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On the State of Modern Christianity



Is Christianity still relevant?

In our modern lives, we spend a lot of time reacting to what is right in front of us, and sometimes it’s healthy to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Ben Stuart brings us a hopeful message that shows that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus still have an impact on the world today.

Key Takeaway

Statistically speaking, Jesus is better for you and has done more good for the world than any other human on the planet. It's time to get to know Him, pursue Him, and take Him seriously.

Increasingly we are told that in the world there is less Christianity, less prayer, and less gathering together for religious purposes, but that's not true. That may be happening in the United States, but globally it's a much different picture.

It's helpful to pull back and look at the world around us rather than having to constantly react to what is being pushed in our faces.

When it comes to Christianity, there are two major questions. Does any of this matter? Is Christianity still relevant?

Evaluation of growth of what Jesus has done and if it's done any good.

In America (stats from 2021, Pew Research)

  • 63% identify as Christian
  • 6% identify with other faiths (Jewish, Islam, Hindu, Buddism, etc)
  • 29% identify as unaffiliated. That doesn't mean that they automatically don't believe in God, it means that the vast majority are uncomfortable with participating in a particular religion.
    • 4% are atheist (there is no God)
    • 5% are agnostic (they don't know if there is a God)
  • 45% of adults pray daily
  • 30% of adults seldom/never pray
  • 3/10 people attend religious services 1-2 times a month

In America evangelicals

  • 80% pray every day
  • >50% attend church regularly

Matthew 24:12-14 says that the love of the Kingdom will grow cold, but the Word will be preached to all because some remain white hot and passionate.

In the World (stats from 2011, Pew Research)

  • 4/5 people identify with a religion (5.8 billion of 6.9 billion people)
    • 33% with Christianity (2.2 billion)
    • 25% with Islam (1.6 billion)
    • 15% are unaffiliated (1.1 billion)

Most religions stay where they started, except Christianity, so much so that no continent or region can claim to be the center of global Christianity.

Pews Research reports that the world is becoming more religious, not less. So while secularism is growing in the U.S., that's not the case for the world.

  1. The narrative that there is a rise in secularism globally is not true. Therefore, if you are dismissing or marginalizing Christians as being stupid, you have to realize that you are doing that to billions of people around the globe.
  2. Christianity is the most geographically spread and culturally diverse ideology on the planet. It leaps over ethnic barriers and stays.

The whole point is not to flippantly dismiss Christianity. The Word is spreading just like Jesus said it would. He claimed to be God, no one shaped history like He did. So it's one thing to say you don't feel like you need Christ, but you can't deny historically that He changed the planet. It's intellectually honest to pursue the man of Jesus to know Him more.

What good has Christianity done?

  • Barna Research says that Christians are more than twice as likely to adopt than the general population.
  • American Bible Society and Harvard's Human Flourishing Program performed a study that showed a strong correlation between scripture reading and hope. The participants had 33 points higher in the area of hope.
  • NPR said that many studies show that people who attend church regularly have better mental health. Religion helps buffer the effects of depression and can decrease depression by 20%. It's especially effective with teens and proves a decrease in depression, substance abuse, and risky behavior.
  • Robert Putnam, author of American Grace noted that religious people are more generous neighbors and conscientious citizens.
    • 91% of religious people will volunteer for both religious and secular things
    • 70% of nonreligious do not volunteer for anything
    • Churchgoers are 2x more likely to help the needy than demographically matched Americans who do not go to church
    • Secular people give $1000/yr whereas religious people give 3x that. If they were giving a percentage of their income, it is 4x as much. Religious people will give to both religious and secular causes when the vast majority of secularists don't
    • There is virtually no area of life that religious people haven't touched and made better through their generosity

People who know and love Jesus and are pursuing Him are internally happier and better suited to succeed and externally serve more and give more. We are a branch connected to the vine, so we bear fruit and abide.


"I don't think the question is if there are so many Christians why isn't the world a better place. I flip that on its head and say without people who had been touched by the grace of Jesus, Oh God, what would we be?"

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • Matthew 24
  • Matthew 13:31-32
  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • John 15:5
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.