Monday, December 12, 2022

Church Attendance Down…….Why?

(Warning: Many church attendees may be seriously offended, but reality must be addressed - a lot to read, especially when you link to full length text. - CL)

 First – the facts on the ground according to media reports:

As attendance dips, churches change to stay relevant for new wave of worshippers : NPR

Why You Should Be Worried About the Split in the Methodist Church - POLITICO - Last weekend, over 400 Methodist churches in Texas voted to leave their parent denomination, the United Methodist Church (UMC). Their decision followed the mass exodus of Methodist congregations ...

Mainline Protestants Are Still Declining, But That’s Not Good News for Evangelicals | News & Reporting | Christianity Today - In the most recent waves of the GSS data, there’s clearly a bigger retention problem for people who were raised mainline—just over half (55%) stayed mainline as adults.

In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace | Pew Research Center - The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade.

That is a serious assessment and easily verifiable, but why is it happening NOW….especially in these turbulent times?

It is not a mystery…….all we need to do is count the ways….in no particular order:

Evangelicals on the Durham Trail by D.G. Hart (Pabulum - not only dispensed from the pulpits but in Praise and Worship?.......... - CL)

Seldom have evangelicals recognized that this commitment to making the gospel accessible deforms and trivializes Christianity, making it no better than any other commodity exchanged on the market.

EXPOSED: Most Churches Now in Western Civilization Are Dupes of the Enemies of Christ! - We spend most of our church time in PIETISM and SELECTIVE VIRTUE SIGNALING while our pastors become pompous denominational theology windbags – to the point that we have no time left to MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS as commanded by Jesus Himself. Keep in mind – without Christianity there would be no Western Civilization – PERIOD! And we are on the verge of losing it – if not already lost.

Note to Mentors - When the watchman falls asleep............. - CL

As I have commented now for at least the past decade - "When the pulpits dispense pabulum - the pews produce infants!" 
Today's posts emphasize the need for Christians to grow up - read Hebrews 5:11-14 and see if that is not where most churches are now.
"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." - and we wonder why our institutions are geared for the mindless mobots.

There is not a single institution unaffected by infantilism! - there is no greater need in the world than growing to maturity? Our culture in the US - whether in church, education, government, politics - is infantile at best. Why? Hebrews 5:11-14

How we screen young men out of church - by David Murrow

So what happened to all the devout men? Simple. We screened them out of the church as boys. Picked ‘em off one by one.

The way we raise boys in the faith eliminated the very kinds of men women find attractive.

Churchianity and the feminized church - Vox Day comments on an extensive article by Rollo Tomassi - Again, this is attributable to a generation of feminized men being raised into a church culture, and eventual church leadership, that has been taught to prioritize and identify with the feminine and reinforced with articles of faith now defined by the Feminine Imperative. The modern church has trouble reaching men because the church no longer has a grasp of what it means to be ‘men’.

Mentoring Moment – June 10, 2018 – Defending Western Civilization – Where are the Men? - One thing should become clear – “Whether you realize it or not, if you live in the West, you are currently engulfed in a civilization-wide cultural war that is taking place all around you. Maybe you’re aware of it, or maybe you’re not. It doesn’t matter. The cultural war is real and it is vicious. And unlike a traditional shooting war between different nations, in a cultural war there are no civilians. There are no neutral parties, since no fence-sitting is permitted, and there is no common ground to be found. No one is permitted to sit it out or refuse to take sides; sooner or later, you are going to be forced to declare yourself by either publicly submitting to the SJW Narrative or openly rejecting it.” – Vox Day

Equivocation on “the church” and the church it’s destroyed - by Dr. Joel McDurmon - It’s simply time for Christians to explode this myth. If you are a Christian, you are part of “the church” no matter where you are or what you are doing, at all times and in all places. You ought to be carrying out the great commission in obedience and teaching (where appropriate and applicable) at all times. Whenever any leader in “the church” speaks as if we must neglect all those things in order to make “the church” what it ought to be—four walls and corporate worship on Sundays—a chorus of rebuke ought to arise against that person from a million knowledgeable members of the body of Christ. Or, if you are the type who does not like the confrontation, simply ignore such a leader and get on with the 99 percent of the rest of the work of the church which they have so far neglected and destroyed.

Is the "ministry-industrial complex" dying? - by Bojidar Marinov - In other words, people are leaving because they do not appreciate their milk anymore. No wonder. Those who have the Holy Spirit want to move on from being permanently excited about childish things to working as mature men. May be they want to do something about that message, not just hear about it from the pulpit and experience sweet meltdowns over it. When an institution continues offering only milk – in opposition to Hebrews 6:1-2 – it is clear that institution is not a church.

Churchianity or Christianity: The Need for Scriptural Cultural Theology – Ezra Institute - By Joe Boot  / December 21, 2017 - God's people are called not only to personal evangelism and activities within the church institution, we are commissioned to disciple the nations, a holy task that influences all areas of life……………..

……In so much of the evangelical community today churchism and churchianity have replaced Christianity. In Christianity, believers are living out, applying and asserting the Lordship and salvation-victory of Christ for every area of life, rooted in the scriptures.

The gospel is the wisdom and power of God according to the Bible, for Christ is the wisdom, the glory and power of God made manifest. His kingdom and rule is unlimited and extends over all the cosmos – of things visible and invisible, in this age and the one to come (See Col. 1; Eph. 1). Such wisdom in Christ and the gospel cannot be restricted to the church institute any more than the meaning of the reconciliation of all things to God can be limited to the soul of individual believers. God’s wisdom is for all people and nations and it is being manifest to all for the good of all.

We need that wisdom not only in our churches but in our marriages and families, schools and civic associations, universities and businesses, political parties and guilds. We need the truth of the Christian gospel to permeate both family, church and state as leaven through a loaf. We must boldly proclaim and apply, in detail, the wisdom of God for all domains of life, regarding not only the way of salvation, but for the entirety of our lives. Only in this way will the gospel be unhindered and the wisdom and renewing power of God be effectively released again in our time.