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Featured Only liberal denominations die?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by rlvaughn, Jun 27, 2017.

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  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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  2. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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  3. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    I think it's true. Believers aren't passing the faith on to their kids.
    At our church we have adult bible study on Wednesdays, and since there's nobody to "watch" the kids who are 9-13 years old, they play video games.

    I threw an absolute fit when discussing "options" for what to do with them.

    Uhhh, bring them in here so they can participate in bible study - duh.

    But they'll be a distraction. They won't understand what we're talking about. It's over their heads. They'll be bored. Now we adults will have to watch the subject matter.

    I said, out loud, "you want to turn them into yourselves. A bunch of kids who know nothing about the bible, growing up into a bunch of adults who know nothing about the bible. So there's nothing firm for them to stand on. Awesome. Good job, Christians."

    Those kids are in our bible study now.
     
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  4. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    Oops my math was off due to a typist error. 1 in every 3-4 churchgoers raised that way never attend church as of about age 30. The reasons given for dodging church for so long are also very shallow for many of those that do return.
     
  5. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    A decline is not the same as a death so Ms Bass' observation fails immediately. But I see no evidence that God recognizes denominations, much less preserves them.
    If the Gospel if preached faithfully in a church, there will be new converts to replace those who fall away unless there is some other problem that undermines it..
     
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  6. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I agree.

    My question is given the number of young people leaving our churches, are most baptist churches doing something wrong with their children, youth, and college and career ministries? I mean why are so many people not being properly formed into mature Believers in the first place?
     
  7. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I agree that decline is not necessarily death, which could also be argued to be true of mainline denominations. I would disagree though with God not recognizing denominations, as I believe He recognizes groups of Believers faithfully holding to the truth as a group of churches. Then again groups like this seem to be rare in church history, and I would argue denominational tradition in Reformed and Lutheran churches are just as dangerous as those in Roman Catholic churches.
     
  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    It is not a decline issue in the SBC it is an integrity issue. Churches are no taking people off their roles who have not been there in years and have stopped including them in their membership counts. Churches thought they were doing the right thing but now churches that once reported 100 or more but were only seeing 40 to 60 have reported more accurate numbers.
     
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  9. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    In my opinion, the SBC as a whole is taking a hit because of a few reasons. The first few that come to mind are:
    1. Many churches think that being conservative in doctrine also necessitates being conservative in style.
    2. The Charismatic church has become mainstream and no longer appears as being strange or nutty to the average person.
    3. SBC poorly utilizes television. Charismatic/Pentecostal dominate the airwaves.
     
  10. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    So, are you suggesting that these people should have never been on the rolls to begin with? OR that maybe the decline is further in the past than what someone thinks?
     
  11. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    As a Brit I am not really qualified to comment on the American Baptist scene, but I suggest that children are being baptized far too early on the flimsiest of evidence. Parents can easily coach a 4 year-old child to say he loves Jesus, but that will be no indication that God has actually changed the child's heart. The child is then taught to act like a Christian instead of being told to repent and trust in Christ. When Baptist churches do this, they are acting no better than the paedobaptist ones and may reap the same bitter harvest.
    Churches are to be independent, but not isolationist. God may well bless al the churches in a faithful denomination, but that will be not because they are a denomination, but because they are faithful.
    In England, the vast majority of Anglican churches are apostate, and are leeching members rapidly. Yet there is a goodly number of faithful churches within that denomination, and these are being blessed. No doubt they should come out and be entirely separate (and this seems likely to happen within the next few years) but it seems plain that these churches are being blessed individually within an apostate denomination.
    Yes, in some respects the declension within supposedly Protestant denominations (PCUSA? United Methodists?) is worse than that in the Church of Rome.
     
  12. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    I believe yes, but that's not the whole reason young people are leaving.

    First - from what I've seen, evangelicals in general boil conversion down to praying a prayer, and Baptists are no different. And most times that I've seen, it's totally independent of the message of the cross. Now, I don't say that to derail the thread. It's simply the truth as I have observed churches.

    Second, also from observation, after a so-called "prayer of salvation", most people aren't being taught biblical doctrine in their churches. The substance of teaching is bible stories and behavioral badgering.

    So there's nothing to grab somebody and hold on to them. And when younger people encounter that type of surface-level appeal to the flesh, it's only gonna keep them for so long.

    But before anyone gets the idea that I only want to blame leadership...

    It's not only the responsibility of the Holy Spirit (and church leaders) to form people into mature believers, it's the responsibility of every believer to be led. and many simply won't be.

    take a good look at the parable of the soils, from the perspective that the second and third soils represent genuine believers, and you will truly understand why believers are not maturing - and many are falling away.
     
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  13. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    So much good material to respond to. First however I must respond to the following::

    That struck me powerfully. I keep blaming church leadership when in fact those that sin themselves will die. Leaders that do a poor job are merely tempters.

    Also, the parable of the soils has haunted me as of late. I know many people who have abandoned the faith after hard times. These people struggle so much with their pain that they lose sight of the Truth and eternal life through Him. I also know many people that love the things of this world and getting what they want so much that they never seem to bear fruit. A dangerous proposition in a world where Jesus says that those who bear no fruit are thrown into the fire (Matthew 3:10, Luke 3:9, Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-28).

    I also know that I struggle harder than nearly everyone else physically around me to obey God. There are so few who seem to struggle like me that I have worries about finding a woman to one day marry. This has struck me as very worrying for the last year, as I have questioned the sincerity of other's faith in Jesus. This concerns me because it seem "luke warm" means not making every effort everyday. A thought reinforced by (2 Peter 1:10-11).
     
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  14. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    there's a whole host of people who recognize the reality of faith in the second and third soils, while holding that they are eternally secure. I hold that view


    I'm single, too. Been divorced 10 years and have gone on only a handful of dates. I can't seem to meet women who are serious about their faith without being overtly feely/emotional regarding Christ and the Holy Spirit.


    I think I get where you're coming from - a very literal mind. I'm right there with you, and I used to really worry about whether I had lost my salvation, then whether I had ever been in the faith.

    If you don't mind a small challenge, I'd encourage you to look into the issue of calling and election. I'm of the firm conviction that they don't relate to being saved from hell. Rather, they relate to being saved from shame at Christ's coming and loss of reward at His judgment seat. For certain, it's no small matter. It can help in not looking so much at the outside, but rather the heart.
     
  15. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    Where did we ever get the idea that the number of people attending a church is equivalent to spiritual growth and vibrancy? Theology matters. There are conservative churches that are just as messed up as liberal churches when it comes to theology. We should be very careful in our judgment if we don't know the theology being shared from church leadership. Sometimes God's strongest churches are the ones that God has ordained to deeply struggle.
     
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  16. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    I don't know that anyone necessarily has individual congregations in mind. Rather, it's the whole of Christianity in decline.

    Attendance numbers, while not the bar or litmus test, should not be entirely dismissed as indicators of spiritual health
     
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  17. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    Christianity is growing in China at a rate that is greater than during the time of the apostles. It was reported that there will soon be more Christians in China than there are Communist Party members.
    God may not be choosing to save as many people here in the US. Folks here seem to just want God as their advisor rather than their Lord. God will have none of that.
     
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  18. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    However, as the conversation so far has shown, it is the multiple reasons as to why those numbers are going down that can reveal our weaknesses as churches, and where we need to improve.
     
  19. Mike Stidham

    Mike Stidham Member
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    4. The constant debate between older members who hold to a softer stance on free will/election and the newer generation of seminary grads who have adopted a more consistently Calvinist stance, along with a "my way or the highway" attitude, exacerbates the problem too. So many of these young preachers decide to start independent churches or churches where the SBC connection is seriously downplayed.
     
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  20. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    If the older members are anything like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter then I support the younger generation who are reading their Bibles and seeing that free-will is a man-made philosophy, not a biblical truth.
    Since I don't attend a SBC I cannot speak to attitudes. However, theology is important.
     
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