How many Americans believe in God? Well, if you asked that question back in the 1950s and 60s the answer would be “almost everyone.” But that’s not the case today. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 81% of Americans say that they believe in God. This is the lowest number since 1944, when Gallup first started asking the question. And it’s down six points from the 2013–2017 data when 87% said they believed in God (whatever they mean by God).
Of course, this does not mean that 81% of Americans are Christians—after all, the same study found only half of those who say they believe in God believe God hears our prayers and “can intervene on a person’s behalf.”
So certainly these are not all Christians with a belief in the biblical God (sadly, the vast majority of those who believe in God are actually moralistic therapeutic deists). But it does show a huge shift in our culture with nearly 2 in 10 adults claiming to be atheists (which doesn’t mean they are irreligious—atheism is also a religion).
This fits with what we know about millennials and Generation Z. In fact, Generation Z is said to be the first post-Christian generation.
And it’s worth noting that this shift is largely among American “young people” (the article didn’t define exactly what a “young person” was)—only 68% of young people believe in God. That means that roughly three out of every ten young people you talk to would claim to be an atheist. This fits with what we know about millennials and Generation Z. In fact, Generation Z is said to be the first post-Christian generation.
While this is saddening, it’s certainly not surprising. We live in a day when the religion of secularism (naturalism)—with its belief that there is no God, morality is relative, my happiness is all that matters, and we’re simply the products of evolution—is taught as fact in public schools and through the media. Generations of kids have been indoctrinated with this worldview and, sadly, many of the young people in our churches were never properly discipled at home or in church with apologetics and doctrine to know what they believe and why. So many of them fall away, left with a vague belief in “God” but not the biblical God.
Now today is July 4th, a day when we as Americans celebrate this nation and the freedom we enjoy. So I don’t want to leave you with just these sad statistics about the state of America. I want to remind you of some truth from God’s Word and encourage you not to be discouraged—God is still working his sovereign plan and saving people from every nation, tribe, people, and language. And his primary means of doing that is still you and me obeying his call to make disciples!
Please be encouraged by these Scriptures (and then go and share the gospel with someone today!):
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:11)
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ (Isaiah 46:10)
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3b–4)
I discussed this item today on Answers News with cohosts Dr. Georgia Purdom and Bodie Hodge. Answers News is our twice-weekly news program filmed here at the Creation Museum and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also covered the following topics:
Be sure to join us each Monday and Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET) on my Facebook page or the Answers in Genesis Facebook page for Answers News. You won’t want to miss this unique news program that gives science and culture news from a distinctly biblical and Christian perspective.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
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