The Church seems to be loosing its voice. The message of Christ and the Church appear to be lacking relevance in much of today’s Western culture. As Ross Douthat describes the American spiritual climate in his book, Bad Religion, “… both the populists and the intellectuals … share the same basic understanding of our national predicament. Their America is a nation in which religious faith has been steadily marginalized. To stand for morale absolutes is socially ostracizing. To hold a belief in one meta-narrative for all is culturally offensive. To hold fast to a hope in a loving God who has created the world and everything in it and is reconciling it back to himself through the Church — is a message considered ideologically naïve and extraneous.
In his article entitled, How Should Christians Engage in Politics, Michael Wear demonstrates the growing silence of the Church. Statistically 70% of Americans claim they are people of faith. But only 40% say their religious beliefs matter on a daily basis. Wear writes, “The public is now evenly divided on the question of whether churches and other houses of worship should express their views on day-to-day social and political questions.” Wear reports only 49% of Americans believe faith-based views should be voiced in politics with 48% percent believing the Church should remain silent. “Nearly three-quarters of Americans (72%) now say that religion is losing influence in American life, the highest share to hold this view in Pew Research surveys going back to 2001.”
Faith and religious beliefs are the core convictions on all matters of life and death and everything in between. Douthat writes, “every human culture is religious – defined by what its inhabitants believe about some ultimate reality, and what they think that realty demands of them. It should seem preposterous to suggest that one’s faith would remain silent when thinking, speaking, discussing, relating, debating, writing, and acting publicly on the matters most affecting the world and the shaping of daily life. Yet in Western culture today there is a gag order emerging that is disconnecting faith and religious beliefs from the public square and the shaping of the world.
What I enjoyed most about Bad Religion, however, is how Douthat didn’t put the major blame of the gag order on cultural issues outside the Church but rather the greatest influences on the silencing of the Church have been its lack of orthodoxy or rather its abundance of heresy. In a review of Bad Religion by Frank Roberts, Roberts summarizes the major heresies Douthat describes having taken over American Christianity as follows:
First, the Dan Brown school of Gnostic Christianity, an outgrowth of the new historical approaches and new apocryphal materials that came to light in the 20th Century. Second is the “God Within” heresy, the Gospel that is more therapeutic than salvational, and which usually claims to be “spiritual but not religious.” Next is the Prosperity Gospel, and Joel Osteen is the epitome of this heresy. Finally, the most pernicious heresy, and in my mind the most widespread (and for me the most personally alluring), is the gospel of American Nationalism.
It would be these errors that Douthat believes have not so much silenced the Church but rather have caused it to lose its orthodoxy and in turn lose its voice. The days ahead will be very interesting for the Church in our world and from Douthat’s perspective the greatest challenge will be our ability to regain our orthodoxy; regain our voice.
 Ross Douthat, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (New York: Free Press, 2013), 2.
 Michael Wear and Peter Court, “Modern American Politics and the Christian Life Court,” Q Ideas, accessed March 29, 2015, http://qideas.org/articles/modern-american-politics-and-the-christian-life/.
 Ibid., Wear and Court.
 Frank Roberts, review of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, Goodreads, August 14, 2012, 1, accessed April 4, 2015, http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/308835940?book_show_action=true&page=1.