Al Mohler writes in “Vanishing Christianity – A Lesson from the Presbyterians” about how liberalism’s “determined policy of accommodation with the secular world” has caused the decline and nearly the death of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It’s a good, thought-provoking article.
On the other hand, Audrey Barrick, reporter at the Christian Post, has given us a much more encouraging picture in “Evangelical Influence Growing in United Methodist Church”.
What is the difference? Liberalism, pure and simple!
The Presbyterian Church USA gave in many years ago to the liberals and their agendas. The United Methodist Church appeared to have done so as well for a long time. But while the PCUSA is clearly liberal and declining quickly, the UMC is becoming more and more evangelical and orthodox, and declining much more slowly. In fact, there are signs that the UMC could start expanding in numbers once again.
If you check out the poll numbers, you find that the membership in the PCUSA, the people in the pews, are nearly as liberal as their clergy, and their clergy are near the extreme edge of the left. On the other hand, while most of the Bishops, the general boards and agencies, and great numbers of the clergy in the UMC can be considered liberal (especially in certain areas of the country like the northeast, the north central, and the Pacific Northwest and California), the people in the pews are far more likely to be conservative and evangelical. While this may be expected in the southern and southeastern jurisdictions of the country, it has been my personal experience that it is also quite true right here in liberal Minnesota.
This move towards orthodoxy is just one more sign, as far as I’m concerned, that God has not given up on the UMC!
Pray for our churches!