McFarland: If fewer are attending church, more are being ungrateful

McFarland: If fewer are attending church, more are being ungrateful

McFarland: If fewer are attending church, more are being ungrateful

After a new poll confirms a growing trend of less church attendance going back decades, a Christian apologist says the best way to counter our secularized society is to worship God with other believers on Sunday morning.

Gallup, the well-known polling firm, has tracked religious faith – Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and Mormons– in the United States for generations. In a new poll tracking regular church attendance, Gallup found 21% of adults surveyed attend religious services weekly. That figure is down from 38% a decade ago and 42% two decades ago.

Reacting to the Gallup poll, Christian apologist Dr. Alex McFarland says the religious group attending services most faithfully is Latter Day Saints, more commonly called Mormons.

In the Gallup survey, approximately two-thirds of Mormons said they attend services at least once a week.

“The group that really ought to lead the way,” McFarland says, “in terms of what discipleship is and faithfulness to Christ, should be true authentic Christians.”

The custom of attending a Sunday church service can be traced to Jerusalem and the Book of Acts. That early description of the first-generation church describes believers who were taught by the apostles, who fellowshipped together, and prayed.

The reference to “church” in Acts is the Greek word “ekklesia,” or an assembly. Some scholars translate the word as “called out ones.”  

More than any other religious faith, McFarland says, Christians should be gathering together as one body to recognize God’s grace that was poured out on us.

McFarland, Alex (Christian apologist) McFarland

“We should be in church,” he stresses, “out of gratitude and obedience.”

Fewer and fewer Christians are doing that year over year, however, according to Gallup’s surveys. Down in its breakdown of religious faiths, Gallup said Protestants rank second behind Mormons (44%) followed by Muslims (38%) and finally Catholics (33%).

McFarland’s final plea to the Church is to recognize our current “era” of U.S. history, when society is becoming more secularized. Now is the time everyone should be in church, especially children and young adults, he says.