An Appeal To The “Nones”

October 25, 2016

An Appeal To The Nones

Who are “the nones?” you may ask. If you were asked the question, “What is your religious preference?” and you responded by saying “none” then you are one of “the nones.” The following statistics are cited from the November 2016 issue of the Newsmax Magazine

“According to a massive 2014 Pew Research Center study of 35,000 people, the percentage of Americans who identified themselves as Christians between 2007 and 2014 dropped from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent. During that same 7 year span, those who claimed no religious affiliation, the “nones” jumped from 16.1 percent to 22.8 percent.” Page 53

There are several reasons why people might answer the question, “What is your religious preference?” by saying “none.” There are some Christians who say they are non-denominational Christians. If they were asked that question they might have inadvertently said “none.” If so, they were placed among the “nones.” If you are non-denominational it might be better to answer the question by saying that you are a non-denominational Christian. Even if you did, the one asking the question maybe wanted to put you in an envelope and there wasn’t any with that label so they just put you among the “nones.”

It is unfortunate, but millions of Americans have been indoctrinated with secularism. That philosophy teaches that we should reject the supernatural and all transcendent absolutes. They say that religion is contrary to the scientific method and an obstruction to progress. If that philosophy is accepted it gives people reason to reject religion. Humanism is another philosophy that is taught. It teaches that men are capable of solving all problems without the help of God.

Many are among the “nones” because they have left God out of their life. Either they don’t believe God exists, or if they do, they have relegated him to a place of insignificance. You may think you have nothing to lose by leaving God out of your life. Oh, but you do. Practicing Christians don’t go through all the grief that unbelievers do. They have a peace that passes understanding and a glorious hope for the future. They have a life style that doesn’t cause conflicts in their life or hurt those around them. If you don’t see any need of being identified with a religious group you need to reconsider.

It might be that you have been turned off by what you have seen in religious groups or religious people. It is unfortunate that there are many who call themselves Christians and are identified with some church group, but there is little difference between the way they live and the life style of those who make no pretense of being religious. There is a profound difference between genuine Christians and so called religious people.

At best, Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship. It is a relationship with the God of the universe. It transforms their way of thinking and the way they live. The Apostle Paul put it into words when he said in II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Religion is a belief system. Many religious people are not well informed about the beliefs of their religion, and even if they are, they don’t let their beliefs have much impact on the way they life.

You may have good reason for being among the ‘nones.” but there is good reason why you should be among those who have a personal relationship with God. It will give purpose and direction in your life and will change your destiny for all eternity.

You can’t have a personal relationship with God without recognizing that you have been wrong in your attitudes and actions. It isn’t just a matter of joining a church. It begins by repenting of the wrong you have done and asking God to forgive you. God can and will forgive you on the basis of the sacrifice Christ made for sinners when he died on the cross. John 1:12 says that we can become a child of God by receiving Christ. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” That means we receive Christ as our substitute. He died in our place. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that we are saved. That means to be rescued from the awful condemnation that we deserve. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It is by the grace of God. That means God’s unmerited favor. Then, verse 10 of that chapter says that we start producing good works because God begins to do his work in us.

It is God’s plan and desire that all his people be in a local church. We learn that from Acts 2:41. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Every Christian needs to be a member of a local church and attend regularly. It will enable you to grow spiritually and keep you faithful in living the Christian life. Hebrews 10:25 says “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

You need to seek out a church that teaches and practices what the Bible teaches. You may need to travel some distance to be in a good church. Some say “The difference is worth the distance.”

If some time in the past you were placed among the “nones” you may not be able to get out of that category. Don’t worry about it. If you are now a genuine Christian you need to live in such a way that you don’t leave anyone in doubt about what category you are in.

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