The Wages of Unfaithfulness
The Demise of Mainline Religious Denominations in America
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
I have written earlier of what I believe is a direct correlation between the decline of America and the "great falling away" of her people from the religious faith, which historically was a part of the foundation of the country.
Deny it, if you like, but it does not change the facts, the TRUTH.
the Second World War, when returning GI's brought something called
"moral relativism" from Europe to America, there has been a struggle
between the secular side of America and the religious side of America.
The secular side -- the side that rejects religion and religious
considerations has been consistently gaining ground. Sad to say,
ofttimes their advances were made with the assistance of many in the
Today we recognize moral relativism as "political correctness." Since
creation, there has been no greater evil spawned by Satan and delivered
upon earth from the deepest bowels of Hell itself.
The very definition of deception, political correctness has saturated American society.
is easy enough to understand how our government would instantly adopt
any form of deception that might aid their lying and scheming. But,
when the cornerstone denominations of the Christian faith in America
embraced political correctness, its hellish properties became apparent
... at least to some of those religious denominations that insist upon
hewing close to the grain of the Holy Scriptures from which they draw
their bearings. The evangelicals railed against political correctness
while the mainline denominations drank it in much as a thirsty man at a
cool spring in a desert oasis.
Decades ago it became clear to many observers that America was headed for trouble.
And today -- America is IN trouble. BIG TROUBLE! The crisis of which I speak is a crisis
of the soul of every individual American. And the blame for this
endangerment of the souls of Americans can be laid at the feet of the
hierarchy of the mainline religious denominations in America.
nation, whether you choose to believe it -- or not -- was founded as
much on biblical scripture as it was on common law. America used to be a
“God-fearing” nation filled with people who KNEW they relied upon the
kindness and the grace of an omnipotent God to guide them through any
troubles they/we as individuals, and as a nation, faced. That is no
longer the case. The result of switching America’s fealty from God to
man is plain for all to see. We are today – a pitiful nation in decline.
resembles nothing less today than a once powerful, muscular, man whose
body is riddled by cancer and has shrunken to a shell of its former
When America was young and vital the ministers of the
mainline denominations took to their pulpits to preach from the
Scriptures. They told their parishioners of the story of God’s
benevolence, his faithfulness, and they told us of his jealousy. They
reminded Americans that God Himself said: “I am a jealous God!”
of us perched in the pews knew there was a price to be paid for
willfully disconnecting oneself from the power source that is God. Equally as important, I think, we Americans knew, in those days, that America was no accident. We KNEW that America was to us as the Promised Land had been, and remains, to the Jewish people.
extreme importance the ministers, priests, and rabbis of the churches
and synagogues cannot be overestimated. It was they who shepherded the
huge flock known as America in the way they should go. And America was so much better for it.
bitter truth is, in my opinion, the church has turned its collective
back on the One it purportedly serves and now it serves, instead, its
own interests, its own politics, its own politically correct philosophy
of what God OUGHT to be, and, in so doing, they have created God in their own image. And what a pitiful god they have created!
relativism (political correctness) has no place in the pulpit. When
God, Himself, refers to some action, or inaction, of man as a sin, then
it is not left to the ministers to equivocate. They are bound to pass
God’s pronouncement on to the sheep of their flock. For a pastor to do
less cannot be defined as being honest with either man or God.
was a time, not so long ago, when ministers were the pillars of their
community, both the religious community and the secular community.
They were solid citizens. They could be looked up to, relied upon, and
trusted. In many cases they were role models for youngsters who would
later join their ranks as pastors, priests, and rabbis. That was
then. This is now.
Those members left in the congregations of
today’s mainline churches are growing older as the rolls continue to
shrink. Attendance at services is very low. In some of the
denominations there seems to be an on-going struggle of wills between
the membership and the hierarchy of the churches. Such an atmosphere is
not conducive to worship. Sniping? Maybe. Worship? No.
what has happened? It has been my personal observation that the
hierarchy of the mainline churches went left and adopted so much of the
philosophy of the political left that many of their members left. I
don’t mean the membership went left, also. I mean they LEFT as in:
They went away. In fact, many of them went right. That is just another
way of saying they began to associate themselves with churches that
still believe, preach, and practice the scriptures. That explains why
the evangelical churches in America are growing by leaps and bounds.
churches cannot claim to be representatives of God on this earth, a
Christian church, and then teach a congregation a lifestyle that is not
Christian and certainly not in keeping with what the scriptures tell us
God/Christ taught us -- and demands of us. It is as simple and as
uncomplicated as that.
Somehow, the mainline denominations have
made a turn away from God, away from those age-old lessons He has taught
us through the authority of the scriptures, and now they find
themselves blindly stumbling down the road to complete oblivion. And
the really sad thing -- they don’t understand why.
I know this is not the popular explanation for what has befallen those shrinking denominations – I DO
But when you clear all the smoke away, get past all the excuses, and
really, REALLY, look at how the churches got into this fix, there is only one answer.
I am a refugee from one of those churches. I saw this coming. I
fought it for about five years, or so. I argued my way up the
hierarchical ladder to the top – only to have my national bishop tell me
I didn’t know what the dickens I was talking about (in a kindly and
gentle fashion, of course). It was then that I decided to cut my losses
and hit the door. I did so amidst numerous accusations that I would not
stay and fight from within the church. My answer was that I was
following the teachings of the scriptures in getting myself “OUT from
hold that the collapse of the mainline denominations not only will
have, but already HAS had, an extremely negative effect on America. All
one has to do is consider our society today, our government, our
education system, practically every facet of American life which was so
carefully influenced by the church in the early days of America. Observe how it has all become so crass, so unkind, and so angry. It is obvious that something is missing. The churches in America once provided that missing thing.
There was a time when the church not only set the standards for American society, often times it WAS the standard for our society. They spoke with the authority of the scriptures. When
the mainline denominations turned their backs on the scriptures they
began losing their authority… and their followers who, naturally, sought
green pastures and still waters in the flocks of the evangelicals who
still believe that being biblically correct rather than politically
correct is the path to righteousness and the guarantee of eternal rest.
Why is this so difficult for our mainline denominations to understand?
© J. D. Longstreet