The National Council of Churches recently released data in its 2010 edition of the Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. The results didn’t surprise us very much.
The results are strikingly similar to the overall pattern that has been evident for many decades: the more conservative the religion on moral issues, the more it continues to grow (or lose relatively few members); and the more liberal it is, the more it declines.
The big winners as reported in this year’s volume are the Roman Catholic Church, which is up by 1.5 percent; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), which grew by 1.7 percent; and the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal group, which jumped by 1.3 percent. Catholics now stand at 68 million, literally dwarfing every other religion in the nation. The big losers, as usual, are the mainline Protestant denominations.
What are we to make of this? The more “relevant” a religion tries to be, the more irrelevant it becomes. Seems like everyone save for liberals can figure this out. That’s good news for the traditionalists, and lousy news for the religion-lite crowd. It’s not global warming they should fear, it’s their own demise.