parents and grandparents people felt guilty if they were seen outside of church on Sundays. Today people feel guilty if they don't workout. They are more likely to say on a Sunday "Darn! I missed my bike ride ! (Or yoga class, golf, or whatever) than they would lament at not being able to worship. There is no societal pressure in New Jersey to be a person of faith, in fact it may be seen as a liability to some because it makes you less available to do the things that convey status these days. I do think those who argue that we are persecuted today are grossly exaggerating. I have personal friends who lived under dictatorships who were persecuted for their faith, and that is not what is going on in Union County New Jersey. People are not presenting to me that they are hostile to those of us who practice our Christian faith, they are just... neutral.
Searching for the Answer
I personally think this is a great time to be the church, because in this atmosphere where people in the culture are neutral towards us, we have the blessing of being able to see the real answer to the question of what's the point without the blinders of popularity. We can use the tools of our faith, scripture, prayer, conversation to uncover the Holy Spirit's true purpose of a life of faith and then spend some time talking about the question with those in our neighborhood an communities. They answer that we will come up with will certainly be better than "everybody else is going." It will be a real answer, that reveals a real purpose.
The Wrong Answer
The Bible's Answer
confess that we do the work that Jesus was sent to do. It is why Paul calls this gathering that meets somewhere near you on Sunday "the body of Christ". Jesus would also command his disciples to make more (Matthew 28:20), not to build up some movement, or create an organization, or institution, but to carry on what He started at the Cross.
To become a disciple of Jesus Christ, because like him, we do good for the world.
Keep the Faith,