Hurricane Fiona, Americans’ Beliefs Changed Post-Pandemic & God’s Love
The entire island of Puerto Rico lost power over the weekend as Hurricane Fiona brought havoc on Sunday, Sept. 18. Americans experienced seismic changes over the past two years, including, for many, how they attend church. The shift in behavior coincides with a shift in theology. And, a Bible Study from Lifeway points out, “Of all the skills bank tellers need to have, one is eminently important: the ability to identify a counterfeit dollar bill. Bank tellers must look at a bill and, in a matter of seconds, observe minute details that signal whether it’s real or a forgery.”
The entire island of Puerto Rico lost power over the weekend as Hurricane Fiona brought havoc on Sunday, Sept. 18. Send Relief pre-positioned its response ahead of the storm’s landfall and has begun assessing the need.
Some parts of the island received up to 30 inches of rainfall over the weekend causing widespread flooding and generated mudslides.
Wind gust measuring 103 mph in Ponce, a city on the island’s southern coast that is the second-most populated city in Puerto Rico. Those winds cut the power of the island’s fragile power grid, but the torrential rainfall and flash flooding is likely to do the most long-term harm.
Americans experienced seismic changes over the past two years, including, for many, how they attend church. The shift in behavior coincides with a shift in theology.
The biennial State of Theology study conducted by Lifeway Research found relative stability in some of the religious and cultural beliefs U.S. adults hold. After months of quarantines and social distancing, however, Americans increasingly believe worshiping apart from a church is as good as attending church services.
In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning in the United States, 58 percent of Americans said worshipping alone or with one’s family was a valid replacement for regularly attending church, with 26 percent strongly agreeing. In 2022, 66 percent believe worshiping apart from a local congregation is as valid as worshiping with one, with 35 percent strongly agreeing.
Additionally, most Americans (56 percent) don’t believe every Christian has an obligation to join a local church. Fewer than 2 in 5 (36 percent) say this is something all Christians should do.
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A Bible Study from Lifeway points out, “Of all the skills bank tellers need to have, one is eminently important: the ability to identify a counterfeit dollar bill. Bank tellers must look at a bill and, in a matter of seconds, observe minute details that signal whether it’s real or a forgery.”
They learn this skill…not by looking at counterfeit bills – but by examining real money.
“If we are to be people who live in the love of God, we must know what His love truly is And since God Himself is love, we must know His character. But counterfeits abound: people who may look and sound genuine, but they neither come from nor represent God. A genuine believer is one who has been transformed by the love of God and loves as He loves. God takes the real thing seriously, and so should we.”
1 Corinthians 13 is a great place for Christians to learn what love really looks like.
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