Monday, July 17, 2006

Mainline denominations losing impact on nation

Mainline denominations losing impact on nation:
By Steve Levin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The foot soldiers in some of America's greatest battles carried neither guns nor swords. Instead, armed with Bibles and faith in God's mercy, they prayed and marched and fought to end slavery, improve social welfare and establish civil rights.

Members of those churches, some of which became known as mainline denominations, were society's vanguard, shaping the country's culture and refining debate.

But those times are long past. Today, the opposite is occurring as secular culture defines mainline churches' dialogue on everything from social issues to politics and morality, tellingly shown this summer at the emotional and acrimonious national gatherings of the Presbyterian Church USA and the Episcopal Church.
Steve Levin has written a somewhat lengthy analysis of how the so-called mainline denominations have gone from being leaders in social change to allowing social pressures to define how they believe.

Ironically, the denominations that led the move toward the abolition of slavery and addressing other social justice issues did so out of a strong sense of where God was leading them. They could be described in today's terms as "evangelicals", although I suspect they would have considered themselves nothing more or less than followers of Christ.

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1 comment:

Pastor Lance said...

Thanks for the great post!

Pastor Lance