Following the recent publishing of the findings of the 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, we commented on them.
Beginning with the work of Dean Kelly in the 1970s, it has been empirically obvious that those religions which have experienced the greatest proportionate decline in membership are generally the most progressive or liberal in their teachings; conversely, conservative-oriented religions have fared comparatively well. The latest data from the Yearbook proves this to be true again.
Of the major religions, some of the ones that witnessed an uptick in membership are: the Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Assemblies of God. Those that witnessed a decline of more than two percent are: the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ. Those that declined by more than one percent are: the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the American Baptist Churches U.S.A.
With the exception of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and to some extent the American Baptist Churches, all the other churches with declining membership hold liberal views on abortion and gay rights. Moreover, the smallest decline among the Baptist churches was registered by the most conservative among them, the Southern Baptist Convention (down .42 percent).
By sharp contrast, all of the religions that experienced a growth in membership are pro-life and pro-marriage (normatively understood). Looks like God is truly looking out for those religions that don’t treat Scripture as if it were a post-modern text to be deconstructed by left-wing ideologues.