Spirituality is the fastest growing sector of the publishing industry, with literally millions buying books on the theme. Television programs such as Bill Moyers’ “Genesis: a Living Conversation” and Hugh Hewitt’s “Searching for God in America” have attracted large audiences. Newspapers and national magazines, including Newsweek, Time and the New York Times Magazine publish stories on “Faith and Healing,” “Science, God, and Man” and “Choosing My Religion.”
National polls show that 9 out of 10 Americans believe in God and consider religion important in their lives. In October 16, 2017, the Pew Research Center reported that most U.S. adults now say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values (56%), up from about half (49%) who expressed this view in 2011. This increase reflects the continued growth in the share of the population that has no religious affiliation, but it also is the result of changing attitudes among those who do identify with a religion, including white evangelical Protestants. The public’s increased rejection of the idea that belief in God is necessary for morality is due, in large part, to the spike in the share of Americans who are religious “nones.”
“Spiritual but not Religious,” the SBNR movement in America was first named and delineated by author Sven Erlandsson in his 2000 book “Spiritual but not Religious.” Spirituality places an emphasis upon the well being of the “mind-body-spirit”, so “holistic” activities such as tai chi, reiki, and yoga are common within the SBNR movement. They believe in an afterlife, but not necessarily heaven or hell.
In contrast to religion that thrives on community life, spirituality centers on the interior life of the individual. Nevertheless, people who call themselves spiritual are actually embedded in communal practices in everything from mystical discussion groups to drumming circles to yoga classes. Many find spiritual fulfillment in music, poetry, literature, art, nature and intimate relationships, where they end up discussing their concept of the divine.
Jesus as God is not on their radar screen. Inner spirituality finds God in the sunsets and in walks on the beach; whereas religion is better at challenging people to face death, fight poverty and oppose injustice. Religion facilitates an ongoing conversation about matters outside the self. Spiritualism is becoming one with nature and self.
Many left church and synagogue not because they had lost interest in spirituality, but because organized religion was not meeting their spiritual needs. In the 1990s and as we approach the millennium, it is obvious that Americans are becoming more expressively spiritual.
Growing Interest in the Metaphysical
Americans are showing an increasing interest in Spiritualism, the paranormal and occultism. Unfortunately, the mystical presents a false imitation of the real thing, which satisfies the hunger, but leaves a spiritual void within the soul.
There is a growing fascination with embracing the spiritual by playing games with demonic spirits. Supernatural experiences in the occult seem to be much more appealing than traditional faith. More than half of today’s millennials trust astrology as a science and the “psychic industry” is rapidly increasing. As millennials move farther and farther away from religion, they’re running to witchcraft and astrology – a $2 billion industry.
Unfortunately, demons are at work in the paranormal with spiritual feelings replacing true faith with a false spirit of religiosity. Since Scripture reveals Satan to be an absolutely ‘religious being,’ then he understands how to operate within the realm of apostate beliefs. He can deceive those that do not have any knowledge of the Bible as the inspired Word of God.
This spiritual shift is also infiltrating the Church, which will result in an increased state of apostasy and lawlessness. According to the Scriptures, the condition of the world in the last days is characterized by “lawlessness” (Matthew 24:12). Paul wrote about the man of lawlessness and the secret power of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Lawlessness may be defined as an action or way of life “not regulated by or based on law.”
The rise in occultism generates the open worship of Satan incarnate, which is preparing people to one-day worship the coming anti-Christ, the leader of the future one-world government. Spiritualism mentors people to reject the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian faith.
America needs a new Jesus movement!
Sources: Pew Research Center
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