Don’t Give Up on an American Renewal

I believe that the latter part of the 20th century and first of the 21st could be described one day as the “Great Turning Away” of the Western World from God, faith, freedom and the blessings that flow from Bible-based nations and civilization.

It will be lamented as one of the most foolish and tragic rejections of truth in the history of humankind. Though Europe is further down that  destructive path, America is not far behind.

But don’t give up yet on another American renewal. Nearly 70% of U.S. voters still believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Don’t Give Up on an American Renewal

Two items caught my attention this week related to a potential American awakening. 

First, I saw a surprising Rasmussen poll on what Americans voters currently believe about Easter. The results were published by the Daily Signal and can be found here in its entirety.

Second, a rare total eclipse of the sun took place on April 8, 2024 along a pathway from Mexico to Maine. Millions of Americans drove and flew to vantage points in the USA to see this stupendous act in the heavens. Some people believe this was a “Nineveh” moment when multitudes of Americans might open up their eyes to God, the amazing Creator of the cosmos.

Let’s begin with the Easter “good news.”

Nearly 70% of registered U.S. voters believe that Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead, and more than 70% planned to celebrate Easter this year.

That’s not the eighty or ninety percent that went to worship at Easter for much of America’s history. But 70% of 330 million people is 231 million honoring Easter (with eggs and bunnies too). 

That’s pretty significant.

No nation on Earth will have more Easter celebrants except China–but much of theirs will be underground due to widespread persecution in the Middle Kingdom.

The Scott Rasmussen National Survey poll of the USA, was conducted March 20 and 21 among 1,000 registered voters. When asked whether they would celebrate the holiday primarily as a religious holiday or as a secular holiday, 56% of participants responded with religious, 16% said secular, and 27% said both secular and religious equally.

In a nation where now about 40% of the population regularly attend religious services (down significantly over the past few decades), 73% of the folks still see Easter as a religious holiday.

But they believe in Jesus more than trust organized religion. 

The Rasmussen poll reflected voters’ belief that Jesus physically rose from the dead, by a margin of 68% to 13%.  That’s amazing. The vast majority of Americans have some type of belief in the greatest event in history–the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Participants were asked to select which religion or faith best described their commitment. The survey found that Bible-believing Christian, Protestant, and Catholic each drew 21% of those polled. Evangelical Christian was chosen by 12%. Jewish identity made up 2% of the poll participants, with 1% Muslim and 6% atheist.

The option “none of the above” was selected by 16% (a growing percentage in the “Great Turning Away”.)

Forty-nine percent said they were “very likely” to go to church on Easter Sunday, and 23% were somewhat likely, while 10% said they were not very likely, and 16% said they were not likely at all to worship. 

I’m deeply saddened by the “not very likely” and “not likely” folks. When I was young, attending an Easter sunrise service, dressing up for God, and belting out “He Lives!” while worshipping the only Person in history that proved He was God by resurrection, was the greatest day of the year.

Easter egg hunts and eating chocolate bunnies were fun too. Eggs and bunnies are symbols of life. But Jesus is the “way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). 

Give me the substance over shadow any day. 

Back to Rasmussen. People were also asked how often they attend church, synagogue, or other religious services. Forty-nine percent of participants said they rarely or never attend a religious service, while 23% said they go once a week, 12% said they go a couple of times a month, and 6% said once a month (all combined equals the 40% figure above).

About 9% of voters said they attend some form of religious services more than once a week.  Though those numbers are down, I was encouraged by the near-tithe of the “remnant” who worship Jesus on Sunday and go to a Bible study, small group, or prayer meeting each week.

Those polled were also asked about their prayer habits, specifically, how often they pray during the week. Forty-five percent pray every day or nearly every day, and 21% said they pray several times a week. Seven percent said about once a week and six percent said less than once a week

Eighteen percent–the nones–said they rarely or never talk to God. 

That’s a tragedy. Prayer is the fountain of relationship to our Creator. I can’t imagine a day without talking to God (and hearing from him). 

Regarding Easter, the poll participants were asked whether they view it as one of our nation’s most important holidays, least important holiday, or in between. The latter view received 48% support, while 33% of voters said Easter is the nation’s most important holiday, and 15% said Easter is the least important.

The Rasmussen poll asked people if some statements were true or false. One was whether “the man known to history as Jesus Christ actually existed and walked the earth?” 

By a margin of 83% to 5%, voters said they believe that Jesus Christ was an historical person.

That’s a great finding to build on in evangelism and discipleship.

Now, on to the most publicized total eclipse of the sun (in America) in many years which won’t take place again in the U.S. until 2044.

Here are a few facts about the April 8, 2024 Solar Eclipse:

  • It was the first total solar eclipse in the U.S. in seven years.
  • A solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and Earth are aligned (called syzygy). Only happens at a new moon.
  • Eclipses vary in time because the Earth-Sun distance varies by 3 percent and the Moon-Earth distance by 12 percent.
  • You hardly notice eclipses except when there’s totality of sun blockage. Texas to Maine marked this year’s “totality” path (a four minute twenty-eight second experience).
  • This one was the biggest viewed in U.S. history with 30 million people in fifteen states located in its path.
  • During the four-and-a-half minute total eclipse (under blue skies) the temperature dropped 10 to 15 degrees, the breeze stopped, birds stopped chirping and even returned to roost.
  • The next total eclipse in the U.S. will take place on August 23, 2044–and viewable only in Montana and North Dakota. (I will be in heaven by then where God Himself is the only sun.)

The grandeur, precision, power, and glory of the recent eclipse also point to one person: The Lord Jesus Christ. It’s sometimes easy to forget that Jesus, as part of the Triune God, was also the Creator of the universe. Colossians 1:16 tells us:

For in him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Jesus is both the resurrected Savior of the world and the Creator of the cosmos. Many think of Him as Lord and Savior, but we forget that he also created all things (Genesis 1).

On Easter we celebrated our resurrected Savior. At the solar eclipse millions should have worshipped our all Powerful Creator.

Spread the news. Pray for an American revival of the truth about Jesus.

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