This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
How to Shrink Your Church in One Easy Step
Every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization on sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership writes the author. The Federalist
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
In 2003, Gene Robinson became the first openly gay, noncelibate man to be consecrated as a bishop of the Episcopal Church. In the wake of his consecration, entire dioceses severed ties with the Episcopal Church. By 2012 average Sunday attendance had fallen 24.4 percent.
THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF AMERICA
2009 Churchwide Assembly, ordination was extended to gay men and women in "committed monogamous relationships." In addition, the Assembly passed an amendment allowing churches "to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships." By the end of 2012, ELCA had lost 12.3 percent of its members in three years—nearly 600,000 people. If the present rate of defections holds steady, ELCA will cease to exist in less than two decades.
THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
The UCC declined rapidly accelerated after the gay marriage vote. Since 2005, UCC has lost 250,000 members, a decline of 20.4 percent over seven years. If the post-2005 rate in membership losses do not taper off, the denomination will cease to exist in 30 years.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AMERICA
Already, the denomination is on track to lose 75,000 members each year through 2020. The Presbyterian Church USA needs money to sustain member losses after their endorsement of same-sex marriage. Once again, if post-2006 trends continue, the denomination will cease to exist by 2037.
What about the orthodox churches? The Renewal churches are growing rapidly. Bible followers like the Southern Baptists are seeing declines, but very small. An example of one new denomination that split from the Episcopal Church over the sexual issues is the Anglican Church of America. It has seen its membership rise by 13 percent and its Sunday attendance rise by 16 percent in the past five years. Since 2009, the ACNA has planted 488 new congregations. In 2012, the entire Episcopal Church managed to plant only four new churches.