If social psychologists are right about the need for friends, family, and colleagues to sustain a person’s beliefs, then the results from a new Pew survey might give the social justice Christians pause:
Politically conservative Americans are more likely than liberals to find meaning in religion, while liberals find more meaning in creativity and causes than do conservatives. Spirituality and faith are commonly mentioned by very conservative Americans as imbuing their lives with meaning and fulfillment; 38% cite it in response to the open-ended question, compared with just 8% of very liberal Americans – a difference that holds even when controlling for religious affiliation. By contrast, the closed-ended question finds that very liberal Americans are especially likely to derive “a great deal” of meaning from arts or crafts (34%) and social and political causes (30%), compared with rates of 20% and 12% among very conservative Americans.
In other words, the number of believers in the socially concerned world of MeToo, NeverTrump, and BlackLivesMatter is arguably small. It’s a free country and no one is saying that leftists and progressives have to be religious. But if you wind up finding meaning in those circles, you won’t find much encouragement for faith. What is likely the case is that you’ll encounter hostility to faith, especially of a conservative Protestant variety.
Maybe #woke evangelicals can console themselves that they are a niche market and will persevere as a special case of committed believers who are also on the left side of politics. Chances are, though, as other results from Pew suggest, that if these #woke believers remain religious it will not be as evangelical.
Many evangelicals find meaning in faith, while atheists often find it in activities and finances. Spirituality and religious faith are particularly meaningful for evangelical Protestants, 43% of whom mention religion-related topics in the open-ended question. Among members of the historically black Protestant tradition, 32% mention faith and spirituality, as do 18% of mainline Protestants and 16% of Catholics. Evangelical Protestants’ focus on religious faith also emerges in the closed-ended survey: 65% say it provides “a great deal” of meaning in their lives, compared with 36% for the full sample. At the other end of the spectrum, atheists are more likely than Christians to mention finances (37%), and activities and hobbies (32%), including travel (13%), as things that make their lives meaningful. Atheists tend to have relatively high levels of education and income, but these patterns hold even when controlling for socioeconomic status.
11 thoughts on “Why #Woke Christianity Won’t Last”
“The Church should embrace Black Lives Matter because Black Lives Matter is preaching the gospel of life, of hope and of justice better than we are.” https://relevantmagazine.com/reject-apathy/why-church-should-support-blacklivesmatter
@CW “reject apathy”? Who cares!
“very liberal Americans are especially likely to derive “a great deal” of meaning from arts or crafts (34%)”
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I already have relatives (in-laws) who fit this description – a low view of scripture (did God really say, did these miracles really happen, etc.) coupled with a wayward compulsion to satisfy every need of the secular world through the lens of what their pastors tell them – Feed My Starving Children, etc, etc. – as a fulfillment of their calling.
A browse through the publications of disaffected Lutherans from the perverse and unscriptural decisions of the ELCA, for example, reveals that splinter groups like the LCMC and the NLCA left the mainline synod over issues such as “altar” and pulpit fellowship with the Episcopal church or support of gay marriage or clergy, but have not relinquished their adherence to female ordination or a general ecumenism.
You can’t have it both ways; either scripture and the supportive confessions make sense or they don’t. None of this #woke (puke) crap.
Has Old Life considered some kind of give away to the person who accurately predicts the next wind of sedition to which the Gospel Allies attach themselves?
Arts and crafts…those rainbow stoles don’t knit themselves, you know.
George, but Tim Keller’s third way!!
Paul G., not yet. Any ideas?