New York Times: "It's Getting Harder To Talk About God" (Photo: Pexels)


Oct 29, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall

New York Times: "It's Getting Harder To Talk About God"

In a thoughtful editorial for the New York Times, author Jonathan Merritt lamented that although more than 70 percent of Americans identify as Christian, it has become increasingly harder for them to talk about God in public or private. "An overwhelming majority of people say that they don’t feel comfortable speaking about faith, most of the time," and it has resulted in disastrous societal consequences.

With the help of The Barna Group, a polling firm focused on religion in society, Merritt conducted a survey of 1,000 American adults. "This study revealed that most Americans — more than three-quarters, actually — do not often have spiritual or religious conversations," he said.

"More than one-fifth of respondents admit they have not had a spiritual conversation at all in the past year," the results revealed. "Six in 10 say they had a spiritual conversation only on rare occasions — either 'once or twice' (29 percent) or 'several times' (29 percent) in the past year. A paltry 7 percent of Americans say they talk about spiritual matters regularly."

Even practicing Christians who attend church regularly aren't doing so well in the "spiritual conversation" department, with just 13% having one around once a week.

"Nearly every New Testament author speaks about the power of spiritual speech, and Jesus final command to his disciples was to go into the world and spread his teachings," Merritt contends. "You cannot be a Christian in a vacuum."

In part, Christians are responsible for the decline of their own language, Merritt suggests: "That toothy televangelist keeps using spiritual language to call for donations to buy a second jet. The politician keeps using spiritual language to push unjust legislation. The street preacher keeps using spiritual language to peddle the fear of a fiery hell."

"They can dominate the conversation because we’ve stopped speaking God," he adds. "In our effort to avoid contributing to the problem, we can actually worsen it."

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