As I remarked in an earlier post, I don’t believe this has anything to do with faith. It is, in short, big religion’s inability to change and grow. Religion is, by definition, constrained to specific dogma contained in their holy books. That dogma, which may have been perfectly acceptable and applicable when written, no longer applies to our society, and will only serve to become more anachronistic with time.
AJ Jacobs notwithstanding, most people are hard pressed to both live in ways approved by the laws and rules set forth in the bible and still conduct themselves in a way that fits with our modern society. Most Christians become de facto “Cafeteria Christians,” deciding which rules and laws best apply to their normal everyday lives.
Nor is it any longer necessary for people to gather at church to socialize, get their “faith fix,” or even receive religious instruction. A computer and a dial up connection, seemingly, are all that are required in order to obtain all of that and more.
Additionally, the median age of church goers is higher, suggesting long term retention of parishoners will not be replenished by the younger generation.
Does this all spell a new movement toward secularism? I am hopeful that it does. If nothing else, at least the eyesores that are megachurches will eventually be a thing of the past.