Both dating and courting will involve couples doing things together. A dating couple and a courting couple might go out to dinner, a movie theater, a sporting event or church event together. A dating and a courting couple might spend time together with their various friends and family members. A dating and a courting couple may be physically attracted to one another.
With all these similarities it understandable how some people might confuse dating with courting. But the differences between these two activities are a matter of WHY, WHENand HOW.
WHY Dating and Courting Occur Is Different
The reason why men and women date is to enjoy one another’s company. For instance, if a couple goes on a date and either one or both do not enjoy the other’s company then they will not see each other again. Even if a couple has been dating for some time, if they cease to enjoy one another’s company then they simply “break up”.
The reason why men and women court is for the purpose of discovering if they are compatible for marriage. While courting couples may enjoy their time spent together as dating couples do they understand that this is only a happy byproduct of the courting process and not it’s core purpose. When one courts they are interviewed by the other’s parents, family and friends and they also interview their prospective spouse’s family and friends.
Courting is not about having fun, it is a fact-finding mission about a prospective spouse.
The purpose of courting is to find out the character of a potential spouse by asking them about what they believe about God and about life and then finding out from their family and friends if their life matches their beliefs.
While courtships are sometimes terminated like dating relationships are, the termination of a courtship does not happen easily and it a serious event for both families. Only if a serious incompatibly was found or if unfaithfulness was found on the part of either person would a courtship process be terminated. Another important reason why courtships are terminated far less often than dating relationships is because both families do a preliminary investigation of the potential spouse before a courtship arrangement is agreed upon.
WHEN Dating and Courting Happens is Different
In dating a man typically approaches a woman and “asks her out”. It might be to dinner, a school event, a church event or some other event. With courting a man does not ask the woman out. He asks her father’s permission to court his daughter.
And this brings us to another key difference between courting and dating. The man does not ask permission to court another man’s daughter until he is prepared to support a wife and family. Courtships unlike dating are not meant to be conducted over many years. They are meant to be a short time to see of the couple are compatible for marriage and then they marry. Typically, this process takes only a few months but usually does not go beyond a year.
From a courting perspective, it would be highly inappropriate for a young 16-year-old man in high school who is totally unprepared for marriage or unprepared to support a family to ask a young woman’s father if he may court her. But with the practice of dating, a man need not be mature enough for marriage or able to provide for a family to enter into an intimate relationship with a young woman.
One last thing about WHEN courting occurs. We have spoken about the prerequisites for a young man to be able to court someone’s daughter. So the next logical question would then be what about the young woman? What is the age for courtship for her? The age is when her father deems her ready. This may be before the legal age of adulthood which is 18 or after the legal age of adulthood. His primary concern would be to make the determination as to whether his daughter is spiritually and emotionally mature enough for marriage.
HOW Dating and Courting is Conducted is Different
When young men and women date they may kiss and hold hands on the very first date. In fact, some couples even have sex on the first date. Still for many teens they may not have sex for some time but they still become very intimate with each other in other emotional and physical ways.
For many young men and women dating is sort of like taking a drug. They experience the dopamine rush in their brains of being with a new person. Every text they receive from the other person gives them a rush. Every touch from that person gives them a rush. Then they need to go further and further with the touching. Even if some teens do not engage in full sexual intercourse, many dating teens are touching one another in other sexual ways. It is all about the rush, the thrill of being with that person.
And then for many teens when the rush and the thrill of the new relationship goes away they breakup and move on to the next teen to experience new thrills with that new person. And this cycle goes on and on throughout high school or college until they finally decide to settle down, get serious and get married.
When young men and women court they do NOT touch. Some courting couples may be allowed to hold hands when the wedding is very close. But beyond that there is no kissing or hugging or cuddling during courting. And while they definitely investigate one another for compatibility they are not as emotionally intimate as dating couples. The goal of courtship is to make sure a couple is compatible but at the same time not engage in the emotional and physical intimacy God meant for marriage. Courting couples experience that dopamine rush too, but they do not allow it to control their actions. They can finally and fully let go once they are married. And on their wedding night and during their honeymoon – physical and emotional intimacy is all new for them and as beautiful as God intended it to be.
To help courting couples avoid the temptation to touch or talk in ways that are reserved for marriage they are never allowed to be alone. They always have parents or siblings or other Christian elders with them at all times. Courting couples might go out to dinner, a movie theater, a sporting event or church event together but often they don’t even sit next to one another. Someone else is in-between whether it is a sibling or a parent. So, they experience the events together but they do not touch. This is a major difference between dating couples and courting couples.
Some people wrongly think that courting is just “dating for marriage”. But as we have shown here it is so much more than that. A core component of dating is physical intimacy even if the couple does not go all the way to intercourse. Another critical difference between dating and courting is the parental involvement. In dating the man asks the woman out, in courting the man asks the girl’s father for permission to court his daughter. With dating the ability of the young man to provide for a family and his overall readiness for marriage is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is if the young woman finds him attractive and fun to be around. In courting, the young man’s ability to provide for a family as well as his faith and overall maturity are critical prerequisites to him asking to court a man’s daughter.
While Christian churches and civil governments have usurped authority over marriage for many centuries, the fact is God did not give either of these spheres any authority over people entering into marriage. You will not find one passage of the Scriptures granting authority over marriage to either civil or church leaders. Not one.
You will however, find passages like the Exodus 22:16-17, giving fathers authority over their daughters in marriage:
“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”
Exodus 22:16-17 proves that God gave authority over marriage not to the civil government or the Church but to the family, and specifically to fathers.
God instituted the family as his first human authority structure. And he never ever took away any authority he gave to husbands and fathers when he later instituted the spheres of civil government and church government.
While the Bible does not require men to have the approval of their parents for marriage the Scriptures do tell sons this regarding their parents:
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother”
Proverbs 1:8 (KJV)
“A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.”
Proverbs 15:20 (KJV)
“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”
Proverbs 23:22 (KJV)
So, I think it is Biblical to say that men should also seek the advice of their parents in seeking the spouse God has for them in the courtship process.
My point thus far in all the Scriptures I have shown is this. God meant for the courtship process to be a family affair on both sides. He wants the parents of the man and woman who are courting to be on the same page and comparing notes about their children. This is not just a man and woman coming together in marriage, but it is also two families coming together.
Sin Sometimes Poisons the Courtship Process
Sin has infected every part of this world. It has infected our bodies and natures as individuals. It has also infected God’s institutions of marriage, family, civil government and even his institution of the Church. Husbands physically abuse or abandon their wives. Parents sometimes horribly abuse their children through physical abuse or neglect. Civil authorities abuse their God given power, usurp authority over areas God did not give them and violate the natural property rights of individuals. And church authorities are no less guilty of allowing sin to run rampant and abandoning the Word of God.
So, there will be times when a young person will not have the support in the courtship process God meant for them to have from their parents.
What happened with my grandparents is a prime example.
My paternal grandmother came from a home where her mother did not have a normal relationship with her children. She was one of three children. She had two brothers. My paternal great grandmother was the matriarch of her family. Her husband did whatever she said without question.
While it is not unheard of for wives to dominate their husbands and children (although it is sinful for them to do so) it is rare for a parent to forbid their children from ever marrying. That is what my paternal great grandmother did with her three children. She expressly forbade them from seeking out marriage and insisted that her three children live with her and their father for the remainder of their lives.
She made her children feel that if they loved anyone other than her, their father or their siblings that they would be betraying their family in doing so.
We know when looking at the Bible that such parenting is against God’s design. God gave this command to parents regarding their children:
“Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”
Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)
And this command from Jeremiah is based on God’s first command to mankind when he created man and woman:
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
Well you can probably guess that my grandmother went against her mother’s wishes for her to remain unmarried and live with her mother for life, else I would not be here.
Unfortunately, her brothers did not seek out marriage and they remained with their mother for the remainder of her life. One son died in his thirties before his mother died and the other died single many decades after his mother died. It is interesting to note that while these men never married they were both extremely sexually immoral and had sex with many women. But they hid it from their mother, never brought any of these women home and never married so they kept their mother happy.
My grandmother was the polar opposite of her brothers. She was not a loose girl. She was a strong believing Catholic and she believed sex was strictly reserved for marriage.
No, my grandmother and grandfather did not court. This new “dating” thing was all the rage and that is what my grandparents did. They dated in secret in the mid 1930’s a little more than a decade after woman’s suffrage was passed.
And just as I have warned people here about dating, my grandfather was trying to entice my grandmother into premarital sex while they were secretly dating. But my grandmother held to her Christian faith and she insisted that my grandfather convert to Catholicism and marry her before he could have sex with her.
My grandmother not only insisted that they be married first before sex, but that they also be married by a Catholic priest. They could not go to her Catholic church as her priest would have told her parents. So they went further away from where she lived to a different Catholic church and even used different names and were married by the priest under different names as the church would report the marriage to local newspapers.
My father told me that when his father died when he was eleven his mother had a horrible time getting social security because her and my grandfathers’s names did not match on the wedding certificate. She had to prove through the birth records of my father and his three older siblings and other church records that they had in fact married and she finally got her social security.
After they were married my grandmother let my grandfather start having sex with her but no one knew they were married. She stayed with her mother and would secretly meet with my grandfather. She asked my grandfather for time to break the news to her mother as she was still scared to death of her mother. Eventually my grandmother and grandfather were overheard on a party line (people shared phone lines with their neighbors back then) and the secret was out and she left to live my grandfather as husband and wife.
Did my grandmother do everything right? No. She dated a non-Christian man (He was actually raised Mormon). Also she did not immediately move in with her husband after they consummated their marriage.
But from a Biblical perspective, my grandmother was not sinning by seeking out a husband in direct disobedience to her mother.
Her father and mother were derelict in their duty as parents to encourage their children to marry and prepare them for marriage. It would have been disobedience on my grandmother’s part to God’s marriage mandate if she did not seek marriage unless God had providentially call her to a life of celibacy in his service.
God’s ideal is that the seeking out of one’s spouse should be family affair. The courtship model reflects God’s ideal. Ideally a man should seek out the approval and permission of a woman’s father to court her. And ideally a woman should follow her father’s advice in whom she marries. She sould seek out his blessing and approval. But due to sin’s corruption in this world not everyone can fully follow all the aspects of the courtship model.
Father’s die leaving fatherless daughters. Fathers or mothers refuse to allow their children to marry. Some parents may not discourage their children from marriage, but they refuse to participate in the courtship process.
So, what is a young person to do in these situations where parents are derelict in their duties in the courtship process? The answer is that you are only responsible for your own behavior. You are not responsible for your parent’s bad behavior.
That means if you have no father or mother or you have parents but they want nothing to do with the courtship process then you do what you can.
As a man that means even if your parents think otherwise – you do not court until you are financially prepared to provide for a family. And when you do court, you never allow yourself to be alone with the women you court. If her father wants to participate in the courtship process then ask his permission. And ask for his wisdom in knowing and understanding his daughter. Guard your heart and keep physical and emotional intimacy for marriage. Yes, it will be harder without parents to support you, but you can still do it with God’s strength and help. It is a vast understatement that this entire courtship process, with or without parental participation, should be bathed in prayer.
As a woman that means when you are an adult even if you have parents that were derelict in their duty like my maternal grandparents you should seek out marriage. It will be a must greater challenge for you as a woman than it is for a man as it was for my grandmother. But you still need to have high standards. Don’t just look for the first man who comes along. Pray hard as you seek the man God would have for you. It is sad that you as a woman are in this position, but you are here.
In a way this is similar to when a woman’s husband dies. A widow is the position of having to lead her children and provide for them as her husband did. She has to carry a load God never designed women to carry. But death in this world occurs because of sin in this world.
So, what does a widow have to do? She has to go out and get a job to support herself and her children. In the same way if a young woman has parents who are sinning against God’s calling for parents to encourage and prepare their children for marriage then she should attempt to get a job and then leave their home. Another option would be for her to move out of her parent’s house as an adult and move in with another Christian family. Perhaps she can even see if another Christian father will stand in as her spiritual father and help her in the courtship process.
I do think though that Christian young men and women as a general rule should commit to honoring the wishes of the woman’s father in courtship. Yes there will be exceptions like the one I have painted here and others. But whenever possible, the father’s wishes regarding his daughter should be honored – especially if he is a Christian man who is fully engaged in helping his daughter to find the man God has for her.
Update 9/30/2018 – I let my Dad read this since a I published this a few days ago and he wanted to me to correct and add a few details of his mother and father’s dating and marriage story. My great grandmother did not know about her two son’s whoring around – only my grandmother(their sister) knew. Also I did not know the details of how they were married whether by a judge or a priest. They were married by a priest at my grandmother’s insistence but they went to a different Catholic church than my grandmother attended regularly and they change their names so when the wedding announcements went out to news papers.
I will only seek to court a woman when I am ready to be her head as Christ is the head of the Church and when I am ready to provide for her and protect her as I do my own body as Christ does his Church. (Ephesians 5:23-24 & 29).
I will seek, whenever it is possible, the permission of a woman’s father before attempting to court her and honor his rules for courting his daughter. (Genesis 29:15-20, Exodus 22:16-17)
I will not make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof by allowing myself to be alone with any woman that I am not married to unless she is my close blood relative. (Romans 13:14)
I will guard my heart and save not only physical intimacy, but emotional intimacy as well for marriage and I will not awaken the type of love God meant only for marriage until I am married. (Proverbs 4:23, Song of Solomon 2:7)
I will not follow my heart or feelings in seeking my future wife as it may deceive me. Instead I will seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as well as the guidance of my parents and other Christian elders as they follow Christ. (Proverbs 1:8,Proverbs 11:14,John 16:13)
I will not date because dating is led by the heart, not the spirit, it can often awaken the kind of love only meant for marriage and it makes provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
According to Senator Mazie Hirono during her interview on “MSNBC Live” yesterday, the new standard of justice when it comes to sex crimes in America is that “Women do not sit around making these things up”. She made this statement regarding the sexual assault accusations of Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Christine Blasey Ford’s Story
So here is Christine Blasey Ford’s story in a nutshell.
A woman claims that a man attempted to rape her 36 years ago. She claimed to have repressed the memory and only recovered it during a 2012 couples’ therapy session with her husband whom she married in 2002. Brett Kavanaugh’s name was never mentioned in the therapy session notes.
She has offered no physical evidence of the attempted rape.
She does not remember where the house was.
She does not remember what day or month it was in.
She said she received medical treatment but does not remember where or when.
Every person she has put forward as witness denies any knowledge of such an event.
There is No Evidence of a Crime According to American or Biblical Law
Whether this attack happened 36 years ago, or 36 weeks ago there is no evidence according to our legal system that a crime ever took place. An accusation by the alleged victim of a crime is not evidence. There must be physical evidence, circumstantial evidence or witnesses to a crime to convict someone of a crime.
One of our American founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, stated this about how our justice system should work:
“That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.”
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, letter to Benjamin Vaughan, March 14, 1785.—The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert H. Smyth, vol. 9, p. 293 (1906)
The concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is not just the bedrock of American justice, but it was also the concept of Biblical justice as well. The Bible required multiple witnesses to establish the guilt or innocence of a person accused of a crime in Israel:
“One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.”
Deuteronomy 19:15 (KJV)
In other words – you can’t accuse someone of a crime, including assault, simply based on your own witness of the event. Where are the other witnesses, where is the physical evidence?
Yet many in our court of public opinion have already assassinated the character of Brett M. Kavanaugh based on these allegations by Ford.
Sometimes Women DO sit around making these things up
Contrary to the assertions of Senator Mazie Hirono, sometimes women do sit around making these things up for a variety of reasons. It can be for reasons of pride, fame, spite, revenge or other political motivations. In the Bible we find a famous story of a woman “making these things up”:
“11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. 13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
Genesis 39:11-15 (KJV)
Women making up claims of sexual assault is as old as men committing sexual assault itself. Both of these sins have occurred throughout history and our legal systems must recognize the very real possibility of both of these things occurring.
A lot of Ford’s defenders will say “Well she talked about him doing this way back in 2012 in a therapy session long before he became a nominee and there is documented proof of her making this claim to a therapist. Why would she make up the lie before ever knowing who would be President in four years or that he would nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court?”
Well first and foremost there is no documented proof of her making a claim that Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her. She never gave the therapist any names. Her husband alleges she told him afterwards that it was Brett Kavanaugh but spouses lie for each other so he is not a reliable witness.
So, this leaves us with two other likely possibilities of what actually happened. Ford could have been sexually assaulted by someone other than Brett Kavanaugh and she may not even remember who it was. But she chose to put Kavanaugh’s name in as her attacker when she saw him announced as Trump’s nominee because she wanted to stop him from being nominated.
An even worse scenario would be and could be that she made the entire event up in therapy as an excuse to deal with problems in her own marriage and then filled in Brett Kavanaugh’s name as the attacker as an added bonus. And of course, her loving husband supports her in her lies. This is a very real possibility as well.
But what about the second or third woman?
A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has claimed that Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself in her face when he was Yale University. So, if we have two women accusing him then both these claims must true right? That is the sad standard for many in our society. If you can’t take the man down with one flawed accuser, just throw in another for good measure.
This second woman even admitted to not being sure it was Brett Kavanaugh who exposed himself to her until after a democratic lawyer helped coach her and convince her that it was.
Then of course we have the trashy lawyer Michael Avenatti claiming he has yet another woman making claims against Brett Kavanaugh.
Senator Mazie Hirono was partially right in some advice she gave to men the other night when she stated:
“I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change.”
The only part of her advice that was wrong was when she said “shut up”. I would simply change this part of her statement and give this advice to all men including Brett Kavanaugh in the face of the rampant misandry going on in American culture today:
“I just want to say to the men in this country: Speak up and step up. Do the right thing for a change.”
The Bible gives us as men this admonition:
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13
I was so pleased to see Brett Kavanaugh make the forceful defense he did in his interview with Martha MacCallum from Fox News. I was pleased to see him speak up and step up to the corrupt political forces that would see him step down.
I pray that God will give the Republican senators the wisdom to see that this is truly a smear campaign against a good man and a good judge and I hope they will have the courage to help him win this nomination.
Is White Christianity in America dying? That is what many in our American media would have us to believe.
In July of 2016, Robert P. Jones released his book “The End of White Christian America”. George Soros’s Open Society Foundation hosted one of the book’s first discussion groups and book signing events a couple weeks after it came out.
Robert Jones is also the founder and CEO of The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). PRRI claims to be a nonpartisan polling organization but it is anything but that. Their who’s who list of globalists and left wing supporters like George Soros should be a huge red flag for anyone reading their polls.
What you will discover when you look at PRRI’s polling and commentary is that they are trying to persuade conservative Christians to give up their conservative positions on social issues like opposition to fluid gender roles, transgenderism, homosexuality and abortion just to name a few areas. In the area of immigration, they greatly push globalism and multiculturalism and their enemies are populists or nationalists whether they be Christian or non-Christian.
Pretty much all liberal Christian groups and publications use PRRI’s polling because it supports both the secular and Christian liberal agenda’s which are closely aligned.
If you want to get polling from a truly independent source, I would recommend Pew Research who strictly forbids all of their executives and poll commentators from any involvement in the political arena. They truly seek to do objective polling and present objective commentary without trying to sway public opinion one way or the other.
A great summary of Robert Jones’s positions is found in a Washington Post interview by John Sides entitled “Why Christian American is dying”.
The False “Lower Religious Affiliation by Age” Argument
In the beginning of his interview Mr. Jones makes the argument that lower numbers of Whites Christians in the younger ages is an indicator of the coming death of White Christianity in America. He references a chart from his book showing this when he states:
“Like an archaeological excavation, the chart sorts Americans by religious affiliation and race, stratified by age. It shows the decline of white Christians among each successive generation.
Today, young adults ages 18 to 29 are less than half as likely to be white Christians as seniors age 65 and older. Nearly 7 in 10 American seniors (67 percent) are white Christians, compared to fewer than 3 in 10 (29 percent) young adults.” 
There are two problems with Jones’s argument on this point. The first problem is that if you dig into his definition here he is talking about church attendance. There are many people who are true believing Christians that for various reasons have not attended Church in many years. The second problem and really the larger problem is his glaring omission of a fact he knows well.
This difference between age groups and church attendance (not faith) has been around since the 1970s. This is NOT something new. In an article from Pew Research entitled “Why do levels of religious observance vary by age and country?” they make the following observation about age and church attendance:
“Looking at four age groups (rather than two) reveals even more clearly that religious service attendance and age have not always correlated perfectly in the United States. From the early 1940s through the 1960s, people in their 40s and 50s reported attending at least as frequently as those over 60. And adults in their 30s saw a spike in attendance in the late 1950s, briefly matching or exceeding the other groups. By the mid-1970s, the age groups had split into the pattern seen today: Older adults are more religiously committed than younger adults.” 
So, the pattern of younger people not attending church and then as they get older attending church has been the pattern for the last half century. As people get married, have children and grow older they return with their families to church. Nothing new here and certainly not evidence for the demise of White Christianity in America.
I always find it humorous when I am watching liberal TV news and read liberal articles and they point to the liberal views of young people as an indicator of where elections and the culture is heading. What they neglect to tell their viewers and readers is that many polls and studies show that as people age they generally get more conservative. That is why there is always consistently a larger percentage of conservatives among middle age and older people than younger.
Before I present and answer more of Mr. Jones’s supposed evidence for the death of White Christianity in America we need to define the major categories of Christianity in America.
Christian Sectarianism is as American as Apple Pie
In a Washington Examiner article entitled “Is the end of white Christian America a good thing?” Michael Barone wrote:
“Sectarianism is as American as apple pie. We have not only had black churches, we have had separate Northern and Southern churches. The American Catholic Church, run by Irish-Americans for most of its history, has had identifiable Italian and Polish parishes. It’s nice if people of different ethnic or racial heritage decide to participate in a congregation together. But it doesn’t seem likely to be a major driver of increased church membership.” 
I would go a step further and say sectarianism is not just the norm for America, but it has always been the norm for Christianity throughout the world. During the early church bishops ruled over individual churches. Eventually metropolitan bishops consolidated power over all the local bishops and churches in a given city area. There are letters during this early church period of bishops arguing with one another on various doctrines and applications of the Scriptures. The point is that sectarianism was the norm of the early church.
After the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine to Christianity in 312 A.D. he not only sought to reunite the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, but he also helped the Christian Bishops at Rome to consolidate religious power over all the Christian churches in the empire. Rome’s hold on power over the Christian churches would only last until 1054 A.D. when the Eastern Byzantine Christians split from Rome to form what would later be known as the Orthodox Church. Less than 500 years after that split, in 1517, the Catholic Church of Rome would experience another great division which started with a German Catholic Monk named Martin Luther. This division would become known as the Protestant reformation.
The Protestants rejected both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox position that Church tradition was equally as authoritative as the Bible. Protestants also rejected the Catholic doctrine of Papal authority as well. The Protestants while having diverse opinions on many doctrines were united in the doctrine of “sola fide” meaning “justification by faith alone” against the Catholic Church’s position of faith plus works being necessary for salvation.
Some Protestants took the position of “prima scriptura” which held that the Scriptures were the “first” or “above all” source of divine revelation but not the only guide for faith and practice. Anglicans believed in following church tradition as long it did not conflict with the Scriptures. The Methodists and the Pentecostal churches that formed from them believed visions and other supernatural gifts were also to guide the churches.
Others Protestants like the Lutheran churches, Presbyterian churches and Baptist churches strongly held to the doctrine of “sola scriptura” which meant that the Bible alone was the sole infallible rule of faith and practice. However, the Baptists were the strongest and loudest of all the Protestants in their preaching of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. The Baptists were heavily persecuted by other Protestant groups for rejecting infant baptism as unscriptural and instead preaching believer’s baptism by immersion.
The Differences between Evangelical, Mainline and Black Protestants
Pew Research when compiling its 2014 “Religious Landscape Study” broke up Protestants into three main groups based on a combination of culture and beliefs. These three groups were Evangelical, Mainline and Historically Black. When PRRI did it’s study they purposefully rejected these three groupings and instead only had Evangelical and Mainline. It added all black churches into the Evangelical category. Then it divided evangelicals back out into three categories of “White evangelical, White mainline and Black Protestant”. Yes, it was definitely some fuzzy math.
This recategorization is alluded to in the ABC News Blog “FiveThirtyEight.com”. In an article entitled “How Trump And Race Are Splitting Evangelicals” Perry Bacon Jr. and Amelia Thomson-Deveaux wrote:
“Two factors appear to be driving this divide. First, the number of white evangelicals is in decline in America at the same time that the evangelical population is becoming more racially diverse. According to 2016 data from the Public Religion Research Institute, about 64 percent of evangelicals are non-Hispanic white, compared to about 68 percent in 2006. [you have to click the x here to see the note]
PRRI defines “evangelicals” as respondents who identify as Protestant and evangelical or born-again. Other pollsters — in particular, the Pew Religious Landscape Survey, though not all Pew surveys — define “evangelical” by denomination and exclude some historically black denominations, which results in a higher share of white evangelicals. The 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey, for example, suggested that about 75 of evangelicals are white, a higher number than PRRI’s finding, but still a drop from 81 percent in 2007.” 
Robert Jones has attempted to sell a narrative for some time that Black Protestant and Evangelical churches are the same group of Protestants. That has NEVER historically been the case as I will show later in this article. In an article he wrote for the Atlantic in 2014 entitled “White Christmas, Black Christmas” Jones states:
“Black Protestants and white evangelical Protestants are the two groups with the highest church-attendance rates in the country. While less than four in 10 (38 percent) Americans overall report attending religious services weekly or more often, 58 percent of white evangelical Protestants and 55 percent of black Protestants attend church at least weekly. White evangelical Protestants and black Protestants also share a particularly literal approach to the Bible. Among the general public, approximately one-third (35 percent) believe the Bible is the literal word of God, but about six in 10 white evangelical Protestants (61 percent) and black Protestants (57 percent) hold a literal view of the Bible. These two groups also share a belief in a personal God, an emphasis on individual salvation, and religious architecture that emphasizes the centrality of the pulpit over the altar.” 
Jones is right that Black Protestants and White Evangelicals have much in common. White Evangelicals and Black Protestants would stand side by side in condemning the mainline Protestants who reject the authority of the Bible or the literal interpretation of it. White Evangelicals and Black Protestants would stand side by side in condemning mainline Protestant churches who allow homosexual members and even homosexual clergy.
However there still is a core and fundamental divide between Black Protestants and White Evangelicals and that divide is and has always been throughout American history what we call today social justice, which is simply another name for socialism.
White Evangelical Opposition to Socialism and Social Justice
As I have previously said, Robert Jones has tried to paint a false narrative that Black Protestants and White evangelicals are the same Protestant group. But the history of the evangelical movement proves this narrative to be false.
When the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) was founded in 1942 there were no African American denominations or churches that were a part of it. It was completely comprised of churches that were predominantly white and held to a literal view of the Bible.
There was probably no better representation of a 20th century White Evangelicalism than Billy Graham who passed away earlier this year at the age of 99. Unfortunately, the version of Billy Graham that we saw in his last couple decades bore little resemblance to the man he once was. If you were to go to BillyGraham.org today and look up “racism” in search of his quotes and sermons you will find the “edited for modern viewers” presentation of Billy Graham. You will find stories of how he befriended Martin Luther King and even paid to bail him out of jail. You will find him calling racism evil and wicked. You will hear how he integrated his rallies.
But after his death there were several publications that reminded us (albeit in a negative and condescending way) that the sweet and non-political Billy Graham most people had come to know today was not the Billy Graham of earlier years.
A CNN article entitled “Where Billy Graham ‘missed the mark’” recounts this story about Billy Graham:
“…Graham personally lobbied President Dwight D. Eisenhower to ignore the racial crisis in the South, that he told a white audience in Charlotte in 1958 that demonic hordes were the real source behind the country’s racial problems, and that he wrote a 1960 article for U.S. News and World Report tacitly defending Southern resistance to integration.
“The Bible also recognizes that each individual has the right to choose his own friendships and social relationships,” Graham wrote. “I am convinced that forced integration will never work. You cannot make two races love each other and accept each other at the point of bayonets.” 
Matthew Avery Sutton, wrote the following in an article for the Guardian entitled “Billy Graham was on the wrong side of history”:
“For Graham, the Bible had a clear message for Christians living in what he believed were humans’ last days on earth. Individuals alone can achieve salvation; governments cannot. Conversions change behaviors; federal policies do not…
In the late 1950s, Graham integrated his revivals and seemed to support the burgeoning civil rights movement. This is the Graham most Americans remember… Within days of the publication of King’s famous 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Graham told reporters that the Baptist minister should “put the brakes on a little bit”.
He criticized civil rights activists for focusing on changing laws rather than hearts…
Graham praised the wisdom of young people who rejected the federal government as a tool for rectifying injustices.
“These young people don’t put much stock in the old slogans of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society,” he said. “They believe that utopia will arrive only when Jesus returns. Thus these young people are on sound Biblical ground.
For six decades, Graham taught Americans that the federal government could not be an instrument of God to bring about justice, not on race matters and not on other significant issues…
Graham came of age during Franklin Roosevelt’s vast expansion of government power. But rather than join with social gospel advocates like Roosevelt’s aide Harry Hopkins in promoting the creation of a welfare state to serve the needy, the future evangelist was more influenced by apocalypse-obsessed, fundamentalist rabble rousers who rejected New Deal liberalism.” 
So, while it is true that Billy Graham even in his early years spoke out against racial hatred you will also find that he was equally against communism, socialism, the New Deal, the Great society and Martin Luther King’s social gospel which simply tried to interweave socialism into the Gospel.
It is also important to point out that Billy Graham was NOT the originator of these political positions of White Evangelicals, but rather he became their national spokesperson.
Graham believed “the race question” and the Gospel should never be confused. They were separate issues for him. He believed that Martin Luther King and many other Christian ministers had mistakenly made racial and economic equality a core tenant of the Gospel. For Graham the Gospel was simple – it was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And nothing should be added to it or taken away from it.
It is for all these reasons I have just mentioned that White Evangelicals tend to vote against socialist policies and for the most conservative candidates. And it is for these same reasons that most blacks (including Black Protestants), following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, tend to vote for socialist policies including social and economic engineering programs.
This is why it is an utter mistake in polling data conclusions or political considerations to lump in Black Protestants with Evangelicals. While they agree in principle on taking the Bible literally they very much disagree on their interpretation and application of the Bible especially as it relates to what the Gospel is and what government should or should not do.
American Churches Are Still Dominated by Whites or Blacks
Now let’s bring this full circle back to Pew Research’s breakdown of Protestants into the three categories of Evangelical, Mainline and Historically Black – they were absolutely right to do this as these are three separate and distinct groups of Christians in America with VERY different cultural and political beliefs.
The chart I have made below is based off table data from Pew Research’s 2014 “Religious Landscapes” Study specifically from their section entitled “Chapter 3: Demographic Profiles of Religious Groups” :
I know of Protestant churches in my area that are Korean Churches, Chinese Churches or even Arab Churches. The Baptist Church I attend helped a local Arab Baptist Church put on a vacation Bible school program a few years back. But the reality is the vast majority of Protestant churches in America are dominated by one of two races – White or Black with other ethnic groups usually comprising minorities in one of these two types of churches. And of these two racially dominant churches the vast majority are white.
Are Protestants really in a freefall decline?
Now that we have gone over the major categories of Christianity and then Protestant Christianity in America we can continue on to Mr. Jones next supposed evidence for the death of White Christian America.
In his interview with Washington Post writer John Sides, Mr. Jones goes on to speak about the declining numbers of White Protestants in America:
“Up until about a decade ago, most of the decline among white Protestants was confined to mainline Protestants, such as Episcopalians, United Methodists, or Presbyterians, who populate the more liberal branch of the white Protestant family tree. The mainline numbers dropped earlier and more sharply — from 24 percent of the population in 1988 to 14 percent in 2012, at which time their numbers generally stabilized.
But over the last decade, we have seen marked decline among white evangelical Protestants, the more conservative part of the white Protestant family.White evangelical Protestants comprised 22 percent of the population in 1988 and still commanded 21 percent of the population in 2008, but their share of the religious market had slipped to 18 percent at the time the book went to press, and our latest 2015 numbers show an additional one-percentage-point slip to 17 percent.” 
Let’s now compare what Pew Research stated about White Evangelicals in the 1987 to 2006-time frame:
“The rising political clout of evangelical Christians is not the result of growth in their numbers but rather of their increasing cohesiveness as a key element of the Republican Party. The proportion of the population composed of white evangelicals has changed very little (19% in 1987; 22% now) and what growth there was occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s.” 
In 2015 Pew made this statement as to the current population percentage of White Evangelicals:
“To look at it another way, white evangelical Protestants now make up nearlyone-in-five (19%) of the nation’s adult population, while evangelical members of other racial and ethnic groups make up roughly another 6% of U.S. adults. Hispanics are the largest group among non-white evangelicals.” 
So, what is the major difference between the different pictures of these same time periods painted by PRRI and the Pew Research Center?
The difference is that PRRI attempts to paint a picture that White Evangelicals have not been below 20 percent from the 1980’s on and that now they are consistently losing ground over the last decade.
On the other hand, the Pew Research center analysis shows that White Evangelicals have actually had their numbers fluctuate between the late teens and early twenty percentage rates since the 1980s. Again, like the argument of lower church attendance by the younger and higher by the older, this pattern is nothing new. If anything, it shows a consistent level of White Evangelicals over the past several decades.
Evangelicals are Actually Gaining While Other Christian Groups are Shrinking
Now we get into the data that should be an encouragement to White Evangelical Christians about our future in this country. Pew made this general observation of evangelical Protestants (who are predominately white as we have previously shown):
“One big reason evangelical Protestants have not declined at the same rate as other major Christian groups is that they are gaining new converts at a greater rate than they are losing people who were raised in the tradition.While 8.4% of Americans were raised as evangelicals and have since left evangelicalism for another faith (or no faith), even more U.S. adults (9.8%) were raised in another faith (or without a religious affiliation) and have since become evangelicals.
The same cannot be said for Catholics and mainline Protestants. For instance, a significant share of all American adults – 12.9% – are former Catholics, while only 2% have converted to Catholicism after being raised outside the Catholic Church. And 10.4% of the nation’s population is made up of former mainline Protestants, while only 6.1% have joined mainline churches after being raised in another tradition.” 
These numbers expose the false narrative of liberals today who say that evangelicalism is dying. Yes we in evangelical churches have shed the unfaithful and nonbelievers from our midst at a rate just over 8 percent. But we are gaining those seeking a true and vibrant faith at almost a 10 percent rate!
Why Evangelicals Are Growing While Other Christian Groups Shrink
There is a fantastic article that Glen Stanton wrote in early 2018 for the Federalist entitled “New Harvard Research Says U.S. Christianity Is Not Shrinking, But Growing Stronger”. Below are some key observations he makes from the Harvard study:
“New research published late last year by scholars at Harvard University and Indiana University Bloomington is just the latest to reveal the myth. This research questioned the “secularization thesis,” which holds that the United States is following most advanced industrial nations in the death of their once vibrant faith culture. Churches becoming mere landmarks, dance halls, boutique hotels, museums, and all that.
Not only did their examination find no support for this secularization in terms of actual practice and belief, the researchers proclaim that religion continues to enjoy “persistent and exceptional intensity” in America. These researchers hold our nation “remains an exceptional outlier and potential counter example to the secularization thesis…
The percentage of Americans who attend church more than once a week, pray daily, and accept the Bible as wholly reliable and deeply instructive to their lives has remained absolutely, steel-bar constant for the last 50 years or more, right up to today. These authors describe this continuity as “patently persistent…
When the so-called “progressive” churches question the historicity of Jesus, deny the reality of sin, support abortion, ordain clergy in same-sex relationships and perform their marriages, people desiring real Christianity head elsewhere. Fact: evangelical churches gain five new congregants exiled from the liberal churches for every one they lose for any reason. They also do a better job of retaining believers from childhood to adulthood than do mainline churches…” 
True believers in Christ want the real thing. If someone just wants to go to a social club or be part of an organization that fights for things like “social justice” they don’t need a church for that. They can go join some secular political group. I am not saying there are not true believers who believe that social justice initiatives should be a part of what the church does. I have met in person and online many people who I think are true believers who think this way, but I simply disagree with them. What I am saying is that if your main point for attending church is to talk about and fight for social justice initiatives you don’t need a church for that and that is why many liberal protestant churches are bleeding members.
But if what someone is looking for in a Christian Church a true intense faith and a group of like-minded people who believe in a foundation for morality that stands the test of time in the Bible then they will be drawn to evangelical Christian Churches.
Conservative Christians Have More Children Than Other Groups
At the end of his article in the Federalist, Glen Stanton talks about the reason that fundamentalist Christians will eventually outnumber secularists:
“There is another factor at work here beyond orthodox belief. The University of London’s Eric Kaufmann explains in his important book “Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?” (he says yes) that the sustaining vitality, and even significant per capita growth, of serious Christian belief is as firmly rooted in fertility as it is in faithful teaching and evangelism. Globally, he says that the more robust baby-making practices of orthodox Jews and Christians, as opposed to the baby-limiting practices of liberals, create many more seriously religious people than a secular agenda can keep up with.” 
Now I want to add a point of clarification here.
The Fact is that Eric Kaufmann’s book “Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?” is not simply about the reality that Christian fundamentalists are out-breeding secularists, but that all fundamentalists including Jews and Muslims are doing the same.
Below are a few questions that Eric Kaufmann was asked on an Atheist Blog about his thesis that Fundamentalists (Jews, Muslims and Christians) are about to retake the world from secularism:
“Why do fundamentalists have so many babies? Is this a relatively recent trend?”
Fundamentalists have large families because they believe in traditional gender roles, pronatalism (‘go forth and multiply’) and the subordination of individualism to the needs of the religious community.
Is it recent? Yes. First, when we all lived on the land, had no contraception and poor medicine and sanitation, most people — pious or otherwise — needed to have large families to survive. Now, family size has been freed from material constraints by urbanisation, modern medicine and contraception. So values come to the fore, and seculars express their values in smaller families while fundamentalists resist the trend. Fundamentalists don’t actually have more kids than they used to, but nearly all survive, and their relative advantage over others grows. It’s also worth mentioning that fundamentalism is a modern (post-1850 or post-1900) trend: a reaction against secularism or secularised (read: moderate) religion that has become more intense since the 1960s sexual revolution.”
Are fundamentalists concerned with the prospect of an overpopulated earth?
No — they feel God will provide and consider such concerns ‘anti-people’.
This trend of “quiverfull” Christian families and large Catholic families (to name a couple) has been around for a while… And yet, the percentages of non-religious people keep increasing according to recent polls. Does that contradict your thesis?
“No. The composition of a population is always a product of the relative pace of secularisation and religious growth. I use the analogy of a treadmill. Seculars are running on a treadmill that is tilting up and moving against them because of their low fertility and immigration. The religious — notably fundamentalists — are standing still or walking backward, but their treadmill is pushing them forward and tilting downhill. So, in Europe in the late twentieth century, seculars were running fast enough to overcome their demographic disadvantage and overtook the faithful. But today, secularism is slowing down outside England and Catholic Europe, and is facing a more difficult incline from the treadmill of demography. London is a good example: it is more religious now than 20 years ago despite secularisation, simply because of religious immigration and fertility.” 
Why This Should Matter to White Evangelicals
A lot of White Evangelicals reading this might be asking “What doe it matter if Whites continue to be a majority in evangelism or even in America? Isn’t it racism to even care if Whites are declining or not?”
I will probably get a lot of Christians who will email this verse to me:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 (KJV)
This is actually the favorite verse of Christian egalitarians, Christian feminists and Christian socialists. These groups literally read the entire Bible through the lenses of this one verse instead of interpreting this passage within the entire witness of the Scriptures. So, if you, even as a conservative White Evangelical have been taught this verse means you are not allowed to care about your race in connection with their status in your country let me challenge you with a few passages you may not have heard before.
“7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. 8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”
Deuteronomy 32:7-8 (KJV)
And the parallel passage to this is found in the book of Acts in the New Testament:
“24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”
Acts 17:24-26 (KJV)
My point in showing these passages is that it was God, and not sin that divided men by racial and national borders. Even Billy Graham mistakenly believed racial divisions were because of sin in the world but that is NOT what the Bible teaches.
Is racial hatred a result of sin? Absolutely. But racial preference is not. It is by the very design of God who made all men from the blood of Adam but also divided the sons of Adam.
But loving one’s own family and one’s own race and promoting the good of one’s own family and race is not equivalent to hatred for other races. Racial preference, preferring to marry someone of your race, preferring to live in a neighborhood that is predominantly your race or preferring to go to a church that is your race is not hatred for other races.
I don’t blame Blacks or Asians for wanting the best for their race. I don’t blame the Hispanics from central America who come from impoverished nations looking for a better life for themselves and their families.
But I can blame the whites of this country who wrongly bought kidnapped black slaves from Africa. I can blame the politicians who rejected Abraham Lincoln’s plan to send the freed blacks back to Africa to avoid future racial strife in America.
I can place the blame squarely on my ancestors in this nation who removed one of the first laws this nation passed, the Naturalization Act of 1790, which restricted American citizenship to “free white persons”. They literally took down America’s protection for ethnic homogeneity and opened us up to the racial strife we have seen over the past 150 years.
And I can place the blame on politicians today who refuse to protect the borders of this nation and those who say “I don’t believe in borders” or that borders are an “injustice”. I can also blame politicians who blame all the ills of minorities in this country on my race. And I can vote based on these principles as millions of whites did in the last election.
I have shown proof here from multiple sources the Robert Jones’s thesis that White Christianity in America is dying is false. White Evangelicals, the most conservative and Bible believing of all Christian sects, have hovered in the late teens and early 20 percent range of the population for the last half century. But as secularists begin to die off and leave little to no offspring behind fundamentalists White Evangelicals will experience a rebirth like nothing seen in the history of this country.
Even if secularists catch on to their own demise there is nothing they can do about it. Because their individualist selfish philosophy of life won’t allow them to fix the problem. They can’t have bigger families because for them it is a violation of their own “religion” of secularism to do so.
If you are a white evangelical, you have nothing to be ashamed of if you consider race in whom you date, where you go to church or where you live. And you certainly do not have to be ashamed of being white or for voting for white candidates for office or for voting for policies that favor your ethnic group.