|RE: Can Liberal Churches save Christianity? Diana Butler Bass responds to Ross Douthat|
|Written by D. Mounger|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012 17:58|
Thank you, Diana Butler Bass. Another major reason for the numerical decline of denominations--"liberal" and "conservative"--how I hate those terms!--stems from 9/11. The general public is horrified that anyone (Muslim, Jew, Christian) can commit suicide/mass destruction of "enemies" in the name of God. The fundamentalist obsession with "Saturday night sin," especially sexual misdeeds, to the great neglect of social evils, is another reason. Congregations that really cherish Jesus' summary of the whole Torah as love to God and neighbor, and that demonstrate this boldly in non-judgmental deeds of mercy, justice, and peace, can and will grow numerically eventually. Our obsession with numbers is uniquely U.S.A. The "faithful remnant" who haven't bowed the knee to literalistic bibliolatry, survival-of-the-fittest social Darwinism, and worship of "success" (numbers on membership rolls, money collected, rich-folk and celebrity communicants) know God's blessings, even if in a minority. Why do so many who have kidnapped the good, Reformation-era name "evangelical/Evangelisch" take so literally the so-called "clobber" Bible verses allegedly anathematizing same-sex relations, but apparently totally disregard Jesus' high priestly prayer "that they all may be one" (John 17) and--the centuries-old besetting sin of Presbyterians and Reformed and Baptists, but increasingly of Anglicans and Lutherans--take their congregations into shameless schism seemingly at the drop of a hat?