Reason for Decline of Liberal Churches

So, I've been thinking. Why the decline we've witnessed over the past few decades in the mainline liberal churches. I have an idea.

People like to feel good. People like to feel good when they are at church. People feel good when the pastor is preaching what they like to hear.

What people like to hear is that God is real. God is great and powerful. God loves me; but likely will soon punish other people that maybe I don't care for so much. In any event, they are "others" and it makes me feel good that things are looking up for me in comparison to other people.

So, how does this work in theology? Well, conservative theology emphasizes the individual gospel and the Kingdom of Heaven. Liberal theology says that's important, but so is the social gospel and God's Kingdom on earth.

So, conservative preachers tell their flock that God loves them and through faith they have received the gift of eternal life. It's nice to do good things on earth and sacrifice is ok too, but whatever, the main thing is you already are saved and let's talk about the sins of the others around us (homosexuals and women who get abortions).

Liberal preachers do one of two things. Either they preach a mamby-pamby message about God being love and peace and kindness to all, bla, bla, blah. Nice, but rather boring. That's not gonna really excite anyone.

Or, good "liberal" preachers will preach that God is real, alive and powerful. That God loves us and through Jesus we can receive salvation and will one day join God in his Heavenly Kingdom. BUT, that's not the end of it. Right now, we have to also be concerned about God's Kingdom right here on earth. We also have to live a christian life; live the social part of the gospel. And, that requires sacrificing to help the needy, the sick, the stranger, and protect and preserve God's creation.

Either way, the audience of the liberal preachers are going to tend to migrate towards the conservatives who preach the message that people naturally enjoy hearing more. Free gift, no sacrifice necessary, others are headed for a heartache....

Maybe the only hope for "liberal" churches is to preach the truth of the Gospel of Jesus more clearly and hopefully convict some.

Actually, maybe liberals have an obligation, a calling to do so.

Give me that old time religion, give that old time religion, give me that ....

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