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Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by Paul7, Jan 6, 2017.
Thriving? No. Dying somewhat more slowly, yes.
Southern Baptists see 9th year of membership decline
"Mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches started to experience significant declines in the 1960s and 1970s, said Mark Chaves, a professor of sociology at Duke University who studies religious trends. Significant decline for many more conservative Protestant denominations has become apparent only in the last decade or so."
Here is the study, done in Canada: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13644-016-0255-4
Compare the Southern Baptist to the Episcopal Church, which has lost something like half its members since the 1960s.
The fact that churches compete for members like Wal Mart and Target compete for customers tells you right there that it's a money game.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV
 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come , except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The number of believers is irrelevant. Some, the elect, will be saved, but they will only be a remnant. The path to hell is very wide.
Matthew 24:12-13 KJV
 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Soooo....the elite who are most worthy.
Like I said, elitist apocalyptic death cult. Always focused on the death.
And Christians as a whole are down to 71% of America.
How can your be certain that you, without a doubt you will be among the "elect" and will be "saved?
I don't know that for sure, but it is my hope.
2 Peter 1:4-11 KJV
 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The SBC has had its own issues with heterodox theology, splits etc. The OP is not invalidated by the link you provided
Like any consumers, people shopping for religion change their favorites from time to time. From a recent Gallup Poll, it looks like the overall picture isn't good for the shamans...
"Since 2008, when Gallup began tracking religion on its daily survey, the "nones" have increased by six percentage points, while those identifying as Christian have decreased by six points."
"Americans are also significantly less likely now than they were in the past to claim membership in a church, synagogue or mosque. In 1937, when Gallup first asked about church membership, 73% said they were a member of a church. This figure dropped into the upper 60% range in the 1980s and continued to decrease from that point on. It fell to its lowest point of 54% in 2015 but increased slightly to 56% this year."
Even if OP were true, smells like merely an appeal to popularity for validation. If you need to rely on logical fallacies to feel superior to other religious groups, you have bigger problems.
I suppose logical fallacies sounds more authoritative than superstitions?
And atheists are 3%, so what?
Liberal churches appeal to some because they offer acceptance of abnormal things. the problem is that abnormal things charge definition much like situational ethics, which then will now include things members do not like. traditional churches stay the same. they are safe, predictable and don't leave you guessing what's acceptable to God today that wasn't yesterday .... except for the current Pope, funk that clown.
That doesn't surprise me. Just one data point. Back when I lived in Ga, we had friends who when to a church. Had a conservative minister, and it was going along nicely, owned it's land and building. Old building; but owned free and clear. A new minister took over. New minister was quite liberal (even had an affair with the wife of a church member). They decided to expand the church. Got pledges. Most of the money came from the older conservative members. During construction, the lib members wanted additional fancy stuff. They blew their budget (by ALOT). Meanwhile the liberal minister was ticking off the conservative members of the congregation. The conservative ones left. They pulled back their pledges. Libs were outraged. Not sure that church is still active.
The Catholic church I went to, had a very conservative priest. Also, mostly a conservative congregation (even with a large number of Hispanics). We did an expansion; but the priest kept a tight hand on costs. In fact, he managed the project so well, that he ahead of time and under budget. Used the unused portion for a number of other improvements. We spent the budgeted amount; but got more than we expected.
Conservatives build liberals destroy. It doesn't matter faith or politics. Actually politics is kind of like religion isn't it?
You said it incorrectly. Atheists are up to 3%.
If only they were 3% of this forum.
Not sure I find the article all that meaningful. While I haven't studied it detail, nor would I waste my time, I question the author's conclusion based on some meh study of a small group of churches in his area. Both conservative Presbyterian and liberal Presbyterian denominations have ALL been hemorrhaging in their membership for years. Those are the only ones I follow somewhat closely out of mere curiosity, but I'd expect the same to be occurring across the board. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, mega-church, country church, etc. I doubt you could look at ANY denomination over the last 25-50 years and not discover membership is down. Individual churches, under good leadership, may grow, absolutely. But overall, it's dropping and will continue to drop for a myriad of reasons.
Vic posted it above, Matt 24:10.
I'll add to it 1 Tim 4:1.
It's expected, prophesied...many will fall away.
So the fact that somebody felt the need to study it and write about it, I find staggering and sorta wasteful of the time God has given the guy on earth. He should simply read his Bible, accept it for what it is (or not I suppose), and move on to getting busy on what God has tasked us with, which is certainly not puttering around in studies and statistics to describe what's happening to The Church. God has already told us what will happen to The Church.
Sorry little buddy, you'll have to find your 'safe space' somewhere else, where the mean words can't hurt you.