Newsletter : May 2009 – Atheist Stronghold in Charleston!?!

28 Apr

“The emergence of a more visible presence for atheists — even in a deeply conservative state like South Carolina — does signal a change on America’s religious landscape.  Their stated plan to follow the example of the gay rights movement is a shrewd move.  Time will reveal if the strategy leads to an increased public influence for atheists and agnostics.”


This quote comes from an article written by Albert Mohler of Southern Baptist Seminary on his blog. He references newspaper coverage of a movement called “Secular Humanist of the Low Country” which is based in Charleston, SC. That a movement which desires to assert atheism could exist in a state like ours should alert us to a sincere neglect and problem in our Christianity. Further that atheists in this movement would look to the gay rights movement for inspiration should further make us aware of how little the Christian message has penetrated society’s thinking. The atheist group in Charleston already had a billboard stating, “Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone.”Dr. Mohler is much more optimistic than I am. He tells us that time will tell. I tell you that time is a witness against us. In Britain, Europe, New England and dare I say now in Charleston, if the church allows itself to become lax then the world will overcome. In fact one of the fast growing mission fields is formerly evangelized countries!

 What is at the center of our failure and neglect? We have failed when it comes to being Great Commission Christians.  So what has this told our culture?

  • The church has no passion about their belief so those beliefs must not be true.
  • The church does not preach on the severity of sin or hell so they must not be as bad as once thought.
  • The church has no zeal to discipline its members if they are in sin or train those who are new believers, both of which ensure regenrate church membersip so the way people live must not be an issue.
  • The church is not willing to meet atheistic criticisms with gospel truth so the gospel must be deficient.
  • The church has members being treated for psychological syndromes as the world so the Bible must not be a sufficient guide for living.
  • The church has been investing in politics and social work, so the gospel must not be the focus of Christianity.
  • The church is concerned about comfortable buildings, pleasurable trips, and relevant meetings, so lost and dying souls must not be that important.

 Even though I am more pessimistic about our times, I do not for a moment think that the battle is lost. The list above is only a sampling of what our churches tell the culture. Personally I don’t want our church to tell the culture any of those things. No I want us to be a Great Commission church, standing firm on the Word of God. I think it is high time we take up the call of Paul in 2nd Timothy 4:1-8 that we preach the word in all seasons for the glory of God!
 Letting the Shepherd Lead,

Pastor Steven


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2 responses to “Newsletter : May 2009 – Atheist Stronghold in Charleston!?!

  1. Chris Honeycutt

    April 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    The “new south”, as it is termed, places a different emphasis on church life (if any at all). It’s a colloquial tradition that is just another historic set of buildings, rather than what it’s true purpose should be. The mainline churches haven’t helped this any either, putting more efforts towards “social change” than saving souls. Charleston is probably the biggest example of all this, as you have pointed out, how liberal and unchurched a large southern city can become.

    The southerner in me would say it’s due to an infiltration of “godless yankees”, but really it goes deeper than that. Urban settings these days are not typical hotbeds of religious activity, with a few exceptions here and there. Most folks aren’t raising families in urban areas anyways, so they escape to the suburbs (Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Moncks Corner, etc. all have thriving church scenes)

    This kind of goes back to your previous post about being “relevant”. A non-denominational, Bible-based church called Seacoast has many campuses in the Charleston area and has thousands in attendance each week. They are attracting new believers (not just “recycled” ones), partially due to emphasizing the real purpose of coming to church… to mature in our relationship with God and worship Him sincerely. It’s not a country club that many of the traditional churches in Charleston have turned into over the years.

    So when the purpose of the local church is lost, the culture around it changes. People lose the reason of why they should bother going, much less listening and believing what the church says. We have to be sure to never lose the real reason why we meet Sunday mornings.

  2. pastorsro

    May 5, 2009 at 10:01 am

    A few folks posted Comments on on Facebook. So here’s their thoughts.

    Ramsey Mays at 6:46pm April 30
    ah, my old stomping grounds

    Michelle Hannon at 8:57pm April 30
    Steven, I agree with you. I think the worst thing in Christendom today is people in church who say they are Christians but are not. These will cause the most trouble for us in the future. More and more though my thoughts go back to Jesus’ warning that the world will hate us because of him. And that I died with Christ the moment I was regenerated. I don’t think that the church’s victory is earthly.

    Ramsey Mays at 8:06pm May 4
    ultimately mankind is sinful and therefore selfish, and would rather paint themselves in the best of lights (to include making up their own beliefs and contentions of relativity).
    when i said, “my old stomping grounds,” i literally meant that i was raised as a secular humanist in charleston, so i get it.


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