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House Church Leader to Christians: Be Thankful for Decline of American Christianity

Contact: Jon Hirst, The Well, 719-362-5235, jhirst@dotheword.org

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Nov. 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- The most recent ARI Survey found that 15% of the adult population in America does not identify with any religion and the number is growing. House church leader Ken Eastburn says instead of mourning over those numbers, we should be thankful, "It is about time Christianity in America was on the decline. That's good news."

The American Religious Identification Survey, released in March of 2009, found that 34 million adults in the U.S. do not identify with any religion, up from just 14 million in 1990. Their numbers far exceed the combined total of all the non-Christian religious groups in the U.S. Additionally, the book unChristian, written by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons with research conducted by the Barna Group, revealed that Christianity was declining particularly among younger Americans.

"American Christianity has long been characterized by all the wrong things: partisan politics, tips for better living, the so-called 'prosperity gospel,' hypocrisy, and condemnation -- to name a few," says Eastburn, "When that kind of Christianity begins to decline, we have much to be thankful for. It means true Christianity - the kind characterized by loving one's enemies, radical giving, integrity and compassion - has room to grow."

Eastburn is a leader with The Well, a network of home-based churches in California and Colorado. After selling their building in 2005, members began meeting in each other's homes. Through studies led by elders and laypersons, members are challenged to embody the kind of faith Jesus had.

He continues, "The American Church lost her way long ago when we decided to co-opt Jesus and his message for our own personal gain. It was our doing -- not culture's, not Hollywood's, and certainly not Jesus' -- that drove away the masses. When that happens, people have no other choice but to cut ties. But when American Christianity begins to be characterized by the right things again, we can trust that God will take care of the rest."

The Well hosts 10-15 members at each of its five locations on a weekly basis. Eastburn and other members post their experiences on a blog maintained by the church, www.leavethebuildingblog.com, with the purpose of interacting with individuals from traditional and house church backgrounds.