Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Rise of the 'Nones'? Christianity Shrinking? Not So Fast

At P.J. Media, John Ellis writes about the United Methodist Church's decision to "spend 75 weeks praying about accepting homosexuality."  The whole article is worth a read because it tells what is happening to this once-great tradition of Wesleyan holiness and revivalism.  Of particular interest, though, are these two paragraphs, commenting on the state of western Christianity in general.  The loss of membership in western denominations that one hears to much about isn't as clear as it seems:
Over the last year, non-theists have gloated over numbers that indicate religion's shrinking place among Americans.  While not lying, the numbers don't reveal the whole truth at first blush.  According to the Pew Research Center, evangelicalism in America has remained steady even in the face of a shrinking attachment to Christianity among Americans.  So where is the loss of numbers coming from? Well, mainline/liberal denominations.  In other words, yes, it's true that religion's place in our society is shrinking.  But the religion that's disappearing is a false religion anyway. [Emphasis added.]

Proving Roger Finke and Rodney Stark correct, denominations that have embraced liberal theology are losing members at an alarming rate.  The United Methodist Church's Council of Bishops may very well believe that the path to sustained denominational growth is through a continued embrace of liberal theology and progressive ideology, but every indicator points to the reality that their solution is actually an anti-solution.  As the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Galatia, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).
Read the rest.

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