I’ve often wondered if Christianity is in need of a facelift. According to the 2008 American Religion Survey, the results of which were just released last week, mainline Christianity has suffered a significant decline.
According to David Gushee of the Associated Baptist Press (see this op-ed piece), this decline signals a winnowing process that is taking place in Christianity.
Am I discouraged by this? Not at all.
First, I believe that nominal Christians will fade away. Christianity will no longer be defined by the people who self-identify as Christians but don’t truly believe in Christ. A movement that sheds its fat will be far more effective.
Second, Christians will begin to cross denominational lines and reconsider their more controversial identifying doctrines in favor of working together to spread the Gospel and share Christ’s love.
Third, Christians will slowly move away from the culture war they’ve been waging these past few decades. They’ll soon begin to realize that a political battle is not the battle we’re meant to fight.
Sure, the [C]hurch will be smaller because of it, but a stronger and more effective group of Christ-followers will emerge.