Stripped to the bare essentials, the Christian pitch is this: You’re no damn good, but you can avoid the eternity of punishment you deserve by joining our club.
What do you know? Multiple lines of evidence find that sales pitch is failing.
First, Thom Rainer, formerly the head of Lifeway, the Christian bookstore.
This past week I conducted the same exercise based on some of my updated research and the research of others and estimated the following:
Growth and Decline Categories of North American Congregations 2019
Fast-growing (growing greater than 5% annually): 3%
Growing (growing nominally to 5% annually): 24%
Steadily declining (declining 0% to 3% annually): 32%
Rapidly declining (declining 2% to 5% annually): 22%
Declining toward death (over 5% decline annually): 19%
In other words, Rainer estimates that 73% of American congregations, almost three-quarters, are declining.
Meantime, some research published in Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism finds that America is increasingly pro-evolution and non-religious.
Also — and quite ironically — working against theism is the very Holy Bible itself. Among the many atheists I know a good portion were believing JudeoChristians until they got around to reading the entire Good Book and were so disgusted by its dreadfully immoral contents and its obviously human inconsistencies — and by how their clergies had lied to them — that they went atheist.
Apparently, the Bible has about the same effect upon believers as the Mueller Report would have on Trump supporters — if they were to actually read it instead of listening to FOX News, I mean.