Friday, July 20, 2012

What is the future of the church?

The main stream, liberal Christian denominations are dying.  They are all steadily losing membership.  That's the Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Methodists, according to Rodd Douthat, columnist for the New York Times in his article of July 14, 2012, titled "Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?" The article can be found at  

In 1998 an Episcopal bishop suggested that in order to survive they must embrace sexual liberation in almost every form and essentially abandon the doctrines of the church.  That is essentially what the church did.  Douhat  goes on to say that instead of attracting younger, more open-minded church goers the Episcopal church's Sunday attendance has declined 23% in the last ten years.  Not a single Episcopal diocese saw attendance increase.

In contrast, the fastest growing churches in America have Bible believing leadership.  Kent Shaffer of Church Relevance lists the fastest growing churches in two groups: the fastest growing new churches and the fastest growing old churches.  I checked the web sites for the new church list and found that eight of the nine listed had a statement something like this one: "We believe the entire Bible is God’s Word to mankind. We believe men were moved by the Spirit of God to write the very words of Scripture. Therefore, we believe the Bible is ultimate source of truth and guidance without error."  Some of the older churches have similar statements.  Shaffer's list is at

It appears from these two snippets of church news that American people today are put off by religion that abandons its roots.  They are attracted instead to churches who gain their authority from the word of God.  "Keep the faith" brethren and "Don't be ashamed of the gospel."

No comments:

Post a Comment