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Decline only means, as Gallup pointed out in a just-released survey, that Americans have lost confidence in all forms of institutional religion. I’m passionate about gender equality in marriage and church leadership. I want to become a better advocate for social justice.The real question is not 'Can liberal Christianity be saved? ' Both were thoughtful, relatively charitable articles, but I was disheartened to see my Facebook and Twitter feeds light up with gleeful jeers from conservative evangelicals essentially saying,” Missing from the whole dialog was any sense that we’re in this together, that, as followers of Jesus, we may need to put our heads together to re-imagine what it means to be the Church in a postmodern, American culture where confidence in organized religion is at an all-time low. For one thing, I don’t "fit" in the conservative evangelical church: I believe in evolution. I want my LGBT friends to feel welcome and accepted in their own churches.
In this age of cultural melting pot and globalism, why are people searching for people of the same religious background?In the world of online dating, religious sites indicate a classic belief among some love seekers that faith matters and that God is the ultimate matchmaker.“God has a match for you," claims a major Christian dating site called Christian Mingle.I know plenty of evangelicals who embrace the science of evolution, and I know plenty of mainliners who are passionate about both social justice and theology.But the reason I struggle to go to church on Sunday mornings is because I generally feel like I have to choose between two non-negotiable “packages.” There are things I really love about evangelicalism and there are things I really love about progressive Protestantism, but because these two groups tend to forge their identities like those “other Christians”—Sunday morning can feel an awful lot like an exercise in picking sides.The answer seems to be as basic as "like seeks like," and the conviction that an essential element of a successful romance is a similar worldview, cultural references and life plan.
Statistics seem to support this, with interfaith marriages having a slightly higher rate of ending in divorce.
Instead, they refer to declines as demographic "blips," waning evangelism, or the impact of secular culture.
Membership decline has no inherent theological meaning for either liberals or conservatives. I like smells, bells, liturgy, and ritual—particularly when it comes to the Eucharist.
The most notable of these responses came from Ross Douthat of the New York Times who asked, “Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?
”“Instead of attracting a younger, more open-minded demographic with these changes,” Douthat wrote, “the Episcopal Church’s dying has proceeded apace...
And often, when I find myself actually sitting in the pew, the pastor or priest will at some point in the service, either subtly or overtly, speak of the “other side” as an enemy. I asked on my Facebook page if you ever feel caught between “liberal” and “conservative” Christianity, and here’s what some of you said: Some of you confessed that, rather than accepting one Christian “package” or the other, you’ve simply bowed out of church altogether—unable to fit into either group.