Tuesday, February 26, 2008

...how does your city rank among the seven deadly sins?

Forbes Magazine has recently conducted a survey of the top ten most sinful cities in America. They are ranked according to how great they have "fallen from grace" in each of the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, avarice (for those who live in Ballard that's extreme greed for wealth), sloth, wrath, envy and pride.

The results are really surprising. Seattle, "the least church city in America", is not even mentioned 58% of the time (four out of the seven sins they didn't even place in the top ten) and it never occupied the top spot in the three categories it is mentioned. I guess it isn't such bad of a place to live in after all.

As believers in Christ, we all know that sin is not a matter of geographic location; it is one of nature for all are "conceived in sin" and "by nature children of wrath" (Psalm 51:5; Roms. 3:10-18; Eph. 2:1-3). But, it seems according to this survey that if you want to launch a ministry in a relatively "safe environment," Seattle might just be the place for you! It's no Mars Hill mind you (Acts 17) like the Apostle Paul had to face, but a really beautiful place to live and raise a family.

However, here is a surprise, all of you who live in the midwest or the south, you have your work cut out for you. It seems the Bible belt is no insulator against iniquity. If you want to be involved in tough ministry, come to some of the most churched cities in the country. And if you really want to flex your spiritual muscles, go to the Northeast. Now that is really tough slugging for the Lord. It is not for the timid, spiritually soft, or half-hearted in their commitment to the gospel (i.e. the emerging church, pragmatists, or the seeker-sensitive movement). The nor-easterners are too smart for that kind of plastic faith. This is "rubber meets the road Christianity" at its finest. IOW, you can't pretend there; it is real or it is not. And they can spot a phony a mile away.

Lesson learned? There is much work to be done all around the country for the gospel isn't there? The fields are white with harvest, but the workers are few. Let's get to work for the days are short.

From the hardest place to minister anywhere in the world (Nashville, TN).
Campius Stephanus
2 Cor. 4:5


donsands said...

Funny, Baltimore, where I live, was #2 in the Wrath catagory with 279 murders, next to Detriot, and I just heard our Mayor say on her radio broadcast, that the murders that have occured in Baltimore over the past year are the lowest in 20 years.
Politics! Half-truths are the norm.

I just finished reading Jeremiah, and the King comes to the prophet, and says, "Just tell us the truth!"

He says, "Alright, God's going to judge you all."

They tell him he's lying, and throw him in jail.

Amazingly the same today isn't it.

Looking over that article really makes the heart heavy.
May the Lord have mercy on America, and especially the Church in America.

JustJan said...

Detroit.... A town currently being run by a man who uses his faith to hide his misbehavior. He says he is currently on a mission from God to turn the city around.

Gluttonous, slothful and wrathful and the savior is the mayor.

bluewoad said...

I commute via bus in Seattle and work at the University of Washington, which is not a bastion of conservative thought. On the bus, I sit at the back where there's a regular group of about 8 of us. Of those 8, 4 (including myself) attend church, one is Bahai, one is homosexual. Seattle may be one of the least-churched cities in the nation (does anyone have the source of this? Google it, and you'll see it's tossed about but I haven't found the actual source), but my experience is that there are still a lot of church-goers. This is not a spiritual wasteland.

Hayden said...


I live in the "3rd most Unlivable City" Flint according to the latest statistics. Maybe that will make you think Memphis isn't so bad :)

candyinsierras said...

I can attest to the northeast being a tough place to be. My husband is from New Hampshire and I lived there for a year also. It is one dark place. Either the churches are following the trickling down of the Toronto Movement, or there is no spiritual interest. A big church is probably around 50 people. Very little good theology. I know it is changing little by little, just like everywhere, and there are some good churches starting up near Boston and round abouts, but yeah, tough place.