Liberal Christianity Is Paying for Its Sins

You absolutely must read Charlotte Allen’s opinion editorial from Sunday’s Los Angeles Times: “Liberal Christianity Is Paying for Its Sins.” Here are some highlights:

You want to have gay sex? Be a female bishop? Change God’s name to Sophia? Go ahead. The just-elected Episcopal presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, is a one-woman combination of all these things, having voted for Robinson, blessed same-sex couples in her Nevada diocese, prayed to a female Jesus at the Columbus convention and invited former Newark, N.J., bishop John Shelby Spong, famous for denying Christ’s divinity, to address her priests.

The Presbyterian Church USA . . . was turning itself into the laughingstock of the blogosphere by tacitly approving alternative designations for the supposedly sexist Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Among the suggested names were “Mother, Child and Womb” and “Rock, Redeemer and Friend.” Moved by the spirit of the Presbyterian revisionists, Beliefnet blogger Rod Dreher held a “Name That Trinity” contest. Entries included “Rock, Scissors and Paper” and “Larry, Curly and Moe” . . .

When a church doesn’t take itself seriously, neither do its members. . . When 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.

It doesn’t help matters that the mainline churches were pioneers in ordaining women to the clergy, to the point that 25% of all Episcopal priests these days are female, as are 29% of all Presbyterian pastors, according to the two churches. A causal connection between a critical mass of female clergy and a mass exodus from the churches, especially among men, would be difficult to establish, but is it entirely a coincidence? Sociologist Rodney Stark (“The Rise of Christianity”) and historian Philip Jenkins (“The Next Christendom”) contend that the more demands, ethical and doctrinal, that a faith places upon its adherents, the deeper the adherents’ commitment to that faith. Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, which preach biblical morality, have no trouble saying that Jesus is Lord, and they generally eschew women’s ordination. The churches are growing robustly, both in the United States and around the world.

(HT: Al Mohler)

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6 thoughts on “Liberal Christianity Is Paying for Its Sins”

  1. absolutely agreed. Especially with this part…

    “Sociologist Rodney Stark (”The Rise of Christianity”) and historian Philip Jenkins (”The Next Christendom”) contend that the more demands, ethical and doctrinal, that a faith places upon its adherents, the deeper the adherents’ commitment to that faith.”

  2. I found that interesting too. It was a point made by Warfield (and Pusey) in an article of his on theological Modernism.

  3. This article is reminiscent of an article by David R. Carlin, “The Denomination Called Catholic” in which He argues that American Catholicism must not follow the liberal trend of mainline protestant branches. He made these observations in the november ’77 issue of “First Things”.

  4. Wow. I am shaking my head. I have been keeping up with the PCUSA mess, and it is indeed a shriveling denomination.

    The “higher requirements” for members of the conservative churches also needs to work itself out into discipleship so as to excise “easy-believeism” and a lip-service “commitment” to Christ. As the old hymn declares:

    “Love so amazing so divine
    demands my soul, my life, my all.”

  5. Great article. Thanks again for bringing it to our attention. It’s very interesting to see a Catholic lambast two Protestant demoninations. Sorry, make that “denominations.” This helps explain why the PCUSA seminary close by has so few students, yet is under construction. Old money and endowments.

    How long will the Triune God allow Himself to be called “Larry, Moe, and Curly” even in jest?

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