What Does Church Membership Mean?
“There’s still an awful lot of belief and participation,” comments a researcher at the Hartford Seminary Foundation on the results of a survey done in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. Ninety percent of the people interviewed said they believe in God and more than 70 percent said they belong to a church.
However, the Boston “Globe,” which sponsored the survey, observes that “organized religion appears to have little influence on individuals.” Why? Only 5 percent of the overall population said they would consult a clergyman for advice when they are “in serious trouble,” and only 7 percent of church members said they would do so.
The survey also shows that “a large majority of church members do not read the Bible, do not say grace at meals and do not regularly attend services.” Among professed Catholics, only 11 percent read the Bible with any regularity and only 8 percent use it as a guide. For Protestants, the corresponding figures are 23 percent and 15 percent.
The Bible foretold that there would be a time when humans would have “a form of godly devotion” but would ‘prove false to its power.’ That is the apostle Paul’s description of the majority of professed Christians during “the last days.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5) Can you see the handwriting on the wall?