Google has nearly 5.2 million digitized books now. Recently, they came out with a database called Google Books Ngram Viewer, which is a ‘digital storehouse, which comprises words and short phrases as well as a year-by-year count of how often they appear…(it) consists of the 500 billion words contained in books published between 1500 and 2008 in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Russian.’ It really is a fascinating thing, and someone can easily waste hours searching and comparing words and phrases off all kinds. Of course, if that sort of thing interests you.
I thought I would take a crack at it and search for four key words: Jesus, Christ, God, Christian. I searched between 1800 and 2008 and the results were very telling…
From the early 1800’s, books that mentioned God (out of the four words searched) ranked the highest. Christ came in second, Christian came in third and Jesus, oddly enough, came in fourth.
But, by the late 1800’s, you begin to see a drop in the use of all of these words. By 1900 the use of those 4 words in books had dropped more than 60% in 100 years. The lowest seems to hit in or around the 1940’s, and from there it basically flat-lines all the way through the end of the 1980’s and in 1990 it goes on a steady rise to 2008. But my point isn’t to bore you with number and statistics, so bear with me.
Now, given that Google doesn’t have a complete scan of the estimated 26 million books published in the U.S. and the estimated 74 million to175 million books worldwide, this study has its flaws. But, it is still a good starting point.
God has been slowly and systematically left out of the picture (or rather, the books) in America. Founded as a Christian Nation, and a couple a hundred years later we’re on the spiritual decline. We became the melting pot of religions, moved right on into the age of tolerance, and over time, the Christian God has been systematically squeezed out… forgotten.
One atheist philosopher in the 1880’s wrote the following:
“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
Look at the world around you today. Do you not see that this is exactly what is happening?
The Age of Tolerance, where one can no longer voice an opinion of what they believe to be objectively true. I am no longer free to say I am right and you are wrong. You are no longer free to say you are right and I am wrong.
The Age of Spirituality, where I can say I am spiritual as a follower of Christ, and the followers of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, can say they are equally as spiritual, along with the Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, and on. The Secret, for example, explicitly states, “You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing Itself as You. You are a cosmic being. You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator, and you are creating the creation of You on this planet.”
Perhaps Friekrich Nietzsche was right in saying, “Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
My friends, as Christians, we simply cannot sit around and watch our culture around us take over and shove God out of the picture any longer. We need to speak up when necessary. We need to defend where it needs it. We need to stand instead of sitting and watching the world go by. Take an active approach. We need to speak Truth to others.
I’m not saying go get in a fight with someone over it. Someone once said, “Too often we Christians are known for what we are against, rather than what we are for.” Let’s rise up in our country and in the world, and let the people know what we stand for. Show them the love of Christ. Show them, as ambassadors of Christ.
I know everyone has different roles, and everyone has different personalities. But we are all part of the body of Christ… and we all have different functions. This, I understand. But if you’re an arm, be an arm. A dead arm that no longer works, no longer functions, no longer moves, is cut off. If you’re a voice, be a voice. If you’re an eye be an eye.
You get the idea. If you don’t know what part of the body of Christ you are, seek it out.
Let us not be deceived into thinking we cannot make an impact individually and with the immediate world around us. “I’m really busy with work, I have kids I have to raise, I have school right now, I have no money, I’m really involved in my church, I have no social life, I’m just having a bad year, I don’t know anyone…” and on and on.
Don’t be so scared of offending someone by getting in to a conversation about Christ. Jesus, Himself, said His message would be offensive. Absolutely do this in love, however. Don’t go telling a non-Christian how to live their lives… they cannot understand from your vantage point. Don’t be scared about someone not liking you for talking about what you believe. Jesus, Himself, said that you will be hated. The Bible tells us that you will be persecuted.
If we succumb to the age of tolerance, and decide that we will no longer talk about Christ openly, or in our books, or our schools, and oddly enough, even our churches, then God truly will be forgotten in the world we know, and we truly will be a doomed Nation, and the floodgates to Hell will have been opened, and Satan will continue to win more and more souls, day by day.
3, Friekrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125 (The Madman), tr. Walter Kaufmann
5, Romans 8:5-8
8, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrnes, pg 164