Loading
Liberal Christianity is disintegrating, says Catholic columnist

.- Liberal Christianity is disintegrating and it is evident in the accelerated fragmentation of the Episcopal Church USA, says Charlotte Allen, author and Catholicism editor of Beliefnet.

“All the mainline churches and movements within churches that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are demographically declining and, in the case of the Episcopal Church, disintegrating,” says Allen in a July 9th, editorial.

The breakdown of the Anglican Church in the United States isn't simply about homosexual bishops, same-sex unions or the election of a woman as presiding bishop, she says.

Rather, she argues, it indicates the near-end to an almost 40-year movement within all mainline Protestant denominations that has presented liberal Christianity as the future of the Christian church.

“When a church doesn't take itself seriously, neither do its members,” she states.

Allen points to the demographics as evidence. In 1960, members of mainline churches - Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Lutherans - accounted for 40 percent of all American Protestants. Today, this demographic is down to 12 percent or 17 million people.

More specifically, there were 3.4 million Episcopalians in 1965; now, there are 2.3 million. The number of Presbyterians fell from 4.3 million in 1965 to 2.5 million today.

While some of the decline is due to lower birthrates, “it also is clear that millions of mainline adherents, and especially their children, have simply walked out of the pews never to return,” Allen states.

Allen also refers to the work of sociologist Rodney Stark and historian Philip Jenkins. Both contend that the more demands that a faith places upon its adherents, the deeper the adherents' commitment to that faith. These types of churches are growing robustly, both in the United States and around the world, Allen states.

As an example, Allen points to the Southern Baptist church, which currently numbers 16 million members.

Allen also noted the 21-year-old Christ Church Episcopal in Plano, Texas, which is one of the largest Episcopal churches in the country, averaging 2,200 Sunday worshipers weekly.  Christ Church broke its ties with the more liberal national Episcopal Church USA, desiring instead, to stick to its traditional gospel values. Now, Christ Church is one of the few Episcopal churches in the country which is growing.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Synod on the Family October 2014
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Paintings of Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII
Jul
22

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43

Gospel
Date
07/20/14
07/19/14
07/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42

Homily
Date
07/21/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: