The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a dying denomination. People have been leaving in droves. In 1989, the ELCA had 5,251,534 baptized members. At the end of 2015, the ELCA had 3,668,034 baptized members. (see here) Members who actually go to their churches number much less than that.
A new study, "Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant Church Attendees and Clergy," seems to confirm my belief, and that of countless other Bible-believing Lutherans, as to the reasons for the downfall of the ELCA. The study’s lead researcher, David Haskell, reports that growing churches "held more firmly to the traditional beliefs of Christianity and were more diligent in things like prayer and Bible reading," compared to churches where membership is in decline.
Additionally, Mr. Haskell states that “conservative believers, relying on a fairly literal interpretation of scripture, are 'sure' that those who are not converted to Christianity will miss their chance for eternal life. Because they are profoundly convinced of (the) life-saving, life-altering benefits that only their faith can provide. They are motivated by emotions of compassion and concern to recruit family, friends, and acquaintances into their faith and into their church." (read here)
Most ELCA congregations, their pastors and upcoming ELCA seminarians are in accord with the liberal stand on Scripture and Bible-twisting theology that the ELCA champions. (I provide proof of this throughout this website.)
Below is a different survey from Pew Research Center showing how infrequently Mainline Lutherans (ELCA) read scripture. Over half of the respondents said they “seldom/never” read the Bible.
The next chart shows that only 17% of Mainline Lutherans (ELCA) say Holy Scripture should be taken literally. Thirty-two percent say Holy Scripture is “not the Word of God,” and 10% say "other/don't know."
The ELCA has a Bible problem. When you teach and treat Scripture the way of the ELCA, it is not a surprise that people who know differently will leave congregations, and a pastor will be left with people who hold Scripture in low regard, all thanks to the ELCA pastors' poor teaching.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11