“Conservative” Christian church leaders occasionally boast that their churches are growing like gangbusters while so-called “liberal” denominations (mainline and orthodox Christian denominations, or any denomination that veers from the given church leader’s ideology) are shriveling due to the non-conservatives’ alleged accommodation with the broader culture.
The Associated Press cites an internal report by the Southern Baptist Convention that finally admits what some mainline churches have known all along: The unbridled growth of conservative churches may be a myth — financially speaking, at least.
Since 1968, donations by Southern Baptists to the church have steadily decreased to just 2.03 percent of their income — far below the 10 percent that some Biblical literalists expect of donors.
The report cites the same reasons for the decline in SBC finances that, until now, conservatives have attributed to the alleged decline in mainline Christianity. One additional factor: The rise of fundamentalists has generated a churlishness toward the denomination’s shared missions program and a refusal among moderate and conservative local churches to support one another’s activities.