Does the Mainline have a Future?
I jumped into the conversation and suggested maybe things aren’t so bad for us, maybe we’re on the road forward. Now, at least one commenter seemed to disagree with my assessment.
I get the impression that Mainliners keep waiting for their left of center, open-ended stance to attract the surrounding culture. And yet, the opposite continues to happen.
I would argue that it is the lack of a strong theology of the Holy Spirit that has led, and is continuing to lead a decline in mainline numbers and vitality.
The reason I jumped into this discussion was to suggest that perhaps Progressives are ahead of the curve on at least some cutting edge issues. One particular issue is homosexuality in the church. We all know it’s a big issue. It seems to be tearing at the fabric of the churches, or so it seems. But the reality is – in the broader culture there is not only a growing acceptance of gays and lesbians, but that at least among the younger generations see the church as particularly anti-gay. Although Progressive Churches haven’t done well among baby boomers, the children of baby boomers – if they’re going to go to church might find progressive churches more appealing.
The question is – how do we get the message out? Martha Grace Reese has shown us that by and large mainline churches have bought into the idea that faith is private and should not be shared. But by keeping the light under the bushel, to quote Jesus, we have kept a message of grace, welcome, and compassion under wraps as well.
So, my question is, does the Mainline have a future?
Cross-published at Faithfully Liberal