Would you want to stay in a church that taught heresy? I know I wouldn’t. How about a church that taught less than the truth? I couldn’t go for that either. And it appears that many other Americans don’t like those kinds of churches all that much, too. Mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. have been steadily losing membership since about 1965. Churches like the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Methodists, United Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ have all been losing members. Sometimes, as in the case of the Disciples of Christ, up to nearly 50 percent of their members have left or died without being replaced.
Contrast that with churches that are more faithful to the Gospel, or as the mainstream media like to say, conservative. Evangelical churches have seen an increase of at least 10 percent over the last 20 years, the Southern Baptists have increased 4 percent, Pentecostals have increased percent.
And even with the number of people leaving the Catholic Church for other denominations like the Evangelicals and Pentecostals, or leaving because of scandals, the numbers of those coming into the Roman Catholic Church have been steadily increasing.
Why is this happening? I think it’s because people are finding out that the liberal agenda is a dead end street. They’re realizing that a God who loves you where you’re at and then leaves you there isn’t much of a God. They’re realizing in their hearts that they need something more than to be told that they’re OK where they are, because they know they can’t go on sinning. They know in their heart of hearts that love is more than getting what I want when I want and how I want.
So they are looking for someone to serve. They are looking for a God who can take them out of their misery and bring them up to something they can’t get – divinity. Only God can give that to us.
So many churches today, and there are, unfortunately, a lot of Catholics who buy into this as well, have said we have to conform to the culture. We have to support people who want to contracept, who want abortions, who want us to bless homosexual “unions,” who want us to say, “It’s OK if you divorce and remarry even though Jesus himself said that to do so would be to commit adultery.”
And that’s what is happening in many of these churches. But what happens when the Church does that? The Church disappears. There is no need for it to exist anymore. If you say that the prevailing culture is good, then what purpose does the Church fulfill? The Church is there to call people to God, to call people away from sin and if the Church says, “Go ahead, sin all you want – it’s OK, we don’t mind,” then the Church has lost her reason for existence. And people know this in their hearts. Oh, sure they’ll grouse about how the Church says this and that and can’t they just shut up and leave us alone, but, like Herod before John the Baptist, they know the attraction of his words and their hearts are being pulled to the beauty of the truth.