January 16, 2021

My Prediction: The Coming Evangelical Collapse (1)

mysticguyI’m not a Prophet or a Prophet’s Son. I can’t see the future. I’m usually wrong. I’m known for over-reacting. I have no statistics. You probably shouldn’t read this. The “Gracious God” post depressed me.

Part 1: The Coming Evangelical Collapse, and Why It Is Going to Happen
Part 2: What Will Be Left When Evangelicalism Collapses?
Part 3: Is This A Good Thing?

My Prediction

I believe that we are on the verge- within 10 years- of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity; a collapse that will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and that will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West. I believe this evangelical collapse will happen with astonishing statistical speed; that within two generations of where we are now evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its current occupants, leaving in its wake nothing that can revitalize evangelicals to their former “glory.”

The party is almost over for evangelicals; a party that’s been going strong since the beginning of the “Protestant” 20th century. We are soon going to be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century in a culture that will be between 25-30% non-religious.

This collapse, will, I believe, herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian west and will change the way tens of millions of people see the entire realm of religion. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become particularly hostile towards evangelical Christianity, increasingly seeing it as the opponent of the good of individuals and society.

The response of evangelicals to this new environment will be a revisiting of the same rhetoric and reactions we’ve seen since the beginnings of the current culture war in the 1980s. The difference will be that millions of evangelicals will quit: quit their churches, quit their adherence to evangelical distinctives and quit resisting the rising tide of the culture.

Many who will leave evangelicalism will leave for no religious affiliation at all. Others will leave for an atheistic or agnostic secularism, with a strong personal rejection of Christian belief and Christian influence. Many of our children and grandchildren are going to abandon ship, and many will do so saying “good riddance.”

This collapse will cause the end of thousands of ministries. The high profile of Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Hundreds of thousands of students, pastors, religious workers, missionaries and persons employed by ministries and churches will be unemployed or employed elsewhere. [ ]. Visible, active evangelical ministries will be reduced to a small percentage of their current size and effort.

Nothing will reanimate evangelicalism to its previous levels of size and influence. The end of evangelicalism as we know it is close; far closer than most of us will admit.

My prediction has nothing to do with a loss of eschatological optimism. Far from it. I’m convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But I am not optimistic about evangelicalism, and I do not believe any of the apparently lively forms of evangelicalism today are going to be the answer. In fact, one dimension of this collapse, as I will deal with in the next post, is the bizarre scenario of what will remain when evangelicals have gone into decline.

I fully expect that my children, before they are 40, will see evangelicalism at far less than half its current size and rapidly declining. They will see a very, very different culture as far as evangelicalism is concerned.

I hope someone is going to start preparing for what is going to be an evangelical dark age.

Why Is This Going To Happen?

1) Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This was a mistake that will have brutal consequences. They are not only going to suffer in losing causes, they will be blamed as the primary movers of those causes. Evangelicals will become synonymous with those who oppose the direction of the culture in the next several decades. That opposition will be increasingly viewed as a threat, and there will be increasing pressure to consider evangelicals bad for America, bad for education, bad for children and bad for society.

The investment of evangelicals in the culture war will prove out to be one of the most costly mistakes in our history. The coming evangelical collapse will come about, largely, because our investment in moral, social and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. We’re going to find out that being against gay marriage and rhetorically pro-life (yes, that’s what I said) will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence and are believing in a cause more than a faith.

2) Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people the evangelical Christian faith in an orthodox form that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. In what must be the most ironic of all possible factors, an evangelical culture that has spent billions of youth ministers, Christian music, Christian publishing and Christian media has produced an entire burgeoning culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures that they will endure.

Do not be deceived by conferences or movements that are theological in nature. These are a tiny minority of evangelicalism. A strong core of evangelical beliefs is not present in most of our young people, and will be less present in the future. This loss of “the core” has been at work for some time, and the fruit of this vacancy is about to become obvious.

3) Evangelical churches have now passed into a three part chapter: 1) mega-churches that are consumer driven, 2) churches that are dying and 3) new churches that whose future is dependent on a large number of factors. I believe most of these new churches will fail, and the ones that do survive will not be able to continue evangelicalism at anything resembling its current influence. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive.

Our numbers, our churches and our influence are going to dramatically decrease in the next 10-15 years. And they will be replaced by an evangelical landscape that will be chaotic and largely irrelevant.

4) Despite some very successful developments in the last 25 years, Christian education has not produced a product that can hold the line in the rising tide of secularism. The ingrown, self-evaluated ghetto of evangelicalism has used its educational system primarily to staff its own needs and talk to itself. I believe Christian schools always have a mission in our culture, but I am skeptical that they can produce any sort of effect that will make any difference. Millions of Christian school graduates are going to walk away from the faith and the church.

There are many outstanding schools and outstanding graduates, but as I have said before, these are going to be the exceptions that won’t alter the coming reality. Christian schools are going to suffer greatly in this collapse.

5) The deterioration and collapse of the evangelical core will eventually weaken the missional-compassionate work of the evangelical movement. The inevitable confrontation between cultural secularism and the religious faith at the core of evangelical efforts to “do good” is rapidly approaching. We will soon see that the good evangelicals want to do will be viewed as bad by so many, that much of that work will not be done. Look for evangelical ministries to take on a less and less distinctively Christian face in order to survive.

6) Much of this collapse will come in areas of the country where evangelicals imagine themselves strong. In actual fact, the historic loyalties of the Bible belt will soon be replaced by a de-church culture where religion has meaning as history, not as a vital reality. At the core of this collapse will be the inability to pass on, to our children, a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith.

7) A major aspect of this collapse will happen because money will not be flowing towards evangelicalism in the same way as before. The passing of the denominationally loyal, very generous “greatest generation” and the arrival of the Boomers as the backbone of evangelicalism will signal a major shift in evangelical finances, and that shift will continue into a steep drop and the inevitable results for schools, churches, missions, ministries and salaries.

Next: What Will Be Left?


  1. Thanks M&M (Monk Michael), for putting into bullets what we’ve been living for the past 15 years or so. I’m a new arrival to the front line and it is here that I can finally take in a breath of fresh air into my lungs. It may smell like gunpowder and smoldering flesh, but it smells beautiful to me.

  2. 2nd Observation: The decline in church culture also mirrors the decline in Western Culture as a whole. No, I’m not talking merely about morals or economy. For reference, I point out:

    1. “The Clash of Civilizations (Remaking of World Order)” by Samuel P. Huntington


    2. “The Crisis of Our Age” by P.A. Sorokin.

  3. Jack Hanley,

    If I had resources to do a properly controlled survey, aimed at quantifying Christians who are able to articulate the gospel, I would accept your challenge.

    But, let me counter your challenge, using a part of Michael’s hypothesis, immediately following his “prediction.” I refer you to the second paragraph under the heading “Why Is This Going To Happen?” Michael states : “The investment of evangelicals in the culture war will prove out to be one of the most costly mistakes in our history. The coming evangelical collapse will come about, largely, because our investment in moral, social and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. We’re going to find out that being against gay marriage and rhetorically pro-life (yes, that’s what I said) will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence and are believing in a cause more than a faith.”

    My counter-challenge is as follows: If, and when, you are able to ascertain, with hard data, which of the “few” evangelicals who can articulate the gospel coherently, ask them if they are the ones who are also able to coherently articulate their dissent to those abominations mentioned above.

    If Michael’s hypothesis proves out, the “why” will not be that evangelicals voiced dissent to those abominations. The cause will be that “massive majorities” of disobedient, and brainwashed, evangelicals did not raise a concerted prophetic voice against those abominations which God hates.

    In Jeremiah, chapter 7, verse 10, you can get a relevant sense of God’s anguish, when his elect buys into the satanic brainwashing that fosters these immoral national sins: “And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?” Jeremiah teaches us to be “valiant for truth” (chapter 9). Isaiah encourages us to “call for justice and plead for truth” (chapter 59). But, like the priests of Gilead, we have become murderers “by consent” (Hosea 6).

    You say that “we as Christians have been so concerned by what we perceive important issues of the times, that we have forgotten to proclaim the gospel. Therefore most all Christians can tell you where we should stand on abortion, gay rights, or pornography. However few are left who can explain the gospel.” But, Jack, the truth is that we Christians have not understood the depth of God’s concern for these issues. If, as it is written, “history repeats itself”, then we need to study the history of the nation, Judah, with a focus on the reasons that caused God to remove his hand of protection from them, allowing them to be taken captive. That history, found in 2 Kings 24:1-4, bears a striking resemblance to our current American “culture of death.” Sadly, what we have learned from history is that men refuse to learn from history.

    It would behoove us to consider these words of Charles G. Finney, an important evangelist of the Second Great Awakening: “If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.” (“The Decay of Conscience” – The Independent of New York – December 4th, 1873)

    To predict a collapse of evangelicalism is to misjudge the power of God. Better to pray and work toward a brand new Great Awakening.


  4. I hope so.

    You guys are menaces.

  5. It is about time people saw through the lies of Christianity and started living in the real world.
    Evangelical christianity is just a cover for American Fascism.
    Good Riddance.

  6. Art, I certainly appreciate your comments. It is sad but you and I are not only on a different page we are in a whole other book. First I would like to point out that you continue to point to the prophets of the Old Testament warning Israel against these moral evils. Israel was Gods chosen people. Israel was Gods nation. The USA nor any other nation is Gods chosen people today. The Church is Gods elect today. So these warnings are for us his Church that are called by his name, not for those that are not. This is my point you seem to be overly concerned about what is occuring outside the Church, in the cultue that you have over loooked what is not occuring inside, And what I believe is not occuring inside is the clear proclamation of the gospel. We are preaching method over message, deeds over creeds, and it shows. As for Charles Finney this just shows are far we are apart. I believe he is one of the main downfalls of the Church. He certaily preached method over message, deeds over creeds. In fact he stated that you do not need God to have a revival all you need is the right means and methods. If we continue to preach morality, over the gospel we may well have really good moral people in hell

  7. Jack Hanley,
    Please don’t misunderstand this as “proselytizing.” But, Sir, if you are not in a church where the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is not clearly preached, I would advise you to search high and low for a new church home. The method that I would use, in that search, is simple. Search for a church that preaches, and teaches both the Old Testament, and the New Testament. Many of the modern churches call themselves a “New Testament Church.” If that were true, they would use only the Old Testament, because in the days of that Church, the New Testament had not been compiled. It’s not “either“, “or”, it’s “both” the Old and the New, both prophecy against sin and salvation of the soul. Without the law and the prophets, our sin would not be known to us, either personally, or corporately. With the law and the prophets, we know that we are sinners, and that we all fall short of God’s glory, and that the penalty of our sin is death, spiritual death of the soul. We know, too, that we need to be reconciled to God, who created us in his image, or die in our sin, separated from God, to suffer eternal damnation in Hell. Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, provides that reconciliation. John, the Baptist, when he saw Jesus approaching, said: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

    I realize that I cannot preach the whole counsel of God to you, in this brief reply to your comments, so I’ll just give you the gospel in a nutshell, as John, the Apostle, tells it: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn 5:11-12)

    Yes, I “continue to point to the prophets of the Old Testament”, because prophecy is lacking in the modern churches, like yours. Times have not changed much, since Jesus’ ministry on earth. To those, in his time, who preached only from the Old Covenant, he said: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew23:23) To those, who would have believed only in the gentle, loving, and forgiving Jesus of the New Covenant, he said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)

    To those, in our modern culture, who believe that the message of the gospel is only for Christians, the Apostle, Peter, says: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Peter 3:9) You see, when the gospel is preached to society-at-large, we are preaching to “potential” Christian converts. But, I am not here to promote Peter. Jesus, whom we preach, always says it best: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

    Neither am I here to promote Charles G. Finney. But, in his defense, perhaps I can give you a better understanding of his theology. Here are a couple of linked excerpts, relevant to your portrayal of his ministry: (1.) “His first aim, therefore, was always to secure united prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” (A Biography of Charles Grandison Finney by G. Frederick Wright, D.D., LL.D. Professor in Oberlin Theological Seminary, Ohio 1891 – http://www.gospeltruth.net/Wrightbio/finneybi.htm); and (2.) “But means will not produce a revival, we all know, without the blessing of God.” ( Excerpt from a Finney Lecture – http://www.charlesgfinney.com/1868Lect_on_Rev_of_Rel/68revlec01.htm ) I am willing, of course, to access the link where you found your information, or misinformation, about Finney.

    One last point: If we continue to preach morality, “with” (not “over”) the gospel, we may reach those moral people who believe, mistakenly, that “really good morality” is all that is required for entry into Heaven. Preaching “morality” means to “prophesy” against sin, in all of its ugly forms or venues, personal or corporate, local or national. The hope, in this restoration of the Church’s prophetic voice, is what Paul taught to the Corinthian Christians: “But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1Corinthians 14:24-25) As he says, in verse 39, we are to “covet to prophesy.”

  8. Thanks for the comments and web links. Lets get down to the nuts and bolts. This will be my last submission and I will give you the last word. First as far as Finney I will direct you to 2 articles. 1. Theological Observer Charles Finney on Theology and Worship. 2. Charles Finney Father of Satanic Counterfeit Salvation. Now this second title is mighty strong, and it is my hope that it has been over stated, but it is a good article with Finney quotes and where they can be found. Also if you really want to know where Finney stands I would suggest you read his Systematic Theology. I can also tell you that toward the end of his life Finney himself worried what the effects of his continuous revivals would have on the people. His worries were justified. The areas where Finneys revivals were most prominent are now referred to by historians as the burned over district. To verify this run a search on the web by typing in historians burned over district. Finney clearly left his mark on the Chrstian Church here in America. But I believe that this mark he has left has been detrimental. One of his tactics was to engage people emotionally. He would appeal to the peoples emotions to envoke a responce. Therefore most of his respondents were only emotionally engage with nothing of intellectual substance to substain them. When the emotion wore off they fell right back into their old way of life. I believe this has become common in our Churches today. Therfore we have many Christians that can tell you how they feel, or what they have expirenced, but cannot really explain what they believe or why they believe it. One of the ways that you can clearly see this effect is in the way the Church has adopted the altar call. This tactic surely appeals to the emotions, and many times has little lasting impact. Another area where Finney has had an impact, is in the fact that he believed that the Church should be an agent of social and moral reform. Now you may agree with this, but I would ask you to look more closely at these words, social and moral reform. You see I believe it is far more drastic than this. If the Church truly proclaims Christ and His Gospel, then the Church will not be an agent of moral and social reform, but rather a theater of death and resurrection. And make no mistake there is an enormous difference between social and moral reform and death and resurrection. The former is temporal while the latter is eternal. This is what I do not understand about Christians who push for moral and social reform. They seem to be satisfied with attempting to build a kingdom here on earth through thier own social and moral efforts, instead of pointing people to the Kingdom that only God can construct. I would like to ask you this question. Do you believe that the preaching of God’s laws to the nation has the power to save? It does not. The law kills. This was the intetion of the law, to kill. This was the death I talked about earlier. And what do we die to? We die to self and our own moral efforts and live to Christ. I want you to understand that I certainly believe in the preaching of the law, but only as it was intended and that is to kill. As I’ve heard elsewhere bad law preaching levels some of us, elimination of the law levels none of us, biblical preaching of the law levels all of us. This is the problem as I see it, we continue to preach the laws of God to our culture. But the culture can clearly see our hypocrisy as we are unable to keep those laws ourselves. How much better to portray ourselves as we really are SINNERS saved by grace. Although we strive to keep God laws out of love and great graditude for what God has done for us through Christ, there are times when we fail to measure up to Gods standards. But we have a promise that if we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us. What a wonderful message to give to our culture. In other words we would not be giving them a list of things to do (deeds) but rather something and Someone to believe (creeds). I wonder what kind of an effect this would have on society. Let me close by saying something that I am sure will make me very unpopular with many of my Christian brothers and sisters. As we look at the social and moral depravity of our society,I believe we have been pointing the finger at the wrong people. It is not Hollywood, it is not the abortionist, not the drug pushers, or pornography. No I believe we have seen the enemy and the enemy looks a lot like us, because it is us. We Christians are the problem. And it is not because we have not stood up for God and preached His laws. We been doing this for decades, with no results. In fact I would say it has continued to become worse. Our task as a Church is not to be agents of moral and social reform. Our calling and mission is to be an agent of forgiveness. Most Christians dissagree that the Church is an agent of forgiveness. In thier view only God can forgive. But I would ask if the Church is a God ordained instution. If so the Church then is a miraculous institution,and is Gods agent to forgive. Maybe this is why the Chuch has lost its influnce, because we have stripped it of its power. To demonstrate this another way, I would say most Christians would say that just because you have been baptized does not mean you are actually saved. And I would agree but only because of the simplistic altar call where people are mostly engaged emotionally, then sent to the waters of baptism. If instead the Church is Christ Church and the pator has been truly called of God and this pastor insures that each canidate for baptism truly understands what is taking place, then when this man of God announces I baptize you in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit then I believe that this man of God speaks on Gods behalf and we could then understand that baptism is not our act but rather and act of God. We could then look back on our baptism with confidence, not in our ability to live moraly, but rather to Gods promise. Again maybe the problem is us, in that we have stripped the Church of its power. The law has its place which is to drve us to Christ but it does not have the power to save. I believe the GOSPEL is the power of God unto salvation. Start with Jesus which is the gospel and you get sanctification in the process start with Jesus which is the gospel and move on to something else and you lose both. Listen I could continue its been a joy thanks so very much and my God bless

  9. Jack Hanley,
    Thank you for the Finney references. I read enough to cause me to recall a forgotten resolution, made in a long past year. I remember thinking that “quoting a dead theologian can get you into trouble.” At that time, I resolved to focus as much attention as possible on God’s Word. But, since I have feet of clay, and a bad memory, I stray from time-to-time.

    Perhaps a Mark Twain quote would have been less strident: “It will be conceded that a Christian’s first duty is to God. Then follows, as a matter of course, that it is his duty to carry his Christian code of morals to the polls and vote them. Whenever he shall do that, he will not find himself voting for an unclean man, a dishonest man. If all Christians would vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease. Their prodigious power would be quickly realized and recognized, and afterward there would be no unclean candidates upon any ticket, and graft would cease. If the Christians of America could be persuaded to vote God and a clean ticket, it would bring about a moral revolution that would be ever incalculably beneficent. It would save the country.” (Attributed to Mark Twain – Colliers magazine, September 2, 1904)

    Yes, I agree with that. I believe that Christians, who live their faith, could indeed effect needed change in our society. What timeless words these are, and uttered by a humorist of the past century! All one must do, in order to refute Michael’s reasoning as to why his predicted evangelical collapse may occur, is to compare the graft and corruption in our contemporary body politic to this wisdom of the late Mark Twain. There will be a great “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). But, who knows when that will occur?

    I most certainly agree with you and Pogo, the swamp rat. Back in the fifties, Pogo said “I have met the enemy, and he is us!” Those few you see “pointing the finger” at Hollywood, at the abortionists, at the drug pushers, at the pornographers — they are not entirely representative of the sleeping giant at the polls. No, Sir, divine boundaries are being trampled into the dust of shredded copies of our Constitution, in our halls of justice, in our oval office, and on our legislative floors. The giant sleeps, silently. “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” (Proverb 6:9-11)

    Like you, Jack, I believe that the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16) But, without the law and the prophets, without the hundreds of prophecies of the coming Messiah, would Jesus have been recognized? “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46) “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44)

    Yep! As you say, we are “sinners, saved by grace.” But, you know what — even sinners, saved by grace, transient though we may be, have a God-given place in the fourth branch of our US Government. God grant that we have the courage to claim it! AMEN!

  10. Luz Maria Leyton says

    Primeramente lo hare en español porque para la informacion de las personas que leen esto, deben aprender que la vida no solo es Ingles y que aunque no sepamos escribirlo, si entendemos el tema que se esta tocando…se los dejo de tarea.

    Creo que la vida cambia, porque las personas cambian, lo que para unos hoy es fortaleza, mañana sera su fracaso. Lo que hoy es exito, mañana es obsoleto.
    Creo que el mundo en general siempre hace de una idea, un pensamiento, una doctrina y la enseñan porque tienen a Dios en sus corazones y le adjudican que Dios esta de aceurdo y siguen por alli.
    El punto esta que nadie es SABIO en su propia opinion, porque DIOS PESA LOS CORAZONES, es el unico. Hoy tengo este pensamiento y apoyo a los que estan de acuerdo, pero mañana esa persona cambia y ya no me gusta.
    El problema mas serio que tenemos los humanos es que no nos amamos con un amor incondicional, sino de conveniencia….mucha hipocrecia y Jesus vino para desenmascarar la Hipocrecia y a todos nos llegara nuestro tiempo de presentarnos ante EL a quien tendremos que dar cuentas de nuestras acciones.
    La vida pasa y sus deseos, pero la PALABRA DE DIOS QUE DEBE SER LA QUE GOBIERNA AL SER HUMANO, es la que nos juzgara delante de el.
    Asi que Sr.Michael Spencer no generalice y respete a las personas…por favor!!!

  11. Pastor Dave Fritsche (retired) says

    I sat in the balcony of Constitution Hall in Washington DC many years ago now, at an evangelical event, attended by various denominations who were listening to a variety of high profile speakers. Each came to the podium and predicted the failure of the church, unless we won the coming election by voting for Jimmy Carter. Each echoed the sentiment that our education system in this country was a failure, the economy was a mess, thecorruption of our land was about to overwhelm us and this meeting might be the end of our churches as we knew them.

    After 8 or so speakers had come to the podium and built on that theme, a elderly black Bishop from Chicago took the pulpit and just stood there for perhaps 3 or 5 minutes, until the chatter and noise of the crowd subsided into total silence. Then he started…

    “God did not ask the Roman Empire if He could send His son,” – long pause – “Because He is God!” – short pause – God did not ask the US Congress if He could create the universe,” – long pause – “because He is God!”

    Using that theme and that effect, he spoke for an hour until the sense of fear and forboding that was in the auditorium gave way to spontanious clapping and praise.

    While I agree that the evangelical church as we know it is in trouble, I am not sure that is a bad thing or something to be feared. We are constantly moving back to the premise that the power of culture and of our world is in the hands of the political system. I wonder if we would not at times like to take up arms and follow Constantine once again on a crusade to bring christianity to the world. But that has never been the highest and best for the church. In fact, historically I suspect the church does better in persecution than it does in times of patronage. Having political power and acceptance may have the effect of shifting our focus to the power of the earthly system and away from the greater realisty that there really is a God in heaven who is both the creator and sustainer of the universe, including planet number three.

    Ultimately it is not the trends of society or the shifts in culture that determine the future of the church, but His purposes worked in us regardless of the human or governemtal system.

    That’s my story…. And I’m sticking to it .
    Pastor Dave

  12. Sebastian says

    Ir may be true for many evanglical churches that have all sorts of flaws (doctrinal, economical, etc.) However, there are many people drowning out there in life that when they finally get hold of the Word of God and understand it properly, the become a new generation of belivers, call it a constant regeneration. If my church happens to be empty one Sunday according to your predictions, rest assured at least I’ll be there sitting alone on a chair… reading my Bible.
    God bless you and let’s PRAY thanking God that he will never let his church down.

  13. who cares? hahahahah

  14. this was to be read by 10th graders in a bible class…and guess what…? we didnt read it! hahahah

  15. mr.grover says

    yea because were to busy playing on microsoft paint because were horrible people

  16. joey ingrassia says

    DUDE DUDE IM HIGH ON SUGAR DUDE DUE BOOM BOOM ahahhahhahahahhahahhahahahhahahahahhahahahha

  17. Dr. James E. Pudding says

    This discution in the fail of the Evangelical Church is nothing but a but a bunch of laligaling leftest on a coffee high! This is unacceptable to me and my institution. I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS! i need a to go a potty break. TTFN (ta-ta for now)

  18. Mr. Vincent says

    I fully agree with you, christians of today are luke warm and dont walk with the Lord as strongly as before.

  19. B. Spears says

    this was great

  20. i love this article so true

  21. my wife loves this artical, cuz its so true

  22. my wife loves this artical, she has feeling like that cuz its so true

  23. this article has many points!!

  24. jeff's boyfriend says

    this artical is a great prediction for the coming collapse of evangalism

  25. chris brown says

    this is why i beat up R

  26. Please STOP commenting on this. You are abusing this website.

  27. wow you guys are really immature . yeahh this class is boring but really ?

  28. I have to point out that it seems to me that as Evangelicalism has tied itself so greatly to the United States that it has primarily become a nationalistic endeavor, with only nominal religious foundations. I think the post addresses this somewhat but I think conflates Republican with American.

    It’s true that Evangelicalism is the core of much of the Republican political structure, but it’s also tied into many fundamental national structures.

    Evangelicalism is faith practiced through the sort of industrial marketing practices that has typified American free enterprise and American style capitalism since its inception.

    Evangelicalism is religion given modern business practices. Crudely: It’s Jesus Wal-Mart.

    It’s religion on a huge (some say grotesque) scale done with all the apparatus of a modern branding venture: focus groups, coordinated media, etc.

    As this “American way” falls prey to resource depletion and failure abroad so will this form of Evangelicalism.

  29. This post has many inteligent seekers of God and truth discussing if the evangelical church is failing,falling. I have much to write about this but will wait to see if my response can go through. I’ve often read articles,blogs and such but never felt to participate until now..here goes….

  30. “The difference will be that millions of evangelicals will quit: quit their churches, quit their adherence to evangelical distinctives and quit resisting the rising tide of the culture.”

    Most of these churches were burdened by hauling around a building on their backs. The real estate based church is not the New Testament church model, the house church network is. The real estate based church disobeyed scriptural commands to spend on the unscriptural demands of worldly assets. God’s values were distorted by money pressures, false doctrine (tithe) is preached to support the asset that must be served. Unscriptural pressure bought to bear on the poor to comply with the false doctrine.

    “Evangelicals” were undermined coming out of the gate. Their unscriptural four year seminaries were prone to false doctrine and supported sabotaged texts over the Lord Jesus Christ’s preserved text, the Textus Receptus. (Read “The Revision Revised”) Seminaries are money intensive and present unscriptural hurdles for someone desiring to be a Christian leader. What does this do to the types of candidates who gain entry and the leaders they produce?

    “Evangelicals” have had to deal with the Satan’s constant sniping against God’s word from the margins or footnotes of their sabotaged scriptures with the complicity of the “church.” This has lead to strange unscriptural understandings of the purity of God’s preserved scripture.

    “Evangelicals” are polluted with pagan political doctrine and sometimes seem more conversant in it than scripture that teaches differently on the same issues. Preaching is watered down with the burden on one preacher (unscriptural) instead of the orderly tag team commanded by scripture. Bible studies are a cacophony of translations.

    It does seem like a collapse is coming, but has been coming for a long, long time, for reasons that are exposed by scripture.

    Maybe Christians will now, finally, use New Testament, house church network model from scripture.

  31. I agree with your post. It seems churches are dying because they focus to much on quantity rather than quality. They water down the gospel out of fear of “offending” their flock thus suffering their loss. My husband and I both feel that the church no longer is true to the Lord where it counts. I understand the need for missions and the like, but if their on congregation is suffering through lack of faith or lukewarmness, how are they to shine enough to go out and do any evangelical work for the Lord?

  32. You are right in a lot of what you say. So-called christians will walk away from the church, the sad fact is the majority of people in the pews are more than likely not believers. They are there for reasons besides, a desire wrought in their heart by having a new nature, these reasons could be social status, business, something to do, and what I personally believe the worst thing, to have their temporal needs met. I say that not because we should not be helping, others, when we are able. But as you state most of those who profess Christ, do not know the Gospel,and could not articulate it. We have forgotten the part of scripture that, along with telling us to love God with all our heart and, strength, we are also to love God with all our mind. Sadly church(a first day of the week gathering, of believers to praise, and glorify God, and here His Word taught) has become, going to the church building(a once a week thing that must be endured, so business can coninue, friendsips can be kept up, and somewhere at the last of it all, maybe a tip of the hat to the, uhhhhh! to the, uhhhh! to the, oh yeah the man upstairs, yeah that guy we sang a emotional song about, that guy who got me that Cadillac, I had been wanting, that guy who I promised I would do better if the cancer test came back negative). All the while not one of these professors, could spell, doctrine, much less expound on it. And heaven forbid the pastor’s sermon be longer than 25-30 minutes. Becuase the people are in a hurry. That is why the so-called evangelical church will collapse, and I believe we will enter a dark, yet glorious period of the church age. Don’t believe me, my sunday school classmates pickup their books only on Sundays. Doctrine, isn’t that the new wonderdrug for people suffering from restless hair syndrome or something. Yes truly the so-called believers are truly a mile wide and an inch deep. But change is coming, so get on board, and hide an extra bible, you are going to need it. Even so come Lord Jesus.

    Just my thoughts on it all.

  33. dominic Omwando says

    I just want to to partner with you so that I can learn the truth about Jesus’s second coming from you.Be blessed .
    From Dominic Omwando

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