“Pew Survey: Most Americans Have Switched Religious Affiliations at Least Once” US News & World Report, April 27, 2009.
“A report out today from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that slightly more than half of Americans have changed religious affiliations at least once during their lives and that many have switched even more—including to or from affiliating with no faith tradition whatsoever.
“Some end up returning to the faith of their childhood, but a whopping 44 percent of Americans now claim a religious affiliation that’s different from the one in which they were raised. “What’s motivating the changes is a set of discontents with particular religions and denominations and congregations, rather than a widespread discontent with matters spiritual,” says John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum and one of the report’s authors. “It speaks to the challenges of religious institutions to stay relevant, but also to great opportunities they have to reach new people.””
How are we to relate to this research? We need to encourage the genuine spirituality that results in joyfully keeping all of God’s commandments, but we must also avoid the pseudo-spirituality that will become more and more popular toward the end of time. Here is some inspired counsel written over 100 years ago (1892) that can guide us in understanding and participating in the final polarization of religions the Book of Revelation speaks about.
“In the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel’s message is, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message a voice is heard from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
As God called the children of Israel out of Egypt, that they might keep His Sabbath, so He calls His people out of Babylon, that they may not worship the beast or his image. . . .
After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, “Lo, here is Christ, Lo, He is there. This is the truth, I have the message from God, He has sent me with great light.” Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith. A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified. This false sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law. . . . But while Satan works with his lying wonders, the time will be fulfilled foretold in the Revelation, and the mighty angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory, will proclaim the fall of Babylon, and call upon God’s people to forsake her.
When do her sins reach unto heaven? When the law of God is finally made void by legislation. Then the extremity of God’s people is His opportunity to show who is the governor of heaven and earth. As a Satanic power is stirring up the elements from beneath, God will send light and power to His people, that the message of truth may be proclaimed to all the world.” Maranatha, p. 189