The Spiritual Crisis In Forgotten America

The twentieth (and now twenty-first) century had a devastating effect on the regions of Appalachia in the East, the farms of the Midwest, and the fishing and forestry areas along the coastlines. Mechanization and industrialization have motivated a rural exodus, leaving depleted populations, economies, and communities. But the social realities confronting these places pale in comparison to the spiritual crisis of these rural communities. Substance abuse, poverty, suicide, broken families, tragedy, and danger—at rates that are proportionally higher than in the city—betray a shared sense of fear, pessimism, and discouragement. Read more»

Kyle Borg,“The Need For Rural Ministry”

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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  1. Wow…had no idea I lived in such a sad, scary place. And I be a po’folk, too! You know, for some of us hinterlanders, the tough times have made us stronger in the Faith, more hopeful for our Lord’s returning, and more generous towards others. No doubt country-folk need the Gospel, and need ministry(leave out the little caveat of ‘rural’…we all need the GOSPEL). But this need mirrors the wealthy, urbane citizen of the fairest city. IOW: folks is folks. Substance abuse, poverty, suicide, broken families, tragedy( how’d he measure this one!) and danger follow us all. Fancy-folk,

  2. And Trump was their hope. A candidate who saw them, acknowledged them, and promised to reverse 75 years of social upheaval.

    What a sad morning after, we are in, where their savior has ended up just another D.C. swamp creature, unable to do much of anything to help them.

    A spiritual crisis indeed. Who will go to these whitened fields? Who will labor for next to no salary?

  3. The great shift from Rural America to Urban America, and also the shift from the Big Cities to the Suburbs, has been going on since the 1950s. Since the late 1970s, population has been shifting geographically, creating a whole new set of problems as those with a culture antithetical to the culture of the new area arrive in mass numbers. Gone are the days when multiple generations of the same family worshiped together at the same church. We have become a socially disconnected society, and a great number of those who formerly called themselves Christian are no longer such. Sad, but our trust is still in the Lord, blessed be His name and may His will be done!

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