The Presbyterian Church USA has lost over 2 million members since 1967. They project to lose another 85,000 members this year, accelerating the loss from 65,000 last year.
Why? Albert Mohler suggests it is because of the embrace of theological liberalism.
As these researchers demonstrated, the embrace of what they called “lay liberalism” led massive numbers of persons to depart from the denomination and its churches. Why? Because the “vanishing boundaries” between belief and unbelief made church membership unnecessary and uninteresting. If the church has no distinctive doctrines, why belong? The coffee is better at Starbucks.
Hoge, Johnson, and Luidens pointed to one single doctrinal compromise as the best indicator of lay liberalism — the embrace of pluralism, inclusivism, or universalism in salvation. Lay liberalism is established in “a rejection of the orthodox teaching that Christianity is the only true religion,” they argued.