Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So what's your story?

The Presbyterian Church (USA) lost more than 57,000 members last year, the
denomination's largest decline since 1981, church leaders announced at a
churchwide General Assembly in San Jose, Calif.

The 2.5% drop brings active membership in the Presbyterian Church (USA)
to 2.2 million, but it remains the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination. . .

Like many mainline Protestant churches, the church has experienced a
decades-long drop in membership, with church rolls declining every year since
the denomination was formed in 1983, according to church researchers.

Twelve congregations joined other denominations in 2007, and 71
churches were dissolved, according to the Presbyterian Church (USA).

About 130 churches in total have threatened to leave or have left the
denomination because of disagreements about homosexuality and the Bible.

How many of us are now members of a Biblical church after some time in a more theologically liberal (read: non-Biblical, or to be more charitable, less Biblical) church? Are you a part of this move away from declining liberal churches - maybe not the PCUSA specifically, but some branch of Christainity that has turned its nose up at Biblical authority?

If so, what led to the change?
I'd like to know.

As for myself, my childhood was officially in the United Presbyterian Church (now the PCUSA). My early teen years were spent in the wilderness until Christ called me by name at age 16. College years were spent wandering though various denominations trying to figure out which one(s) were true. My seminary education was with the Reformed Church in America; it wasn't until after I had my M.Div. degree that I came to really understand what Biblical authority was about. I realized that we can't pick & choose, cut and paste, and "cherry-pick" just those Bible verses that we like and claim that the rest
  • aren't relevant to our culture today
  • aren't true
  • aren't really God's Word

and so ignore them - just because we don't like them (they don't make us feel good).

It was a long, slow process, but God finally got it through my thick head. I tell folks that it was after seminary that I finally grew a brain.

So what's your story?

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