Thursday, June 09, 2005

Well, yes

I don't expect much out of Albert Mohler, but this has got to be one of the most mendacious, hostile columns I've seen in any paper, ever. He recycles the worn-out argument that liberal churches lose membership due to political stances, a position that hasn't been tenable in 15 years, and he uses the most sophomoric statistical dodges to bolster his argument:
Citing a study published in 2000 by the Glenmary Research Center, Shiflett reports that the Presbyterian Church USA declined by 11.6 percent over the previous decade, while the United Methodist Church lost "only" 6.7 percent and the Episcopal Church lost 5.3 percent. The United Church of Christ was abandoned by 14.8 percent of its members, while the American Baptist Churches USA were reduced by 5.7 percent.

On the other side of the theological divide, most conservative denominations are growing. The conservative Presbyterian Church in America [PCA] grew 42.4 percent in the same decade that the more liberal Presbyterian denomination lost 11.6 percent of its members. Other conservative denominations experiencing significant growth included the Christian Missionary Alliance (21.8 percent), the Evangelical Free Church (57.2 percent), the Assemblies of God (18.5 percent), and the Southern Baptist Convention (five percent).

Percent of what? If I start a church consisting of myself, and I add my wife as a member, that's a 100% growth rate. Without the overall membership numbers, these percentages are meaningless.

And so the shit goes.

But onto every cowpie a little sun must fall, and Mohler provides an unintentional gem in quoting the conservative partisan Hugo Blankenship on what liberal churches preach:
"God is love, God's love is inclusive, God acts in justice to see that everyone is included, we therefore ought to be co-actors and co-creators with God to make the world over in the way he wishes."

Okay, I'll take that.

4 Comments:
At 8:23 AM, Blogger Julie said...

Forgive me; I don't have the stomach to go read the article. Was Hugo Blankenship really trying to defame liberal churches with that quote? It doesn't even sound like he was trying to be mean.

 
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