The Associated Press recently ran a story on the collapse of the Methodist church. It has lost roughly half its membership since the 1960s, and it is now at another turning point as many more are threatening to leave.
It is not alone. As the story notes, “the United Methodist Church is also the latest of several mainline Protestant denominations in America to begin fracturing, just as Episcopal, Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations lost significant minorities of churches and members this century amid debates over sexuality and theology.”
In other words, the more “relevant” a church is—meaning the more it changes its teachings to mirror the norms and values of the dominant culture—the more irrelevant it becomes to its congregants.
The Catholic League’s recent survey of Catholics, ably done by McLaughlin & Associates, found that six-in-ten said that those religions that tailored their teachings to what is popular went too far; this explains why they are losing members so quickly.
Also, a majority of Catholics think that sticking to principles and beliefs matters greatly. In fact, 66% of Catholics said that whether they agreed with most positions in the Catholic Church, or differed on some issues, the Church should not change its principles because of public opinion.
Catholics should learn from Protestants: being trendy is a recipe for suicide.