There is much that is good, much that needs repentance, and much that needs help.
I am well aware of the progressives who are fast moving to evangelical fluff. And I am well aware of the neo-antis who seem stuck in traditions of their own making and trying to enforce them on everyone else. These groups are failing and losing their children in large numbers to the world. The progressives are losing 60 percent of their children to the religious world, and the neo-antis are losing 60 percent to non-participation.
The mainstream is, however, producing well. They evangelize with love, care for the hurting, reach out to the lost, and train their children. They keep most of their kids faithful to the Lord.
We have numerous neighborhood churches and small town churches graying and dying. We will lose some congregations in the coming decades.
I’ve seen many churches with lots of older folks and lots of young families, but the middle aged folks seem to have jumped ship.
I’m seeing schools of preaching pop up in many locations. If you haven’t checked out what they are doing, I think you’d be surprised. They are producing more pulpit preachers than our universities at this point. A school in Marietta, GA, now has several branches and 400 students! This school is only about ten years old!!!
I know of five or six new schools of preaching popping up–there is a new one in Oklahoma City this fall.
I have traveled much in the last 18 months, and the churches that are growing–without exception–are among the mainstream. They are healthy, loving, working, and devoted to the truth. God will bless such congregations with increase.
A few progressive churches are swelling but most have seriously declined in the last five years. I know of several that are only a fraction of they had been.
I believe we are winning this war of ideology. Once progressives reveal what they actually believe and want to do, they cease to attract as they once did. Exposing Satan is the most effective first step in defeating him.
God prunes his vine from time to time so that it may grow. I think we are growing through just such a time. We hate the loss and love all our brotherhood, but separation from those who will not do what is right is not evil (1 Cor. 11:18-19). God prunes so that the vine may remain healthy and produce more fruit.
Let us hold fast to that which we have been taught and not be fooled by the philosophies of men (Col. 2:6-8). Let us grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). And let us abound in the work of the Lord, filled with love for the Father and for the lost (1 Cor. 15:58).