you heard something like the following?
In the next 20 years Muslims will
overrun the Christian population in Western Europe because they are having
large families. If Christians do not start having more than 1.5 children
per family in the West, we will be looking at a radical shift in
have heard this argument many times, either as a plea for evangelism or as an
argument for Christians to have more children (the first great commission).
me tell you three reasons why this line of argumentation does not work:
It makes Christian faith hereditary. While it is true that many
Christian families produce Christian children, it is only because of the grace
of God - you know this to be especially true if you have children! Does
anyone find it strange that the same people telling Christians to have more
kids so that there are more Christians are the SAME people putting out stats
that children from Christian homes are leaving the faith in droves? It
seems their studies don't have much overlap.
2. It discounts a move by the Spirit of God to
bring revival. While there may be trend,
it only takes one revival in one country to upset these statistics.
3. The third reason is most
telling. It is true that Muslim families from predominantly Muslim
countries have large families. However, Muslim
children that grow up in Western countries do not necessarily have large
families. As Muslim women are given more
opportunities out of the home and as Western values creep into families, second
generation families in western cultures have less children, much closer to the
average sized family in the western world.
So we can rejoice that Muslims
who were once in countries and among people group shut off from the gospel are
now able to hear the gospel. Let’s just
not play with statistics to make unhelpful pleas.
Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International. As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.