The Three Percenters

A recent study shows that if you are a “dedicated, Bible believing, church-going Christian” in the United States, you are among a group of about three percent of the population. I assumed that number would be low, but three percent surprised me. Translated to raw, people numbers, that’s just south of ten million individuals. That sounds better, but not much.

Part of that, I suppose, is due to the narrow scope of the study. If you were simply looking for “Bible believing” Christians, my guess is that the number would be significantly higher. Once you throw in the “church-going” parameter, you narrow it down considerably. There’s a growing number of Christians these days who have given up on attending worship. They offer lots of reasons for this, but it appears as though many of them are just, plain fed up. They don’t like the way things are going, and they’re done. In fact, some sociologists have labeled them as the “dones.” They still believe in Jesus, but they’re not too keen on his church. I’m not a member of that group, but (in all honesty) I can’t say as I blame them. The church has many ills, and it looks for all intents and purposes that it might get worse before it gets better.

Finally, the term, “dedicated,” really pares things down. A lot of people believe in the Bible and attend worship in some regular fashion, but aren’t dedicated to the cause. I realize it’s a relative term, but dedication these days seems to be tilted toward gaining wealth, raising twenty-first century kids, and enjoying one’s days to the fullest. Dedication to all-things-Jesus seems to be on the wane. The unspoken, attitudinal question is, “What’s in it for me?”

A Bit Too Jesus-Like

Indeed… What’s in it for you? Once you’ve attained salvation and eternal life, why bother, eh? The unvarnished truth is very simple. At that point, you’re asking the wrong question. It should no longer be what’s in it for you. It should be, “What can I do for my Lord and those around me?” That might sound a bit too Jesus-like for some of us, but that’s the Gospel my friend.

It reminds me a little of an old cartoon I once saw. It depicted a man sitting at his big desk that was adorned with a simple placard that read, “I’ve got mine.” In other words, “Time for you to go get yours.” Needless to say, this is not the Gospel message.

For those of you who remain in the pack of dedicated, Bible believing, church-going Christians, let me remind you of an old, Biblical concept. It’s that of the “remnant.” Beginning in the Book of Genesis and continuing down through the letters of Paul, we have been told that God would preserve a remnant—a collection of people who would endure to the end. You might get lonely on occasion, but just remember that you’re in a chosen group—chosen, not by you, but by our Lord himself.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]

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