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The Evangelical Decline and Other Interesting Links

links%208.jpgHere's yet another sad sign of the evangelical decline.  An amazing 57% of those who attend evangelical churches now say they believe that adherents of non-Christian religions might also be saved.  The more people anchor their faith in the subjective (religious experience), the less likely they are to see evangelical Christianity as a truth claim.  Some of us are hardly surprised by this news.  Saddened, yes.  But not surprised.  Click here: Religious Americans: My faith isn't the only way (

The PCUSA continues to lose members--some 57,000 last year alone (that's about the same number of people in the OPC/URC combined).  The loss is blamed on the church's liberal theology and blue hair--the church's aging membership.   Many congregations have left to join the EPC.  If you don't give people a reason to stay in your church, they won't.   The PCUSA isn't alone in this.  The Methodist Church has lost 23% of its membership since 1970, and the Episcopal Church is down 33% since the mid-sixties.  Of course, what these churches need is more liberal theology and "contemporary worship."

Here's a noted theologian/writer who believes that Jesus will return within the next 20-25 years.  That's not out of the ordinary.  The catch?   Harun Yahya is a Muslim (widely read around in the Muslim world) who believes that when Jesus comes back it will be as the Islamic Mahdi and a champion of the prophet Mohammed.  This is typical Islamic doctrine, but Yahya is as successful (in terms of sales) as Tim LaHaye.  That means a series of Islamic novels about the end times is sure to come.  Click here: Muslim creationist preaches Islam and awaits Christ - Yahoo! News

How many stories like this one will we read about before the presidential election in November?  Here's a preacher who told his congregation that God wanted them to vote republican.  That's bad enough.  It gets worse.  He was doing this to provoke an IRS investigation, hoping for a court fight.  Shouldn't a guy like this be looking for a new line of work?  He's obviously failed in his calling to preach the gospel.  And if he wants to change things so badly, why not just run for political office (an honorable calling), rather than commit such atrocious behavior in the pulpit.  Click here: ABC News: Pastors Use Pulpit to Challenge Election Law

Reader Comments (19)

Count me among those who stand firmly on St. John 14:6. In addition to the reasons listed in the poll, the reliance upon emotions and experiences instead of the Scriptures might play a role in this drift from the truth.
June 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCB
Why are evangelicals thinking this way? Is it pastors not preaching the basic truths of Christianity? The pastor of a large evangelical church in my area preaches on how to have a good marriage, how to raise teenagers, and how to manage money. I think WHI is right that too many pastors assume the gospel. Maybe this survey will wake up some pastors?
June 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Ironically, there's Luke 18:8. I suppose that we shouldn't be too surprised at the survey results.
June 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
What a tragedy that the truth of the Scripture is being discarded in the name of tolerance or an emphasis on "Christlike living." Thank you for faithfully standing for the truth and defending Scripture in today's culture.
I am a regular listener of the White Horse Inn, but I only recently stumbled onto your blog. I have been enjoying it thoroughly - keep up the good work!
June 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew
Pastors use pulpit to challenge election law-

Oh that's what Peter was hinting at , "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men...." or Paul, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."

I must have been misunderstanding them all this time. ☻
June 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris Sherman
Gary, regarding your comment about pastors not preaching the Gospel, I just sat through a 40 minute sermon on Sunday whose title and sole message was "Why you belong in a small group." (This same general message was preached last summer too). There was little said about Jesus, the cross or the Gospel. This is at a believing Baptist church mind you. Unfortunately given how few evangelical options exist in my area (suburb of Boston), there are very few, if any, alternatives that don't involve 30-40 minute drives.
June 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterreg
Reg - Depending on where you are in the Boston area, you could drop in for a visit with us
As God enables I preach Christ and Him crucified.
June 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
Reg - You could also Google "New England Reformed Fellowship" - I forget their site address, it just changed. They have a church directory and I can offer some commentary on some of them if you need.
June 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
True enough, Booth is a problem on various levels. But in some sense all he is doing is saying what most Christians (I said most) of an ideologically conservative persuasion think. At base, it seems we are all just as ecclesially Methodist as we are soteriologically Pelagian, even if we don’t always speak that way.

(Is it wrong to lean toward McCain because he will re-up NCLB [Obama won’t], thereby ensuring job security for me? Or do I really have to get all Methodist-misty-eyed about abortion and gay marriage, two things that have no bearing on my immediate life? I suppose some would render it impious to actually seek that which will prolong working with my hands, minding my own business and providing for my own.)
June 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
Reg, are you north of Boston?
June 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris Sherman
PB, Thanks for the links. I am west of Boston (Westwood). I have tried a few of the churches listed on the New England Reformed Fellowship list and will see if any others fit the bill. Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately your church would be 45 minutes or more away.
June 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterreg
Reg, click on my name and then email me. I live in Dover. Yeah, I know how far the church is!
June 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
This is a book introduced to me on
The Courage To Be A Protestant by David Wells. I am about half way through. Dr. Wells provides explanations for the above article's statistics.
June 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
Now what the U.S.A. really needs is another churchy buzzword to rally around--like "missional." Bureaucrat's and other professionals love this because it relieves them of having to study hard, think hard and preach the law and the gospel.
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdavid
David wrote:

"...Now what the U.S.A. really needs is another churchy buzzword to rally around--like "missional." Bureaucrat's and other professionals love this because it relieves them of having to study hard, think hard and preach the law and the gospel...."

One of denomination already seems to have a new buzzword like this; it's called "Ablaze"...
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
>The Courage To Be A Protestant by David Wells.

ME too, me too. At least when I'm not mindlessly bouncing around the Interweb thing.


calls up a mental image of the lake 'o fire.

June 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlee n. field

The dramatic decline in the PCUSA should give us some pause. The PCUSA has lost more members in the past 10 years than belong to all of the NAPARC churches combined. This reflects the truth that their continued decline is not simply a matter of people leaving the PCUSA for the PCA.

Given that the U.S. has 50 Billion more people today than we did in 1990 - this also casts a light on how poorly the NAPARC churches are doing in terms of reaching our generation for Christ. Since God is absolutely sovereign, we must strongly avoid identifying numerical church growth with faithfulness. But should we be quick to identify a lack of growth with our doctrinal faithfulness?

The LORD has given us an enormous opportunity to proclaim the gospel in North America and around the world. Yet we can hardly claim that we are being sacrificially faithful to this task. Rather than pointing to the obvious problems in the PCUSA, perhaps it is we who need to repent.

Your brother,

June 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid A Booth
Very nice David!
There are many churches in the PCA and OPC that have either closed in this decade or are declining in membership and averaging less than 100.
for fear of being to overly simplistic, I pause to give one answer.
But one thing I've certainly observed:
Many PCA and OPC churches 30 years ago were so satisfied to be "conservative" not "liberal" like the PCUSA, UMC, ECUSA ELCA, etc..

Yet they missed that the church does indeed have marching orders to be outwardly "on mission" to their cities.

They proudly waved the flag of cultural and theological conservatism all the while not waving the flag highly that proclaimed the gospel to their dying city.
June 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIvan
"They proudly waved the flag of cultural and theological conservatism all the while not waving the flag highly that proclaimed the gospel to their dying city."

Sounds like a job for....

I'll let Zrim finish the sentence.
June 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwalt

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