"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Monday, June 06, 2005

 I follow Church doings and politics with some fervor. The seeming "death" of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. would appear to have been quite predictable. Studies have shown for years that the more liberated from ancient Scriptures a denomination becomes, the more members it loses. So when the Episcopal Church hierarchy saw fit to make active homosexual Gene Robinson a bishop, they sealed their fate. Al Mohler is, of course, way ahead of me.


Exodus: Why Americans are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity
Author: David Schiflett

Citing a study published in 2000 by the Glenmary Research Center, Shiflett reports that the Presbyterian Church USA declined by 11.6 percent over the previous decade, while the United Methodist Church lost "only" 6.7 percent and the Episcopal Church lost 5.3 percent. The United Church of Christ was abandoned by 14.8 percent of its members, while the American Baptist Churches USA were reduced by 5.7 percent.

On the other side of the theological divide, most conservative denominations are growing. The conservative Presbyterian Church in America [PCA] grew 42.4 percent in the same decade that the more liberal Presbyterian denomination lost 11.6 percent of its members. Other conservative denominations experiencing significant growth included the Christian Missionary Alliance (21.8 percent), the Evangelical Free Church (57.2 percent), the Assemblies of God (18.5 percent), and the Southern Baptist Convention (five percent).

Taken alone, the statistics tell much of the story. Shiflett takes his reader through some of the most salient statistical trends and wonders aloud why liberal churches and denominations seem steadfastly determined to follow a path that will lead to their own destruction. Shiflett also has a unique eye for comparative statistics, indicating, for example, that "there may now be twice as many lesbians in the United States as Episcopalians."

. "Mainline Protestantism will reach a certain point where it will appeal only to Wiccans, vegetarians, sandal-wearers, and people who play the recorder. No one will feel at home there if they believe in God."

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