Liberal Christianity is a death sentence in every regard. Those churches and denominations who refuse to stand for the Word of God, salvation through Christ, the virgin birth, the substitutionary atonement, the imminent return of Christ and other core articles of faith soon slide into irrelevance. Worst of all, they fail to point people to the Good News that for all who receive Christ, to those who believe in His name, he gives the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
Because liberal Christianity is a death sentence, in the early 1980′s, the Red Brick Church where I serve as pastor, voted to leave the United Church of Christ. The denomination no longer stood for orthodox Christianity. We had to leave. Had our church not made that move, I would not be the pastor there, and likely no one else would have been left either.
In Sunday’s New York Times, Ross Douthat of the New York Times describes what happens to churches that succumb to the apostasy of theological liberalism:
But if conservative Christianity has often been compromised, liberal Christianity has simply collapsed. Practically every denomination — Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian — that has tried to adapt itself to contemporary liberal values has seen an Episcopal-style plunge in church attendance. Within the Catholic Church, too, the most progressive-minded religious orders have often failed to generate the vocations necessary to sustain themselves . . .
Read the whole thing here.
Churches that allow themselves to be shaped by the world, with the hope of being relevant to the world, soon find out that they are irrelevant. And most people know it . . . .which is why, soon enough, the churches are empty.
Liberal Theology and the Homosexual Debate
Elsewhere, Kevin DeYoung has explained why no denomination will survive the homosexual debate.
There is no way, short of a miraculous and full-scale changing of hearts and minds, for North American denominations to survive the homosexuality crisis. Denominations like the PCUSA, ELCA, RCA, UMC, and Episcopal Church will continue. They won’t fold their tents and join the Southern Baptists (though wouldn’t that be interesting!). I’m not suggesting most of our old, mainline denominations will disappear. But I do not see how any of these once flourishing denominations will make it through the present crisis intact.
Read the rest here.
See also Kevin DeYoung’s post, Toward Denominational Unity