Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Liberal 'Churches' Continue to Wither

While mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. continue to experience decades-long decline, the memberships of Pentecostal traditions are on the rise, according to new figures compiled by the National Council of Churches.
"To paraphrase a biblical passage, to those who have, more is being given, and those who have little have less."

-- From "Evangelical Churches Still Growing, Mainline Protestantism In Decline" by Richard Yeakley, Religion News Service (Huffington Post) 2/15/11

The Roman Catholic Church (No. 1) and the Southern Baptist Convention (No. 2) are still significantly larger than all other North American denominations, but Catholics posted minimal growth of less than 1 percent, and Southern Baptist membership fell for a third straight year [by less than half a percent], according to the 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.

Mainline Protestant churches that have seen a fall in membership since the 1970s continued their decline. . .

The membership declines in mainline churches led to a 1 percent decrease in total U.S. church membership, to 145.8 million.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gains, losses continue" by Peter Smith, Louisville Courier-Journal 2/14/11

Historic Protestant denominations continued their long-term decline in the most recent annual survey of religious membership, while Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and some Pentecostals reported continued growth.

Several of the council’s most active denominations, as it turns out, are declining. They include the nation’s largest Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran and Methodist denominations, the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches (USA). While some critics have long cited liberal influences for these churches’ decline, some conservative denominations also saw declines, including the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod). All have a largely white, Anglo constituency — a demographic that is aging and shrinking in proportion to minority populations in the United States.

For a list of the stats, and to read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Liberal churches losing ground in the US" by William Donohue, President of Catholic League 2/16/11

Beginning with the work of Dean Kelly in the 1970s, it has been empirically obvious that those religions which have experienced the greatest proportionate decline in membership are generally the most progressive or liberal in their teachings; conversely, conservative-oriented religions have fared comparatively well. The latest data from the Yearbook proves this to be true again.

With the exception of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and to some extent the American Baptist Churches, all the other churches with declining membership hold liberal views on abortion and gay rights.

Moreover, the smallest decline among the Baptist churches was registered by the most conservative among them, the Southern Baptist Convention (down .42). By sharp contrast, all the religions that experienced a growth in membership are pro-life and pro-marriage (normatively understood).

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read, 'Gay Churches' Decline as Mainlines Embrace Homosexuality