By The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, CEO of the American Anglican Council.
I want to commend to you an article with up to the minute relevance, “If you’re going to be a Christian, you might as well go all the way.” Its author points out that the churches that have actually grown in North America from 2007-2014 are those that have embraced an uncompromising, Biblical definition of marriage (one man, one woman, for life). According to the research, even though America is less Christian than it used to be and even though American Christians are facing incredible pressure to conform to the culture, the most conservative, Evangelical Protestant churches (Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Churches of Christ, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Presbyterian Church in America) actually increased their membership by a combined total of 2 million! As the author, Donna Carol Voss points out,
“In an era where a pro-traditional marriage stance can close your business, drain your savings, and bury you in social media hate, every one of these churches in this last group takes an absolutist stance against gay marriage and the ordination of gay clergy. The currents of social change are flowing downstream and with them, a number of Christian churches, which perhaps coincidentally are also shrinking in size. The Christian churches swimming upstream in no uncertain terms, again perhaps coincidentally, are growing stronger.”
If the data is accurate, it is an astonishing witness to some basic truths from the Bible.
The church grows when it is persecuted.