the church an organized structure of thought from which to build and expand in the world. This foundation allowed the Protestant church (much like the Roman Catholic Church) to endure the political instabilities of the European monarchs and influenced the thinking of Christians in the colonies that would become the United States.
To undermine Protestantism with the blandness of non-denominational religion is to guarantee that religious freedom will fail in the United States. The only other hope is the strength of the Catholic Church, whose towering organization has allowed it to endure as a preserver of the Christian faith for countless generations. If Protestanism should completely fail, Catholicism may see a stark increase in its ranks as searchers look for a new home while their old home burns.