The Real Reason Liberal Churches Are Losing Members

by Dr. Michael Brown

Why are the more liberal mainline Protestant denominations seemingly bleeding members? (R. Nial Bradshaw [edited])

Almost every day conservative Christians are told that if we don’t become more enlightened and progressive, we will become irrelevant to society as our numbers continue to decline.

In reality, the opposite is true: We will only be relevant to the extent we honor God and hold fast to biblical truth, which is why the more “progressive” and “enlightened churches” are the ones losing members the most rapidly.

God will back His gospel, not some man-made, watered-down message.

God will back the exaltation of Jesus, not some muddled, every-path-leads-to-God nonsense.

God will back the call to take up the cross and live for Him, not some flesh-pleasing success formula.

God will back biblical standards, not some meet-me-halfway, worldly-wise compromise.

The truth be told, most people who are serious about spiritual things are looking to join with people of like mind, while most people who don’t take God’s Word seriously will not take spiritual commitment seriously either.

Why bother going to church if you don’t believe what’s being preached? Why go to a prayer meeting or a Bible study if you’re not sure any of it is real? Why make a serious commitment to church life if you view committed Christians as radical extremists?

In 1974, a German theologian named Gerhard Meier wrote a bold and controversial book entitled The End of the Historical Critical Method, explaining that what the seminaries were teaching the pastors was not helping the people.

Maier argued that pastors in training would attend seminary, where they would learn the “historical critical” method of interpretation, being told that Moses didn’t write the Pentateuch, that the prophets didn’t predict the coming of the Messiah, that Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead, and that the Bible was not truly God’s Word, among other things. Then they would go and preach to their congregations, but they had nothing to give them…


The Real Reason Liberal Churches Are Losing Members