The Real Reason Liberal Churches Are Losing Members

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    ....In 1974, a German theologian named Gerhard Meier wrote a bold and controversial book entitled The End of the Historical Critical Method, explaining that what the seminaries were teaching the pastors was not helping the people.

    Maier argued that pastors in training would attend seminary, where they would learn the "historical critical" method of interpretation, being told that Moses didn't write the Pentateuch, that the prophets didn't predict the coming of the Messiah, that Jesus didn't really rise from the dead, and that the Bible was not truly God's Word, among other things. Then they would go and preach to their congregations, but they had nothing to give them.

    The congregants came to church services to find strength and guidance, to grow in faith and hope, to learn how to cope with difficult circumstances, but the pastors were full of unbelief. And so, cathedrals that seated 3,000 people would have 30 in attendance on Sunday morning.

    Recently, in light of a steep decline in attendance at Church of England services, Baroness Brenda Hale, one of England's top judges, told a conference at Yale Law School that the Church of England is in decline precisely it makes so few demands on its adherents: "It has no dietary laws, no dress codes for men or women and very little that its members can say is actually required of them by way of observance."

    How remarkable. It appears that Lady Hale is aware of the old adage that if something costs nothing, it is worth nothing.

    To be sure, some church groups will grow because of an "itching ear" message, as the preachers tell the people what they want to hear. This is one of the reasons that Jesus said that the road to destruction is broad (see Matthew 7:13). But over the long haul, there will not likely be sustainable life and growth on a denominational level where compromise is the hallmark.

    And there are, it is true, conservative denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention that have seen a decline in membership in recent years, although the reasons for that appear to be varied.

    But it is the liberal churches, those which embrace abortion and homosexual practice and which compromise biblical truth and biblical standards, which have experienced the steepest decline in membership. In all likelihood, they also have far lower commitment levels from their people.


    http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/44427-the-real-reason-liberal-churches-are-losing-members
     
  2. SolaSaint

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    Rev, I find this subject very interesting. It is a sad thing to see our churches decline and we do need to address the issue. I have never been to Seminary so I really don't know much about it, but I remember listening to R C Sproul talking about his Seminary days and how it was filled with liberal profs that had the liberal beliefs that you listed. I cannot understand how this happened in the last mid century. WHo was a sleep at the wheel? These Seminaries have done great damage to the church in general. I thank God for men like AL Mohler who have taken a bold stand in bringing our Seminaries back to orthodoxy.

    I think the SBCs biggest issue today is gimmicks and entertaining people. My church just installed video games and play ground equipment for the kids and subsequently Bible study has been reduced to half the time it used to be in favor of games....huh, this is church not MacDonalds or Disney World....gee

    When people see churches are all about entertaining and have no substance they will leave sooner or later.
     
  3. Salty

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    As a teen, I was in the Awana Shipmats program. I really enjoyed it, some good basic Bible study. However after a year a half, the church ended Shipmates, because the teens were not interested in good Bible Study. Rathey, they had a Friday teen fun night. I didnt bother to go.
     
    #3 Salty, Jun 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2014
  4. Yeshua1

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    Been going on for a long time, as remember Dr McGee saying that he faced liberalism while at seminary way back in 1920's!

    When you discount the Bible as a true revelation/true authority from God, you have no where else to go but way down!
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    I believe the primary reason the SBC is in decline is precisely because it is not giving in to the attractions of the world. Perhaps your church is an exception, though I've read of other SBC churches doing similar things around the country.

    While there will be a "falling away" of those who have not truly believed, there will also be revival, and the SBC is seeing that, in declining membership but more churches being built. A thousand SBC churches close every year. But 1,500 SBC churches open every year. That's strange only if one doesn't understand the dynamics of the Xers, Yers, or as the latter is coming to be called, "Millennials."

    They don't "join" anything. It is passé to be a "joiner." For one thing, it makes it more difficult to move on when you become bored, and they do easily become bored. That's the price paid by being addicted to video games, tablets, smart phones, etc. The ones who won't sit around for long because they're bored can't be easily reached, but I believe they will, eventually be reached, and probably not by what would be considered "traditional" methods.

    Perhaps that's what your church is trying to do installing games and videos. Have you checked them out? What do they do? Are they the same fair one could find at any mall video arcade? Or are they something else? Might bear checking out.

    Like many churches claim to, our church stands for truth: Uncompromising, unchanging biblical truth. But unlike many churches that make that claim, we are growing, and expanding into a multi-site church. We believe it is far more economical to expand to other campuses, using existing buildings, rather than building a mega-church in one location that, in another generation, will be bypassed by outward growth of the metropolitan area.

    If you speak to those who have come to our church, attended for a time and then joined, asking them why them came from such-and-such a church -- some of other denominations, some of SBC affiliation -- most of them tell you it is because they were no longer being fed. The churches in general are becoming the churches Paul warned Timothy would come.
    2 Timothy 4, NASB
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
    4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

    We've got 1,300 members. We've got nearly 2,000 regular attenders. The extra 700 or so people are young, 18-24. Very few of this age group, if any, is married. They won't join. They won't come forward for anything. But they are there every week. They participate in Sunday School. They ask questions. They seem to be engaged.

    But they won't join. Who cares?
     
    #5 thisnumbersdisconnected, Jun 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2014
  6. SolaSaint

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    I'm sorry I don't get it and probably never will. I don't think a church needs to become a Starbucks/bar/theater etc., to get people to come. Maybe it works maybe not. I know many in my family that won't go to a fake church that tries to look and feel anything but a church. Usually the solid preaching falls away when the shallow members demand to be feed their feel good messages. Now that Ronnie Floyd is the SBC prez I see poor times for the SBC. We'll see fire truck baptismals in all our churches. Is Ed Young Jr. our example to follow now? Maybe I'm not a Baptist anymore..so sad...
     
  7. Born Again

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    It would seem that the liberal churches would be experiencing less decline due to drawing in the increasing number of those that want to feel accepted for their increasingly popular lifestyle choices. There seems to be an increasing overabundance of people that want to have their ears tickled by listening to compromised biblical truths and biblical standards.
     
  8. Zaac

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    Such a vague article with the intent again to separate folks along political "value" lines.

    The decline in so called "conservative" churches is also over compromise of Biblical truth and Biblical standards. It just seems as though the author doesn't wnat to acknowledge it because then there wouldn't be a story to write.

    The author really should tell us what those varied reasons are for a decrease in SBC churches.

    If all these people are leaving the "liberal" churches over compromise, why aren't they flocking to the "conservative" SBC churches?
     
  9. Zaac

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    :thumbsup: I think that is true in a lot of cases. But if it is true, why aren't the numbers being lost to the "liberal" churches being picked up by these "conservative" churches?


    We've done the same at the request of churches who have asked us to come in and take over their campuses.
     
  10. clark thompson

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    If believed I could do what I wanted as long as I believed in Jesus I most likely would not go to church either but I believe He has a certain way He want us to live and I get meet with others who are called to the same at church.
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    Could you be more specific on just what grates on you concernng 'conservative" baptists doctrines/moral standards?

    And the main reason that they stay away from Bible believing Churches is that we have done, at times, a poor outreach unto them, and also that they don't want to hear the bible and be convicted for their sins!
     

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