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Title: A Review of American History to Understand Americas Current Cultural Status and The Implications for


1
A Review of American History to Understand
Americas Current Cultural Status and The
Implications for Evangelization (Part 1) A
Condensed Edition for SAMs AGMs
  • Original Edition Prepared For
  • NAMBs 2006 Leadership Summit
  • Current Revision Prepared For
  • SBC State Convention Directors of Mission
  • Missouri, Oklahoma South Carolina Staff
    Meetings in 2007
  • Prepared by Dr. James B. Slack, Missiologist of
    IMB, SBC

2
The Aim and Context of this Ethnic Immigration
History Presentation
  • The aim of this presentation is to explore and
    present a history of immigration into the USA
    from 1775 to the present with a view to exposing
    major implications concerning church planting
    then and now.

3
Section 1 Biblical Background for Evangelizers
4
Context of This Presentation
  • God promised Abraham and us through Abraham that
    He would make of Abraham a great nation (ethnic
    people group) through whom (Israel-the people of
    God) He would engage and bless not only every
    ethnic group but also every tribe
    (phulagitranslated as tribe and family that
    follows within the lineage of a clan, a tribe, an
    ethnic group).
  • Throughout Gods developing of His ethnic
    people group Israel, God continually pleaded that
    Israel put Him first, clean up their
    life--personal and national-- and ultimately take
    His hope of salvation to the panta ta ethne
    (each and every ethnic group). All of this
    history from Abraham in Genesis is summarized in
    Christs Great Commission (Matthew 2819 20).

5
Context of Presentation
  • For Israel from its beginning in Abraham unto
    spiritual Israel now (each Christian and each
    Church), the panta ta ethne was and is the
    focus of making disciples. The panta ta
    ethne obligation can be seen in the Old
    Testament in the stranger in thy home, the
    stranger (ethnic) in thy midst.
  • On occasion in the O.T., as with Jonah, God
    called individual witnesses to take His message
    to other ethnic groups. In Jonahs eyes, Nineveh
    was a major enemy of Israel, deserving to be
    damned forever. In Gods eyes the people of
    Nineveh were a lost ethne to be evangelized.
    And, God worked to make him go.

6
Context of Title Presentation
  • In the last two years, Acts 18 has been a
    major theme of the SBC and the focus of many SBC
    events. Southern Baptists could have no more
    biblical nor historically appropriate theme at
    this time in its history.
  • However, many fail to interpret Acts 18 in the
    context of the panta ta ethne in Matthew 2819
    20 which is telling the new Christian believers
    that they are to be conscious of, identify,
    engage and evangelize every ethnic group (panta
    ta ethne) in ones Jerusalem every ethnic group
    in ones Judea every ethnic group in ones
    Samaria and every ethnic group in ones
    uttermost. This connection is much easier to
    grasp when one reads Matthew 2819 20 followed
    immediately by Acts 1 and the illustration of the
    panta ta ethne in their Jerusalem in Acts 2.
  • My thanks goes out to my fellow presenters
    during this NAMB leaders summit for parts of
    their presentations that have laid the foundation
    for this topic. (Remember or notice that the
    first edition of this presentation was first
    developed and presented during a leadership
    summit of NAMB when multiple presenters preceded
    this presentation.)

7
Echoing a Pleading of God about His ta ethne
Focus Given to Israel Christians
  • The Great Commissions panta ta ethne mandate
    is
  • to engage every ethnolinguistic group in the
    world
  • to engage each ethne in their heart language, and
  • to engage them at their worldview belief, habits,
    values and living level--a paramount obligation
    for every Christian in the Great Commission and
    elsewhere in the Scriptures.
  • At the same time, a people group focus does not
    rule out engaging society according to other
    groupings such as students, the classes, etc., as
    long as the primary commitment is that of
    engaging every ethnic group in ones midst.

8
The Main Question To Ask!
  • Are we sleeping like Israel slept in times when
    God asked Israel to move beyond an almost single
    focus on their own kind of God-chosen people,
    in order to engage and evangelize the ta ethne
    among them? Or, are we taking note of every
    ethnic group who moves among us, and are we
    taking steps to evangelize them?

9
A Historical Look at the Status, Engagement and
Implications of Immigrants (the Ta Ethne) in the
United States from 1775 to 2006
  • A Version Designed for the NAMB Leadership Summit
    and Significantly Updated for SBC State
    ConventionStaffs for Directors of Mission
    Others

10
Section 2 A Look At Immigration in the USA from
1775 to 1940s
11
Will Herbergs Oscar Handlins Research Findings
  • Oscar Handlin said in the 1950s Once I thought
    to write a history of the immigrants in America.
    Then I discovered that the immigrants were
    American history The Uprooted, The Epic Story
    of the Great Migrations that Made the American
    People. (p. 3. Little Brown, 1957) (Handlins
    Pulitzer Prize work.)
  • This is the most significant and critical
    reality for America and American Christians to
    understand, then and now. We will explore the
    then first, followed by a look at the now in
    parts 2 and 3 of this document.
  • America is a nation of immigrants.

12
A Look At 1775 to 1950America, A Nation of
Panta ta ethne Immigrants
  • America was founded, grew and flourished in
    terms of immigrant ethnic peoples, immigrant
    religious adherents and the churches they planted
    in the emerging nation. We will explore those
    categories.
  • Herberg described America following 1607
    saying The colonists who came to these shores
    from the time of the founding of Jamestown in
    1607 to the outbreak of the Revolution were
    mostly of English and Scottish stock, augmented
    by a considerable number of settlers of Dutch,
    Swedish, German, and Irish origin. Handlin and
    Herberg said often Almost all came from
    Christian background roots.

13
A Look At 1775 to 1950America, A Nation of
Panta ta ethne Immigrants
  • By the time the great migrations were past, the
    British-Protestant element had been reduced to
    less than half the population, and Americans had
    become linguistically and ethnically the most
    diverse people on earth. (Herberg and Handlin).
    However, even by 1950, there were only a small
    percentage of the US population who did not come
    from Christian background settings. (Herberg,
    Handlin Hansen). Obviously, the late coming
    Catholics figured into the mix.

14
A Look At 1775 to 1950America, A Nation of
Panta ta ethne Immigrants
  • The melding force was a combination of the
    frontier, economics and the continuing waves of
    ethnic immigrant arrivals from 1775 to 1924.
  • Immigrants found plenty of opportunities to work
    on the Westward moving frontier and came in waves
    seeking frontier jobs land.
  • It is important to note that the flow of most of
    the immigrants to the frontier meant minimal
    settling by them in their own ethnic enclaves.
    The frontier caused their coming and their
    melding, their assimilation.

15
A Look At 1775 to 1950America, A Nation of
Panta ta ethne Immigrants
  • This flow of a majority of the immigrants who
    came in waves seeking frontier jobs, played the
    major role in shaping America linguistically and
    culturally. Again, the frontier was the
    assimilating factor and force.
  • Their basic desire was to live in their own
    ethnic enclaves and not assimilate.
  • As successive waves of immigrants came to the US
    over 100 years, the push of each wave
    contributed to the rising of first generation
    immigrants from menial frontier jobs to climb to
    middle class manager/ business status on and just
    behind the frontiers leading edge. Second
    generation ethnics replaced the first generation
    as the manual laborers. The shaping and melding
    of America was in gear and in process.

16
A Look At 1775 to 1950America, A Nation of
Panta ta ethne Immigrants
  • Foundationally, it is very important to
    understand that it was
  • the freedom in America,
  • the emerging democracy in America,
  • the vast Western frontier of the Continent,
  • the letters from friends and family telling them
    to come and join them on the vast frontier,
  • the Western push of the people to experience
    freedom, own land, and prayerfully have a much
    brighter future,
  • The poverty, the hopelessness, and the peasant
    status of the immigrants in Europe
  • That lured them to America and its vast Frontier
    that caused them to assimilate and meld to a
    degree.

17
The Shaping of A New Nation
  • It is very important to notice in this history
    that
  • The lure and fact of the frontier that brought
    the immigrants by the millions caused the
    assimilation, the melding, of the immigrants.
    Non-assimilation was not a choice and would not
    have been their choice by many ethnic groups.
  • Historically, the immigrants would liked to have
    settled in among their own kind of people and
    produced ethnic enclaves within the USA
  • The mass of immigrants and the fact of the
    frontier minimized the peoples choice and forced
    assimilation over a 150-year period of time

18
A Look At 1775 to 1950America, A Nation of
Panta ta ethne Immigrants
  • In this shaping process, the second generation of
    immigrants assumed the jobs of the vacated first
    generation immigrants who moved up the job
    ladder.
  • As the frontier moved farther westward and as new
    waves of immigrants came to America, the movement
    from menial to managerial jobs continued and the
    appearance of educational opportunities on the
    frontier increased its occurrence and the varied
    status in US. Though the US frontier was not
    near 50 literate, schools tended to follow the
    frontier westward.
  • The push of the frontier and education in English
    language in schools minimized wholesale
    settlement of immigrants within ethnic enclaves,
    except where enclaves developed in a few cities.

19
A Look At 1775 to 1950America, A Nation of
Panta ta ethne Immigrants
  • Thus, the Americanization process did produce
    in the somewhat melded population a fairly common
    English language among the ethnics.
  • In order to move up the ladder socially and
    economically, each wave of immigrant ethnics had
    to push their ethnic language into the home and
    family, while publicaly adopting English as the
    language of the workplace and society. Many
    ethnic languages did persist in the family for
    100 years. Traces of them exist today. For
    instance, it was the late 1970s before Swedish
    Baptists in the US renamed themselves Baptist
    General Conference.

20
A Look At 1775 to 1950America, A Nation of
Panta ta ethne Immigrants
  • Americanization of the various European ethnics
  • Even though they learned English for economic
    reasons, this language melding did not erase all
    of their ethnic identities. Illustrations abound
    and persist even today of this fact.
  • A major, a key, fact of the immigrants and the
    frontier was that language melding did not erase
    their religious identity from the old country.
    Of all their ethnic qualities, their religious
    identity came over from the old country, and came
    to the fore. As public ethnic language use was
    stripped from them, they tended to hold on to and
    underline their religious heritage. For many,
    their original ethnic language persisted. Many
    Catholic parishes were established along ethnic
    language lines. This was not as common among
    Protestants.

21
In Retrospect
  • In the years following 1900, for the first time,
    immigrants began coming from southern and eastern
    Europe. Of all the immigrants coming during that
    post-1900 era, those from southern and eastern
    Europe were in the majority. Many of these
    immigrants were Jewish and Catholic, in contrast
    to the predominantly Protestant groups that
    settled in the United States prior to 1900.

22
The Religious Change from 1775 to 1950 A
Religious Perspective of History
  • This section looks at the status of
    Christianity in 1775 and the charted changes
    within the population in light of what happened
    within Christianity until 1950.

23
This Period of Change from 1775 to 1950 A
Religious Perspective
  • It is clear in early immigrant documents that the
    main migratory people were Protestant and that
    they migrated to the New World primarily for
    religious reasons and in search of religious
    freedom.
  • The percent of Christians, counted from the
    perspective of recognized church members in the
    colonies in 1775 was about 12 and a large
    majority of those were Protestants. Most people
    in the colonies beyond the 12 would say they
    were Christians.

24
The Period of Change from 1775 to 1950 A
Religious Perspective
  • American religious denominations, beginning in
    1775 and continuing until 1950, also underwent
    classic changes which were only minimally caused
    and marked by theology.
  • In the American religious landscape Protestantism
    dominated from the 1700s to the 1900s.

25
A Look At The Six (6) Leading Church Groups in
the Colonies in 1780
  • Congregational (745 churches)
  • Anglican/Episcopal (405 churches)
  • Presbyterian (490 churches)
  • Lutheran (235 churches)
  • Methodist (Less than 200 churches)
  • Baptist (About 200 churches)
  • Note Catholics are not included in this
    comparison for they were a minority until the
    1900s.

26
The Six (6) Leading Church Groups in the USA in
1850
  • Methodist
  • Baptist
  • Presbyterian
  • Lutheran
  • Congregational
  • Episcopal
  • (See Neil Brauns Laity Mobilized Masters Thesis
    for more discussion of this dynamic within US
    history.)

27
The Six (6) Leading Church Groups in the USA in
1950
  • Baptist was first
  • Methodist
  • Lutheran
  • Presbyterian
  • Episcopal
  • Congregational was last
  • (See Jim Slacks and Jim Maroneys IMB study and
    book of the principles and practices of church
    planting for documentation sources.)

28
Discerning The Lay of the Land
  • In fact, the order of the six leading
    denominations in 1775 were exactly reversed by
    1950.
  • By 1850 Methodists were the largest Protestant
    denomination in the USA and Baptists were second.
  • By 1950 Baptists were the largest of the
    original groups and Methodists were second. A
    count of Southern Baptists alone in 1950 would
    have shown them close to being largest Protestant
    denomination.

29
Discerning The Lay of the Land
  • It is very informative from a historic
    evangelization and missiological perspective to
    follow and compare the growth dynamics among the
    6 largest Protestant denominations in 1775 with
    the 6 largest Protestant denominations in 1950.
  • Baptists in 1775, who had not yet divided into
    two major Baptist groups (Northern and Southern),
    were the smallest of all seven Protestant
    denominations. Methodists were next to last.
  • What happened that caused this reversal?

30
How did Methodists become First in 1850 and
Remain Second by 1950?
  • Methodists had a strategy, a carefully defined
    and carefully managed geographic circuit-rider
    plan that fitted them for the frontier. Their
    plan was the method found in the word
    Methodist. That plan, designed by Wesley for
    England, which was only partially accepted there,
    was a perfect fit for the US frontier, at least
    until about 1900.

31
How did Methodists become First in 1850 and
Remain Second in 1950?
  • A Quote When the rigors of circuit riding in
    the early days, as the Church moved over the
    country, are brought before the mind and
    imagination, the question is frequently asked,
    How did they stand it? The answer is They
    didnt. They died under it. No group of men
    ever lived up more fully to the truth, He that
    looseth his life shall find it. (pp. 42-43,
    Halford E. Luccock, Endless Line of Splendor. The
    Advance for Christ and His Church of The
    Methodist Church publisher, Chicago, Illinois,
    1950)

32
How did Methodists become First in 1850 and
Remain Second in 1950?
  • A Quote They died, most of them, before their
    careers were much more than begun. Of the 650
    preachers who had joined the Methodist itinerancy
    by the opening of the 19th century, about 500 had
    to locate, a term that was used for those too
    worn-out to travel further. Many of the rest had
    to take periods for recuperation. Others located
    not because of health, but by reason of lack of
    support and the desire to marry and establish a
    home. (Luccock)

33
How did Methodists become First in 1850 and
Remain Second in 1950?
  • Of the first 737 circuit riders of the
    Conferences to diethat is, all who died up to
    1847
  • 203 were between 25 and 35 years of age
  • 121 between 35 and 45.
  • Nearly half died before they were 30 years old.
  • Of 672 of those first preachers whose records
    fully exist,
  • two-thirds died before they had been able to
    render 12 years of service.
  • Just one less than 200 died within the first five
    years. (Luccock)

34
How did Methodists become First in 1850 and
Remain Second by 1950?
  • A Quote Many circuits were from 300 to 600
    miles in length…For instance, in 1791, Freeborn
    Garrettson was assigned to a circuit which
    included almost half of what is now the state of
    New York…In 1814 James B. Finley, on the Cross
    Creek Circuit, Ohio, had a circuit covering more
    than two counties, and preached 32 times on every
    round. The salary schedule has an eloquence of
    its own. Cash was almost unknown. In 1821
    Benjamin T. Crouch records receiving only 38
    toward his years allowance. The same year Peter
    Cartwright received the highest salary in the
    Kentucky Conference--238. But when he moved,
    with his wife and six children, to the Sangamon
    Circuit, Illinois, he received 40, all told, for
    the year. (pp. 44-45, Luccock)

35
How did Baptists become Second in 1850 and Grow
to First by 1950?
  • Methodism grew fast until after 1850, but
    Baptist growth from 1800 to 1960 is unparalleled.
    From a little over 100,000 in 1800, Baptists
    were approaching 20 million by 1960. (Gaustad
    1962 as quoted by Neil Braun)
  • The basic reason is that Baptist theology and
    polity fitted them better for the frontier than
    any other denomination of churches.

36
Growth Characteristics of Baptists
  • Each local church was autonomous
  • Churches were congregational in polity
  • Lay, rarely educated, Baptist church members
    going west were encouraged to plant a church at
    sites where they settled if no Baptist church
    existed there
  • Churches that did emerge met in homes, saloons,
    hardware stores, barns, stables, school rooms,
    under trees, etc.

37
Growth Characteristics of Baptists
  • Local churches found their pastor within the
    maturing believers in their emerging new church
    body
  • Local churches recognized and ordained their own
    pastors
  • Often the settler who started a new church ended
    up being called by the emerging new church to
    be their pastor. Many laymen became pastors that
    way.
  • Laymen who did become pastors tended to
    itinerate, pastoring 2-4 churches

38
Growth Characteristics of Baptists
  • As churches were planted, laymen within those
    churches with a burden for the lost tended to
    emerge who preached in the outlying areas
    wherever a group of people lived
  • Consequently, lay evangelists were common in
    Baptist churches and this trend persisted well
    into the early to mid-1900s
  • As frontier towns settled in and grew, a few
    churches sought pastors from more settled
    frontier towns to the east

39
Growth Characteristics of Baptists
  • By the mid to late 1800s, requests for training
    arose among frontier pastors who settled in for a
    longer tenure in the more settled, behind the
    frontiers leading edge, towns
  • As pastors saw their churches increase in
    membership size and stability, and as they faced
    more complex pastoral duties, they called for
    training assistance
  • This led to Baptist schools being started from
    the Atlantic to the Mississippi River. This is
    why and how the many Baptist colleges and SBC
    seminaries started. These were on-demand
    schools. Local churches started them and paid
    for them. Subsidy was an unknown habit on the
    frontier for over 100 hundred years. Subsidy was
    less among Baptists than among Methodists and
    Methodist subsidy, as seen earlier, was very
    meager when it was provided.

40
The Most Common Growth Reasons
  • Sweet, Herberg, Latourette, Braun and multiple
    other social and religious historians said that
    the three most common growth factors were 1) the
    starting of churches in homes where land and
    building for a church was not a condition for
    having and being a church 2) lay preachers and
    pastors, almost every one of whom were
    bi-vocational and 3) a congregational polity
    that allowed local churches to start and function
    autonomously without approval from a leadership
    hierarchy.

41
The Major Concern of the Immigrants by the 1900s
  • Their big concern was the preservation of
    their way of life above all, the transplanting
    of their churches. (pp. 10-11, Herberg.)
  • In his footnotes Herberg quotes Marcus L.
    Hansens research in The Problem of the Third
    Generation Immigrant (Augustana Historical
    Society, Rock Island, Ill., 1938, p. 15 who said
    The church was the first, the most important,
    and the most significant institution that the
    immigrants established. Their churches went to
    the frontier with them. Those churches that fit
    the frontier and that were comfortable on the
    frontier won the frontier.

42
By 1950, Who Was an American?
  • By the early 1900s being an American came out
    of a degree of melding of three generations of
    ethnic groups into being Americans--Anglos
  • Herbergs research discovered that by the 1930s,
    A Triple Melting Pot situation in the US had
    developed as the norm. Ethnic migration saw
    their language and some of their culture receed
    somewhat to the background. English had become a
    practical acquisition of most ethnics, but their
    religion persisted to become the ethnics major
    identity.

43
The USA Religious Scene in 1950
  • In 1775 church members were from 10 to 12 of the
    US population
  • By 1910 church members had grown to 43
  • By 1960 church members had grown to 60
    (pp.33-34, Herberg)
  • Beyond the category of church members at least
    75-80 of all Americans said they were adherents
    of Christianity
  • By the 1950s denominationalism had developed, was
    clearly established, active and very strong in
    term of loyalties and influence in America
  • Evidences of denominational solidarity follow

44
Religion in USA in the 1950s A Consideration of
Conversions
  • Burkes article, a survey by the American
    Institute of Public Opinion (a Gallup poll) in
    1955 indicated that of an adult population of
    96,000,000, only about 4 per cent no longer
    belonged to the religious community of their
    birth of these 1,400,000 were Protestants who
    had originally been Catholics, and 1,400,000 were
    Catholics who had originally been Protestants,
    and about 1,000,000 had made changes of some
    other kind. See also John A. OBrien, You Too
    Can Win Souls (Macmillan, 1955). (Cited in
    Herbergs footnotes on pages 170-171.)

45
Religion in America from 1945-1960
  • Even beneath the surface of the American melting
    pot one could still see the persistence of
    ethnic identities when studying marriage and
    church affiliations.
  • On the surface citizens in the USA were
    Americans, known as Anglo-Saxons, but beneath the
    surface their ethne had not been totally erased.
    Notice the following data.

46
The Consequences of this Religious Environment
  • It was beginning to be true in the late 1930s,
    increased as being true in the 1940s, throughout
    the 1950s and into the early1960s that, to be
    elected to a significant state and national
    office in the USA, the candidate had to
    represent, or make the public think they
    represented, Judeo-Christian values or he or she
    would seldom ever be elected to a significant
    political office.
  • This was especially true in the Bible Belt of
    the USA. And, except in pervasively Catholic
    areas, it was difficult for a Roman Catholic to
    be elected to a national office.
  • Religious credentials were important for
    business leaders, salesmen and community leaders.

47
The Consequences of this Religious Environment
  • Pastors, Rabbis and Priests were at the top of
    the list of the most respected persons in
    American life.
  • Those Judeo-Christian values that can be seen
    in the background of the US Constitution, had
    emerged as the broad American ideal by the
    mid-1800s and were commonly taught and nourished
    in the US public schools from the 1800s to the
    early 1970s.
  • Prayers were said in the schools, prior to the
    beginning of any sports events, Ten Commandments
    posted in public places, and prayers to God for
    blessings habitually offered by politicians.
  • It was the 1960s before the USA elected a
    Catholic as president for fear that a Catholic
    president would allow the Pope in Rome to
    influence American political decisions in ways
    unfavorable to Protestants and Protestant values.
    Also, until Reagan, no divorcee had ever been
    elected as President of the USA.

48
The Consequences of this Religious Environment
  • Southern Baptists, by 1950, not only emerged as
    the largest and most influential Protestant
    denomination in the USA, they existed
    predominantly in the Bible Belt.
  • Methodists and Southern Baptists were the
    major denominations that produced the Bible
    Belt with Presbyterians following some distance
    behind them.
  • The people who produced the Methodist and
    Baptist denominations and the Bible Belt were
    migrant peoples, mostly from Europe, mostly
    northern Europe.
  • Most of these had fled Europe looking for
    religious freedom, while the others came to the
    colonies looking for decent work, land, a say in
    political matters, a vote and a better lifestyle
    which spelled freedom.

49
The Consequences of this Religious Environment
  • Southern Baptist evangelism and church planting
    methods, or approaches, tended to develop in the
    midst of this highly religious identification and
    historical period. It was upon this base of
    Judeo-Christian values that the post-World War II
    years, especially the1950s, rested. Those
    Judeo-Christian values were assumed to exist by
    an overwhelming majority of the citizens in the
    USA.
  • These Judeo-Christian values permeated the
    justice and legal system of the USA and were
    assumed to be the best rules to live and do
    business by in the USA. (See Herbergs book
    Protestant, Catholic, and Jew for multiple
    quotes documenting this.)

50
The Lay of the Land Discerned
  • Consequently, Southern Baptists, and other
    evangelical denominations, and Para-church
    agencies such as Post-WWII Navigators, Campus
    Crusades, Inter-Varsity, and others, understood
    and established themselves and their Christian
    groups upon these assumptions and aspirations of
    typical Americans in the USA during this era.
    This was the situation just prior to the next
    stage of immigration and history in the USA.

51
The Lay of the Land Discerned
  • A study of Christian materials, and especially
    witnessing presentations, in the period between
    1945 and 1965 reveals the assumption that an
    American had enough background knowledge and
    beliefs about God and Christianity such that
    those basics would not have to be covered during
    witnessing sessions. It was also assumed that an
    American accepted the Bible as authoritative and
    that it was to be respected.

52
Looking Back on this Period from 1945 to 1960
  • We now look back on the period from 1945 to
    1960 as the most formative and significant
    religious ingathering period in American history.
    This does not minimize the affects and the
    magnitude of the Great Awakenings in the 1700s,
    or the Great Prayer Revival in 1850. However,
    the growth of religious denominations, agencies
    and institutions within this period speaks for
    itself. Southern Baptists grew by 100 in this
    period. (Herberg)

53
Looking Back on SBC Growth from 1950 to 1960
  • Southern Baptist Convention Stats in 1960 (The
    Largest Protestant Denomination)
  • 32,281 churches
  • 9,731,591 members (302 Avg. Mbs. Church)
  • 386,409 baptisms for year (11.9 A. Bap. Ch.)
  • 7,382,550 Sunday School (75.8 of mbs.)
  • 480,608,972 Total of Receipts in Churches

54
A Troubling Reality of the Most Homogeneous and
Religious Era
  • Herbergs Quote This is at least part of the
    picture presented by religion in contemporary
    America. Christians flocking to church, yet
    forgetting all about Christ when it comes to
    naming the most significant events in history
    men and women valuing the Bible as revelation,
    purchasing and distributing it by the millions,
    yet apparently seldom reading it themselves.
    Every aspect of contemporary religious life
    reflects this paradoxpervasive secularism amid
    mounting religiosity, the strengthening of the
    religious structure in spite of increasing
    secularism…America seems to be at once the most
    religious and the most secular of nations… can
    there be much doubt that, by and large, the
    religion which actually prevails among Americans
    today has lost much of its authentic Christian
    (or Jewish) content. (p. 2-3, Herberg)

55
Major Missiological Issues to Notice
  • Programs, methods, approaches, whatever one wants
    to call them, became more and more generic. They
    were copied and used successfully in many
    different regions and locations in the US. This
    was especially the case with Southern Baptists
    who were mainly in the Bible Belt
  • Consequently Southern Baptists came to believe
    that one size, meaning one model, fits all.
    And to a great degree then, especially in the
    Bible Belt, one size did work quite well in many
    places among many people, because of homogeneous
    values that existed in America at that time

56
Major Missiological Issues to Notice
  • In those cases in the 1950s when Baptists hit
    the road and took their evangelism teams to the
    Northeast, to the Midwest and to the Northwest,
    they tended to attract primarily transplanted
    Southerners who had a firm Christian base with
    strong Judeo-Christian values.
  • In the 1950s, when Baptists went out of the
    Protestant Bible Belt and into Catholic
    territories they met the we dont swap
    religions ethnic identity that was
    characteristic of America and Americans of that
    era.
  • Protestants and Baptists grew better among
    unchurched relatives than among Catholics
    Jews.

57
Major Missiological Issues to Notice
  • Those transplanted churches beyond the Bible Belt
    with mostly southern members were soon sealed off
    from the locals. For, when the few locals who
    did come to see what church was all about, they
    saw foreign folks, heard sermons that assumed
    evangelical, Christian values assumptions with
    southern Bible Belt terms.
  • Most locals did not stay and join those
    non-local, southern churches, for a significant
    number did not hold the southern worldview
    values. Fifty years later, most of those
    churches are as they were then, or smaller.

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59
The Period of American History 1960-Present
  • saw Post-Modernism come from Europe to Canada and
    into the USA
  • began experiencing a type of ethnic immigration
    that, with the possible exception of the ethnics
    coming from Latin America, is coming from very
    different linguistic, worldview and world
    religion sources such that
  • Generic is no longer a characteristic in USA,
    even among Anglos.
  • Pluralism exists within ethnes and even in
    denominations and churches in this era.

60
The Period of American History 1960-Present
  • The most homogeneous era in US history and the
    most religious period in US history soon
  • experienced immigrant ethnics who want the
    American dream but who do not want to assimilate
    into American culture to the point of giving up
    language, culture and religion yet, who want all
    of the rights of any traditional American
    citizen and who soon
  • met Christians who do not see them as, or relate
    to them as, Jesus panta ta ethne.

61
A Summary of Immigration into US from 1820 to
2000 A.D.
  • From 1820 through 1924 35,999,402
  • From 1925 through 1960 5,841,559
  • From 1961 through 2000 24,248,470
  • From 1820 through 2003 69,869,450
  • In 2000 A.D. the projection prior to the Census
    was 26,800,000 foreign-born persons in the US in
    July of 2000
  • Actual foreign-born enumerated in 2000 Census was
    31,100,000 persons

62
Consequences of Immigrants in US from 1960 to the
Present
  • English will functionally face other competitors,
    especially in local ethnic communities where
    other languages dominate
  • The issue of worldview will loom larger and
    larger in more and more settings in the USA
  • Local ethnic Radio and TV stations and programs
    will likely proliferate within the USA
  • Marketing will become more pluralistic in
    catering to multiple ethnic groups in order to
    engage and sell to the increasing pluralistic
    market setting in USA
  • Niche marketing already exists in USA

63
Consequences of Immigrants in US from 1960 to the
Present
  • Foreign marketers will increase to join and
    compete with already present and powerful foreign
    businesses such as Toyota, Samsung, British
    Petroleum, Shell, and many others.
  • Language use in the USA will become more varied
    and will increase within specific languages
    yearly, if not more often.
  • Evangelicals focus evangelistically mainly on
    Anglos with only a minor focus on ethnics.

64
Consequences of Immigrants in US from 1960 to the
Present
  • However, at present, evangelical methods of
    engagement and evangelization are mostly replicas
    and renditions of methods used in the 1950s when
    religion was commonly in vogue, based upon
    Biblical values, and given attention and a
    hearing by most citizens.
  • Today, none of those assumptions exist in a
    pluralistic America.
  • The definition of an American becomes more
    difficult and pluralistic every day.

65
Illegal Immigrants into the USA
  • In addition to the nearly 1 million legal
    immigrants who arrive in the United States each
    year, hundreds of thousands of people enter the
    country without permission…The Immigrant and
    Naturalization Service (INS) estimates the number
    at close to 300,000 a year. (The Newest
    Americans, p. 13.)

66
The Most Sobering Reality
  • The setting in America today better fits the
    Great Commissions panta ta ethne mandate of
    Christ than any other era in American history.
    It seems that God has brought the uttermost to
    our individual Jerusalems.
  • Never in the history of America has ethnic,
    heart language, worldview sensitive been so
    appropriate and required than today.

67
  • Concluding Slide of A Look At The Historical
    Periods of Immigration into the USA from
    1775-2006

68
  • Prepared by Dr. James Slack
  • Ethnographer, Missiologist, Growth Analyst and
    Field Assessments Consultant of SBCs IMB
  • Global Research Department of OOO
  • January 16, 2006 Edition Previous Edition
  • This Edition 22 October 2007

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