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Jun
24

Front Page: Shrinking Southern Baptists


The Southern Baptists are worried because their numbers have been on the decline. According to the Associated Press, the denomination could be cut in half in 40 years.

The Rev. Johnny Hunt, a megachurch pastor from Woodstock, Ga., told convention members gathered in Louisville that Southern Baptists need to give more to worldwide missions and attract minorities.

“I really do believe we need a revival,” Hunt said in a 45-minute address to kick off the two-day convention.

Here’s the thing: If you’ve grown up in the southern christian tradition, like I have, you know that churches are constantly calling for revival.
Revivals are big business, they get people excited about their religion, and can often bring in lots of cash for the church.
I wonder, though, if anyone has thought that maybe something that constantly needs “revival” just might be stone dead?
People are becoming more and more non-religious and I think churches realize that. The best they can do, at this point, is try and energize the members they do have.
Still the religious right is trying to attract younger people. Why just the other day, Focus on the Family decided to let their women wear pants!
I know there is a distinction between “churches” and the “religious right”, but the two have become so intertwined, I don’t think there is much of a separation between the two any more.
But if churches want to attract younger people, they need to stop being so bigoted and welcome dialogue on religious issues. Some denominatons are doing just that, (i’m looking at you Episcopalians). But some, like the Southern Baptist Convention, are holding on for dear life to a system of beliefs about how the world works/should work that will ultimately, like them, disappear.