Where Is It?
Off the Wall, May 28,

Love conquers all. That is an expression we all have pretty much grown up with. So, answer me this question. Why are Americans becoming less Christian and more secular?

I was stunned recently when I read in the Latrobe Bulletin, May 13, 2015, an Associated Press article, stating just that fact. I began to question that if this is really true, these so-called Christians were never true followers of Jesus Christ from the beginning.

It is my opinion that people are gregarious in nature. Wherever they know others will be gathering, so they, too, will go to be amongst them. That’s what church going is all about. For some, it’s not about worshipping God, but to be noticed, to talk to people they haven’t seen for a while and share the latest gossip.

It’s hard for me to understand anyone who truly calls him or herself a Christian to just pull up his or her stakes and move in the direction the devil has paved. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Maybe it’s the certainty that those who are in the process or have walked away from God don’t know how wonderful life can be rooted in the Trinity. Second of all, it’s written down in history, one of three persons did walk this earth until his crucifixion on the cross. That’s an undeniable fact. Our Lord and Savior ascended from the dead and is with God, today, and in the infinite future to come.

Here is a person who died innocently, committed no crime, was tormented and suffered a horrific death and so-called Christians are walking away from Him? I don’t get it. I can only come to a number of conclusions.

First, to label Christians, the kingdom of God and all that exists within it is nothing but fantasy. Second, I have heard this uttered, “Praying to a god is only for those who need a crutch to lean on. People acquire a peace of mind when they think there is a god.”

Third, “Anyone who has any intelligence at all knows God does not exist,” is another popular cop-out.

Fourth, “One has to go with the flow of society. That stuff that is written in the Bible applied to living a long time ago,” a gentleman told me one day.

One can come up with all the pre-fabrications he wants, but in doing so, he is just skirting the truth. Everyone in the kingdom of God is alive. So when we pray to our intercessor Jesus Christ concerning someone who’s ill, for the comfort of family members of a dying loved one, or for the food we eat, we are talking to a real person. So when it is stated, “Americans are becoming less Christian,” they don’t want someone in their lives who loves them far and beyond anyone can perceive. They would rather go about their way and snag superficial worldly love that has its hooks into fleshly desires instead of spiritual ones.

It is a known fact that there is a decline in church attendance, both Catholic and Protestant denominations. I can only conclude that the majority of these people may be those whom have joined the secular movement.

But, I have to ask another question. Of all places, why would one leave a church? Isn’t this the place where love originated, through and from Jesus Christ? Aren’t Christians supposed to emulate love? Where is it? Is there no spiritual connection being passed from member to member?

When I joined St. James Church in New Alexandria, I felt the spiritual love of others put forth in my direction not only from the priest, but the parishioners as well. I liked that feeling and wanted to join a community of faith believers who felt the love of Christ and effortlessly passed it on. Isn’t that what we’re all seeking?

If we don’t have the Holy Spirit within us, a gift given by God, we definitely will not feel high-spirited with His love, we won’t have direction of knowing what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong. Here again, by asking Jesus, our intercessor, who takes our needs and/or desires to God, to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with hope, fill us with love, and keep us from harms’ way, we need not depend on the world for anything.

It is time for us Christians to rise up and band together. Our faith depends on it.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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