Suppose you wanted to eradicate your opposition.
However, you wanted to do so in a way that avoided any blowback, and lulled your opposition to sleep so that they wouldn't know what hit them until it was too late. Rather than a full-frontal assault, you might try subtlety instead. Say, the introduction of a lie that became repeated so often by those with influence it was accepted as truth. Despite the fact all of the actual hard evidence says to the contrary it is not.
This is what is called "propaganda." Defined by Dictionary.com as "information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc."
Marxist Progressives who want to replace individual liberty with statism in America have religious freedom in their cross-hairs, even if it means targeting the Little Sisters of the Poor order of Catholic nuns. Because once the church is silenced so is the notion of God-given rights our entire constitutional republic hinges upon. For if your rights do not come from God then they come from government, and what government giveth government taketh away.
[sharequote align="center"]What government giveth, government can taketh away.[/sharequote]
Yet it's not the coercive force of government that is the Marxist Progressives' most powerful weapon, but cultural propaganda. Sadly, too much of the church in America isn't fighting back against this propaganda that seeks to undermine its mission, but is ingesting it into its own bloodstream. And the effects of believing this Marxist Progressive lie has been devastating.
The lie I'm referring to is this: unless the American church accepts the re-definitions of morality and sexuality that have arisen in a post-sexual revolution culture, it is doomed, since no one wants to go to church with a bunch of "bigots" and "haters" still bitterly clinging to the guns and their Bibles.
Yet the real numbers show the exact opposite is true.
In fact, it seems the best way to shrink your church/denomination is to sell-out the Word of God. Works every time.
Just take a look at these numbers from a recent report on this debate:
- Prior to consecrating Gene Robinson as its first openly homosexual bishop in 2003, there were 2.32 million Episcopalians in America. Fast forward a decade and this denomination has lost 18 percent of its overall membership, weekly Sunday attendance has declined 24 percent, and marriages conducted in the church have fallen 45 percent. Meanwhile, the more Biblical Anglican Church of North America, which was formed in protest to the liberalization of the Episcopalian Church, has planted 488 new churches since 2009. The Episcopalians planted only four in all of 2012.
- From 1987 to 2009, the average membership decline within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America was only 0.62 percent. But since that church abandoned Biblical teaching on morals and sexual ethics in 2010, more than 600 congregations have abandoned the denomination. That's 12.3 percent in just three years, or almost 600,000 people. If this current rate of decline continues, the church won't even exist 20 years from now.
- It's been a long time since the United Church of Christ held God's Word in high esteem. This is the denomination of Jeremiah Wright after all, Barack Obama's former anti-American pastor. In 2005 the church became the first Protestant denomination to openly support redefining marriage. Since then its lost over 20 percent of its members. An average of 39 congregations left the denomination annually from 1990-2004, but a whopping 350 congregations have bolted since the church officially "came out of the closet." For the first time membership in this denomination is now below a million people, and it's on pace to be extinct in about 30 years.
- Since 2006 the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has been wrestling with whether or not to toss the Bible aside and embrace the sexual revolution. From 2006-2013 the denomination lost 22 percent of its members. Over 100,000 people left the church in 2012 alone. It's on pace to sleep with the fishes by 2037.
On the other hand, look who's growing.
Assemblies of God, Catholics, and Mormons, just to name a few. While all three of these churches have wide-ranging theological disputes regarding the nature of the trinity, whether Scripture or the church has ultimate authority in the believer's life, etc., they all share one major thing in common - continued reverence for Biblical morality.
Yes, the largest conservative evangelical denomination in America, the Southern Baptist Convention, has declined by 3 percent since its all-time membership high in 2007. But that pales in comparison to the Dunkirk happening to the liberal churches.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
There are two lessons to learn here.
The first lesson is nobody is better at de-stabilizing a culture than Progressive Marxists. They're so good at telling lies, even their opponents believe them and then implement them to their own peril.
The second lesson comes from Jesus Christ himself:
"Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the works you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place."
These numbers prove some lamp stands are being removed as we speak. When the church embraces darkness last one out turn out the lights.
Steve Deace is a nationally-syndicated talk show host and the author of “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.