I recently read an editorial in the Los Angeles Times that recalled a 40-year-old prediction that liberal Christianity was the future of the Christian church. To reach the emerging generations, according to this view, the church would need to change! We now have enough of a track record to evaluate this prediction. Mainline churches (and movements within churches) that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are demographically declining and, in the case of some, disintegrating! Mainline churches previously accounted for 40 percent of all Protestants in the United States. Today this number is around 12 percent!
The article pretty much concluded that “if your religion says ‘whatever’ on doctrinal matters, regards Jesus as just another wise teacher, refuses on principle to evangelize and lets you do pretty much what you want, it’s a short step to deciding that one of the things you don’t want to do is get up on Sunday morning and go to church.” Another interesting fact is that there are churches within those same liberal movements that hold fast to scripture, discipleship and evangelism. Those congregations run counter to the trends of their denominations or movements.
Continuing to live and teach Jesus as Savior, Healer, Baptizer with the Holy Spirit and Soon Coming King doesn’t just keep us true to our origins; it declares an uncompromising message in an increasingly desperate world. While the church at large is sending mixed signals, let’s continue to send this very clear one: “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV).
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor