Christianity in the United States
Christianity is the most adhered to religion in the United States, with 75% of polled American adults identifying themselves as Christian in 2015. This is down from 85% in 1990, lower than 81.6% in 2001, lower than 78% in 2012. About 62% of those polled claim to be members of a church congregation; the United States has the largest Christian population in the world, with nearly 240 million Christians, although other countries have higher percentages of Christians among their populations. All Protestant denominations accounted for 46.5%, while the Catholic Church by itself, at 20.8%, was the largest individual denomination. A 2014 Pew study categorizes white evangelical Protestants, 25.4% of the population, as the country's largest religious cohort. The nation's second-largest church and the single largest Protestant denomination is the Southern Baptist Convention; the United Methodist Church is the third largest church and the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the United States. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the fourth-largest church in the United States and the largest church originating in the U.
S. The Church of God in Christ is the fifth-largest denomination, the largest Pentecostal church, the largest traditionally African-American denomination in the nation. Among Eastern Christian denominations, there are several Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, with just below 1 million adherents in the US, or 0.4% of the total population. Christianity was introduced to the Americas as it was first colonized by Europeans beginning in the 16th and 17th centuries. Going forward from its foundation, the United States has been called a Protestant nation by a variety of sources. Immigration further increased Christian numbers. Today most Christian churches in the United States are either Mainline Protestant, Evangelical Protestant, or Catholic. Christian denominations in the United States are divided into three large groups: Evangelical Protestantism, Mainline Protestantism, the Catholic Church. There are Christian denominations that do not fall within either of these groups, such as Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, but they are much smaller.
A 2004 survey of the United States identified the percentages of these groups as 26.3%, 22%, 16%. In a Statistical Abstract of the United States, based on a 2001 study of the self-described religious identification of the adult population, the percentages for these same groups are 28.6%, 24.5%, 13.9%. In typical usage, the term mainline is contrasted with evangelical; the Association of Religion Data Archives counts 26,344,933 members of mainline churches versus 39,930,869 members of evangelical Protestant churches. There is evidence that there has been a shift in membership from mainline denominations to evangelical churches; as shown in the table below, some denominations with similar names and historical ties to Evangelical groups are considered Mainline. Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement. In typical usage, the term mainline is contrasted with evangelical. Theologically conservative critics accuse the mainline churches of "the substitution of leftist social action for Christian evangelizing, the disappearance of biblical theology," and maintain that "All the Mainline churches have become the same church: their histories, their theologies, much of their practice lost to a uniform vision of social progress."
Most adherents consider the key characteristics of evangelicalism to be: a belief in the need for personal conversion. David Bebbington has termed these four distinctive aspects conversionism, activism and crucicentrism, saying, "Together they form a quadrilateral of priorities, the basis of Evangelicalism."Note that the term "Evangelical" does not equal Fundamentalist Christianity, although the latter is sometimes regarded as the most theologically conservative subset of the former. The major differences hinge upon views of how to regard and approach scripture, as well as construing its broader world-view implications. While most conservative Evangelicals believe the label has broadened too much beyond its more limiting traditional distinctives, this trend is nonetheless strong enough to create significant ambiguity in the term; as a result, the dichotomy between "evangelical" vs. "mainline" denominations is complex. The contemporary North American usage of the term is influenced by the evangelical/fundamentalist controversy of the early 20th century.
Evangelicalism may sometimes be perceived as the middle ground between the theological liberalism of the Mainline denominations and the cultural separatism of Fundamentalist Protestantism. Evangelicalism has therefore been described as "the third of the leading strands in American Protestantism, straddl the divide between fundamentalists and liberals." While the North American perception is important to understand the usage of the term, it by no means dominates a wider global view, where the fundamentalist debate was not so influential. Evangelicals held the view that the modernist and liberal parties in the Protestant churches had surrendered their heritage as Evangelicals by accommodating the views and values of the world. At the same time, they criticized their fellow Fundamentalists for their separatism and their rejection of the Social Gospel as it had been develope
Eric Winston Ludy is an author and president of Ellerslie Mission Society. He is the senior pastor at the Church at Ellerslie and the lead instructor at Ellerslie Leadership Training in Windsor, Colorado. Ludy is the author of more than a dozen books, many of which were co-authored by his wife, Leslie Ludy. Eric Ludy's spouse is author Leslie Ludy; the two were married in December 1994 in Colorado. Their love story garnered much attention from the Christian community and was detailed in their book When Dreams Come True. Eric Ludy's first book was published. From that point forward Ludy began traveling around the world, speaking on the principles of the Christian life. Over a three-year period from 2005 to 2008, along with his wife, wrote 11 books. Ludy's books and teachings are used in Christian training curriculums by organizations such as CareNet, Youth With A Mission, Compassion International. In 2009, Ludy became President of Ellerslie Mission Society. Eric and Leslie have six children. Four of the Ludy's six children are adopted and this strong support of adoption and orphan rescue has been a hallmark of Eric Ludy's ministry and life.
His Perfect Faithfulness. Harvest Books. ISBN 0965625117. Romance God’s Way. Makarios Publishing. ISBN 0965625109; when God Writes Your Love Story. Multnomah Publishers. ISBN 1929125003; when Dreams Come True. Multnomah Publishers. ISBN 1590523539. God's Gift to Women. Multnomah Publishers. ISBN 1590522729; when God Writes Your Life Story. Multnomah Publishers. ISBN 1590523393. Teaching True Love to a Sex-at-13 Generation. Thomas Nelson Publishers. ISBN 084994256X. A Perfect Wedding. Harvest House Publishers. ISBN 0736915664; the First 90 Days of Marriage. Thomas Nelson Publishers. ISBN 0849905249. Meet Mr. Smith. Thomas Nelson Publishers. ISBN 0849905435; the Bravehearted Gospel. Harvest House Publishers. ISBN 0736921648. Wrestling Prayer. Harvest House Publishers. ISBN 0736921656. Official website Ellerslie Mission Society Sermons by Eric Ludy on his official website Eric and Leslie Ludy at Ellerslie Mission Society Interview regarding The Bravehearted Gospel with the Christian Broadcasting Network
I Kissed Dating Goodbye
I Kissed Dating Goodbye is a 1997 book by Joshua Harris. The book focuses on Harris' disenchantment with the contemporary secular dating scene, offers ideas for improvement, alternative dating/courting practices, a view that singleness need not be a burden nor characterized by what Harris describes as "selfishness". By the late 2010s, Harris reconsidered his view that dating should be avoided, apologizing to those whose lives were negatively impacted by the book and directing the book's publisher to discontinue its publication. Harris popularized the concept of "courting" as an alternative to mainstream dating, in doing so has raised discussion regarding the appropriateness of his proposed solutions as well as the foundations on which he bases his reasoning. In general, Harris believes, he feels that people date to find "their" mate according to their own principles and desires. In doing so, he argues, people put up a façade in an attempt to appear to be what the other person wants, this hampers the "getting to know you" part of dating.
He feels that it is more appropriate and healthier in the long run to participate in "group dates" in order to understand the way a particular person interacts with others, since in a group setting in which some people know the person, that person is less to be able to maintain a façade for the duration of the date. Harris proposes a system of courtship that involves the parents of both parties to a greater degree than conventional dating. In an interview with Family Christian Stores, Harris indicated that "people have taken the message of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and made it something legalistic -- a set of rules. That's something that's beyond my control and it's disappointing at times...."On November 20, 2005 Harris gave a message to the church at which he is Senior Pastor, "Courtship, Schmourtship: What Really Matters in Relationships". In this message, Harris acknowledged problems with. Harris indicated that there was a "lack of freeness between men and women in cultivating friendships".
He used the words "standoffish" and "tightness". In the message, Harris indicated that it was "OK" for single men and women to go out for coffee by themselves correcting misconceptions some singles had in his church; the book has been cited as an example of belief in'benevolent sexism' and'women as property' and'rape supportive messaging', of a'sexual purity teachings' that emphasize a'hierarchical father-daughter relationship' that reduces the agency of adolescent girls. Other commentators have pointed to IKDG as an example of messaging addressed to conservative Christians that would make them less to engage in online dating, yet others have suggested that the book promoted'condemnation and shame' amongst young women in the True Love Waits movement. The book has been characterised as portraying ideal young Christian women as'sexually passive and patient' and as discouraging young Christian men from forming relationships with women. Christian psychologists Henry Cloud and John Townsend suggest that avoiding dating in order to avoid suffering, as Harris advises, causes those who do so to forgo opportunities to mature through learning how to create healthy boundaries.
In 2016, Harris appeared to be reconsidering the claims that he had made in the book and apologized to several who publicly communicated how the book had influenced them to stay single or had been used by adults to impose stringent rules on them. In 2016 Harris began soliciting public narratives from people affected by his book, but some critics reject the requirements that Harris imposes on the narratives. During a 2017 TED talk, Harris said his greatest regret about the book was him transferring his fears into the book, he said: "Fear is never a good motive. Fear of messing up, fear of getting your heart broken, fear of hurting somebody else, fear of sex... There are clear things in statements in Scripture about our sexuality being expressed within the covenant of marriage, but that doesn't mean that dating is somehow wrong or a certain way of dating is the only way to do things. I think. We have God's word, but it's so easy to add all this other stuff to protect people, to control people, to make sure that you don't get anywhere near that place where you could go off course.
And I think that's where the problems arise."In 2018, Exploration Films teamed up with Joshua Harris to release a documentary entitled I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye. The film was released with free availability; that same year, Harris stated that he reconsidered his view that dating should be avoided, apologizing to those whose lives were negatively impacted by the book and directing the book's publisher to discontinue its publication. I Kissed Dating Books Goodbye by Camerin Courtney in Christianity Today magazine
Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship
Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship is a 2000 book by Joshua Harris. It is the sequel to I Kissed Dating Goodbye. In Boy Meets Girl, Harris describes his personal experiences courting the woman he married; the book argues that psychological pain and trauma can result from entering an intimate relationship before one is ready, either or financially, to commit to being the other person's life partner. Margaret and Dwight Peterson wrote an essay called "God Does Not Want to Write Your Love Story" in which they criticized Boy Meets Girl, among other books. In this essay, the Petersons expressed "how different these stories of romance are from any traditionally Christian understanding of marriage." Harris has written several other books, including I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Sex Is Not the Problem, Stop Dating the Church. Boy Meets Girl did not receive as much critical attention. Leah Andrews of the Lewiston Morning Tribune compared Boy Meets Girl to Eric and Leslie Ludy's When God Writes Your Love Story, suggesting that both texts are popular Christian books providing alternatives to dating.
Andrew Dalton of the Legion of Christ wrote that he was partway through reading Anthony Bannon's Peter on the Shore when he became distracted with Boy Meets Girl. In 2000, Rebecca St. James anticipated using her song "Wait for Me" to promote Boy Meets Girl
Peter Derek Vaughan Prince was a Bible teacher whose daily radio programme, Derek Prince Legacy Radio, is broadcast around the world in various languages. Prince moved to Faith Tabernacle in Chicago, to Good News Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In May 1971 Derek Prince Publications opened offices in Florida. Derek Prince Publications became Derek Prince Ministries in December 1990; the Princes travelled extensively in ministry until his wife Ruth died on 29 December 1998. The following list of countries covers their ministry from 1993 to 1998; some of these countries were visited more than once: Russia, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Indonesia, Singapore, Poland, Cuba, Switzerland, Portugal and England. Derek Prince Ministries continues to distribute his teachings and to train missionaries, church leaders, congregations through the outreaches of more than thirty DPM offices around the world, including primary work in Australia, China, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States.
At the time of Prince's death in September 2003, he was the author of over 50 books, 600 audio and 100 video teachings, many of which have been translated and published in more than 100 languages. Some of the subjects that are covered in his teachings are prayer and fasting, foundations of the Christian faith, spiritual warfare, God's love and marriage and family; as a Pentecostal, Prince believed in the reality of spiritual forces operating in the world, of the power of demons to cause illness and psychological problems. While in Seattle he was asked to perform an exorcism on a woman, he came to believe that Christians could be "demonized"; this was at odds with the more usual Pentecostal view that demons could "possess" unbelievers, but could only "oppress" Christians. Prince believed. Prince, who taught on many themes and subjects including the foundational truths of the Bible, was most noted for his teachings about demons, deliverance ministry, Israel, he opposed replacement theology. His book The Destiny of Israel and the Church argues that the Church has not replaced Israel and that the covenant that God made with the nation of Israel still stands today.
Prince believed that the creation of the state of Israel was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Derek states in his book Promised Land, "The central theme of biblical prophecy, as it is being unfolded in our time, revolves around the land and the people of Israel. God is carrying out His predetermined plan to regather the Jewish people from their worldwide dispersion and restore them to their ancient homeland." In 1968, Prince joined the Holy Spirit Teaching Mission, which linked him to three other Charismatic Christian pastors living in Ft. Lauderdale: Don Basham, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson; the HSTM had been founded by businessman Eldon Purvis. Prince and the others changed the name of the HSTM to Christian Growth Ministries in 1972. CGM sought to counter what were seen as excesses within the Charismatic Movement by emphasizing discipleship and pastoral care which on was abused by those in leadership positions. CGM continued with the publication of the New Wine magazine which began under the HSTM in June 1969.
David Moore, author of The Shepherding Movement, states "Essential for an accurate history of the Shepherding Movement is a complete collection of New Wine. The magazine, published from 1969 through 1986, was the principal publishing voice of the five teachers and the movement." The group was joined by Ern Baxter, the five men became known as the Fort Lauderdale Five. Their ministry became known as the Shepherding Movement. Different factions of the movement began to emphasise authority. Prince left the group and repented in public over being a member. There are several sermons. In Ft. Lauderdale years after. Prince recorded over 600 audio teaching sermons and 100 video teachings, his books include: The Foundations Series Praying for the Government Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting Appointment in Jerusalem Faith to Live By The Grace of Yielding Marriage Covenant Promised Land The Last Word on the Middle East God Is a Matchmaker Blessing or Curse: You Can Choose The Destiny of Israel and the Church Does Your Tongue Need Healing?
God's Remedy for Rejection Protection from Deception They Shall Expel Demons Who is the Holy Spirit? Husbands and Fathers Judging: When? Why? How? Through the Psalms with Derek Prince War in Heaven Bought with Blood Entering the Presence of God Lucifer Exposed: The Devil's Plans to Destroy Your Life Prophetic Guide to the End Times Rules of Engagement Secrets of a Prayer Warrior Transformed for Life: How to Know God Better and Love Him More Stephen Mansfield, Derek Prince: A Biography. Obituary in King's College Cambridge Annual Report, 2004. Christian Zionism in the United Kingdom Derek Prince Ministries, International
Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship or marriage. It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others; the protocols and practices of dating, the terms used to describe it, vary from country to country and over time. While the term has several meanings, the most frequent usage refers to two people exploring whether they are romantically or sexually compatible by participating in dates with the other. With the use of modern technology, people can meet in person. Dating may involve two or more people who have decided that they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other; these people will have dates on a regular basis, they may or may not be having sexual relations. This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement; some cultures require people to wait until a certain age to begin dating, a source of controversy.
Dating as an institution is a recent phenomenon which has emerged in the last few centuries. From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have been changing and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine; as humans societies have evolved from hunter-gatherers into civilized societies, there have been substantial changes in relations between people, with one of a few remaining biological constants being that both adult women and men must have sexual intercourse for human procreation to happen. Humans have been compared to other species in terms of sexual behavior. Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, pair bond arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life. According to Sapolsky, humans are somewhat in the middle of this spectrum, in the sense that humans form pair bonds, but there is the possibility of cheating or changing partners.
These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating. However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are formed without having the intention of reproduction. In modern times, emphasis on the institution of marriage described as a male-female bond, has obscured pair bonds formed by same-sex and transgender couples, that many heterosexual couples bond for life without offspring, or that pairs that do have offspring separate. Thus, the concept of marriage is changing in many countries. Marriages in most societies were arranged by parents and older relatives with the goal not being love but legacy and "economic stability and political alliances", according to anthropologists. Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before a permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman. While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, marriage was reserved for heterosexual pairings and had a transactional nature, where wives were in many cases a form of property being exchanged between father and husband, who would have to serve the function of reproduction.
Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as Europe. During much of recorded history of humans in civilization, into the Middle Ages in Europe, weddings were seen as business arrangements between families, while romance was something that happened outside of marriage discreetly, such as covert meetings; the 12th-century book The Art of Courtly Love advised that "True love can have no place between husband and wife." According to one view, clandestine meetings between men and women outside of marriage or before marriage, were the precursors to today's dating. From about 1700 a worldwide movement described as the "empowerment of the individual" took hold, leading towards greater emancipation of women and equality of individuals. Men and women became more equal politically, in many nations. Women won the right to vote in many countries and own property and receive equal treatment by the law, these changes had profound impacts on the relationships between men and women.
Parental influence declined. In many societies, individuals could decide—on their own—whether they should marry, whom they should marry, when they should marry. A few centuries ago, dating was sometimes described as a "courtship ritual where young women entertained gentleman callers in the home, under the watchful eye of a chaperone," but in many Western countries, it became a self-initiated activity with two young people going out as a couple in public together. Still, dating varies by nation, religious upbringing and social class, important exceptions with regards to individual freedoms remain as many countries today still practice arranged marriages, request dowries, forbid same-sex pairings. Although in many countries, movies and meeting in coffeehouses and other places is now popular, as are advice books suggesting various strategies for men and women, in
When God Writes Your Love Story
When God Writes Your Love Story: The Ultimate Approach to Guy/Girl Relationships is a 1999 book by Eric and Leslie Ludy, an American married couple. After becoming a bestseller on the Christian book market, the book was republished in 2004 and revised and expanded in 2009, it tells the story of the authors' first meeting and marriage. The authors advise single people not to be physically or intimate with others, but to wait for the spouse that God has planned for them; the first edition was packaged with a CD single by the Ludys: "Faithfully", a song they had written to accompany the book. The book is divided into sixteen chapters; each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the two authors. The Ludys argue that one's love life should be both guided by and subordinate to one's relationship with God. Leslie writes that God offers new beginnings to unchaste or sexually abused individuals. Other American Christian authors, such as Mark Matlock and Jason Evert, wrote of When God Writes Your Love Story.
Leah Andrews of the Lewiston Morning Tribune compared When God Writes Your Love Story to other popular Christian books providing alternatives to dating, including Joshua Harris's I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. Eastern University Christian studies professors Margaret and Dwight Peterson responded to the Ludys' book by writing an essay called "God Does Not Want to Write Your Love Story," in which the Petersons argue that the book makes young people see marriage as a fantasy comparable to that of Disney Princesses, that this fantasy results in disappointment. Rick Holland, an instructor at The Master's College and Seminary and pastor of College and Student Ministries at Grace Community Church, criticized the Ludys' description of dating, claiming it was based too much on anecdotes and not enough on the Bible; when God Writes Your Love Story, first published in the United States in 1999, is the third book written by Eric and Leslie Ludy, an American married couple. Like the Ludys' previous two books, His Perfect Faithfulness: The Story of our Courtship and Romance God's Way, its major themes are romance and Christianity.
After becoming a bestseller on the Christian book market, When God Writes Your Love Story was republished in 2004 and revised and expanded in 2009. More than 350,000 copies were sold worldwide by 2009. Translations of the book have been published in Spanish and Traditional Chinese. Eric and Leslie Ludy met when Eric was 21 and Leslie was 16, they pursued a friendship for several months before starting to court, married in December 1994, the same month that Eric turned 24. In When God Writes Your Love Story, the Ludys advise single people not to be physically or intimate with others, but to wait for the life partner that God has planned for them. Focusing on premarital physical and emotional purity, the authors do not discuss the physical processes of sexual activity. Like many other Christian books about premarital romantic relationships, the Ludys' book explicitly does not present a set of rules to follow or a strategy for romantic success, but rather gives readers a framework for pursuing Christian romantic relationships.
Before the book's release, it was endorsed by Leslie and Les Parrott, authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. The first edition was packaged with a CD single by the Ludys: "Faithfully", a song they had written to accompany the book, with lyrics discussing the beauty of having a life partner; the book is divided into sixteen chapters. Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the two authors; the first section, "Desiring a Love Story", addresses sexual desire and lovesickness, suggesting that temporary relationships cannot fulfill those longings. Section Two, "Preparing for a Love Story", advances ways in which one might, before initiating a romantic relationship, develop the characteristics of a good spouse; the next section, "Waiting for a Love Story", discusses the practice of fidelity to one's future spouse before meeting them by way of sexual abstinence and argues that waiting indefinitely is worth it if one's soulmate never arrives. In the fourth section, "Sweetening a Love Story", the Ludys provide advice on how to proceed once the possibility of a romantic relationship has presented itself.
The final section, "Discovering a God-written Love Story", argues that it is never too late to give God control of one's love life, that this sacrifice should be made not in expectation of personal benefit but rather to benefit one's future spouse and to honor God. Early in the book, Eric retells a portion of Homer's Odyssey, describing the episode in which Ulysses sails near the land of the Sirens: creatures whose song so attracts seafarers that they sail towards them and crash on the rocks. In this story, Ulysses orders all his men to fill their ears with beeswax and tie him to the mast. Still, hearing the Sirens' song the entire time, is tortured by its beauty and his inability to get to the song's source. Eric follows this story with a retelling of the story of Orpheus's encounter with