An organization that aims to reaffirm the Church's biblical and historical teachings in the face of revisionist challenges is astounded to see the effect liberal interpretation of the Bible has had on membership at oldline Protestant denominations.
In the mid-1960s, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) recorded having more than two million members. But in succeeding decades, the denomination has seen significant drops in membership, with the most recent data showing an 80 percent decline since that time, standing at 382,000 for 2018.
"This can be seen through their baptism number," explains Jeff Walton of The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD). "We know that just between 2017 and 2018 the number of baptisms recorded by the denomination declined by 13 percent. That's very significant. Part of that is a problem because it means that the denomination is figuratively eating the seed corn of its future."
There are faithful people within the denomination, the bulk are extremely liberal folks who tend to conform to the world rather than the Bible.
"They do not necessarily have the same viewpoint as the Church has historically understood on many issues that currently the Church faces in conflict with the broader American culture," Walton laments. "These include differences on marriage and human sexuality, also on things like the sanctity of human life issues."
That impacts the ability of the Church to minister effectively.
Walton adds that no left-leaning denomination in the United States is experiencing sustained growth on a national level, and he writes that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is on track to claim the top spot for fastest declining major U.S.-based church last year.