“Liberal Christianity is paying for its sins”

This is the headline of an op-ed piece in the July 9th edition of the LA Times. I stumbled across the column today and in my estimation, it was a pretty good analysis of the effects of Liberalism in American Mainline Protestant Churches (Episcopal, Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Evangelical Lutheran are the ones named).

Here are the first couple of paragraphs:

“The accelerating fragmentation of the strife-torn Episcopal Church USA, in which several parishes and even a few dioceses are opting out of the church, isn’t simply about gay bishops, the blessing of same-sex unions or the election of a woman as presiding bishop. It also is about the meltdown of liberal Christianity.

Embraced by the leadership of all the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as large segments of American Catholicism, liberal Christianity has been hailed by its boosters for 40 years as the future of the Christian church.

Instead, as all but a few die-hards now admit, all the mainline churches and movements within churches that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are demographically declining and, in the case of the Episcopal Church, disintegrating.”

The author goes on to describe specific examples of denominations straying from Christian doctrine and its effects. One effect is that these denoms that are breaking with orthodox faith are not taken seriously, and thus attendance is on the decline.

I have a friend who belongs to one of these denominations and if asked to assess his view on some of the issues raised in the column, I’d have to say he’s a pretty liberal Christian. He doesn’t agree with some of Paul’s teachings and even some of Jesus’ teachings are difficult for him to take and so for the moment he does not accept them.

Which of course begs the question, on what basis does one accept or not accept Biblical teachings? The most common answer, unfortunately, is ‘whatever feels right.’ This philosophy paves the wide road that leads to destruction.

Click here to read the op-ed from the LA Times.

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