Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

What will American Christianity look like in 50 years? (Predictions for various denominations)
SILOUAN ^ | 12/21/2012 | Silouan Philip Thompson

Posted on 12/21/2012 3:31:33 PM PST by SeekAndFind

I was asked this in an online forum, and my answer got too long to manage. Here’s my infallible prediction. How did I do?

TL;DR: in 50 years you’ll see recognizable Orthodox, Catholics and Reformed… and a vast spectrum of Everybody Else, many of them changing in significant ways and seeing that as a virtue.



TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Mainline Protestant; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: christianity; denominations; predictions; trends
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 next last
To: johnthebaptistmoore

I have no inside information, but I would not be surprised to see a country wide/world wide fundamental Christian revival. The true word of God will prevail.


21 posted on 12/21/2012 4:50:33 PM PST by Citizen Tom Paine (An old sailor sends)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: knarf
and if so ... when?

No one knows. You certainly don't know, nor should you be making predictions that it will be soon. We may very well have thousands, even millions of years till that particular event occurs. Some people in every generation think theirs is the last, and they are always wrong.

22 posted on 12/21/2012 4:59:46 PM PST by Longbow1969
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: johnthebaptistmoore
Fifty years from now, worldwide secularization will be much more dominant than it is now.

On the path we are currently on, this part of your statement is probably true. Then again, one giant worldwide depression or something like it could completely change the direction the world is going in. But yeah, I think Western Christianity is likely to continue weakening as populations in the Western world secularize.

23 posted on 12/21/2012 5:03:49 PM PST by Longbow1969
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Fifty years? We shall see. Or, maybe you'll get to see. Absent significant medical advances, I probably won't be.

Straight line extrapolation is likely to break somewhere. Let an end times type persecution scenario break out, and all bets as to how it looks are off.

Orthodoxy: Little visible change, zero substantive change

Because, of course, they never change. I'm being sarcastic. Disaffected evangelicals coming in will bring in evangelical attitudes. Perhaps the Orthoborg can assimilate them, perhaps not.

Catholicism:

Same comments as for the Orthodox.

Reformed Christians:

If not for the current Internet fueled popularity of the "Young, Restless and Reformed" crowd, the author probably wouldn't even be aware of them. The hard core Reformed, those that think that it's about more than "the five points", number a half million or so in N.Am, laboring and worshiping in obscurity. Even adding in the Reformed Baptists wouldn't change that number much.

Lutherans, Episcopagans, Presbyterians, UCC

If there's anything left at all, a shrunken and whithered leftist core, supported by endowments and old money. The gay & the grey don't reproduce well, so where does that leave you? (That's a rhetorical question.)

They'll sell their empty buildings cheap to the Muslims and the charismatics.

Non-charismatic nondenominations

Who knows where they'll end up. Too many different directions. There's the charismawhacky direction. There's the church as mall, church as business megachurch model. Both, I think, end in their own sort of disaster.

24 posted on 12/21/2012 5:13:24 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means." --I. Montoya)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
>>Even those who are younger than 25?<<

I do believe the rapture will happen prior to that. After that there will be no “denominations”.

25 posted on 12/21/2012 5:48:33 PM PST by CynicalBear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I’m not seeing one troubling group — atheists.


26 posted on 12/21/2012 6:04:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CynicalBear

RE: I do believe the rapture will happen prior to that.

Interesting, is there a Biblical basis for this belief, or is it just your own feeling?


27 posted on 12/21/2012 6:05:07 PM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Anyone who lumps “Conservative Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists in North America” in one forecast knows little about Christianity.

Lutherans alone vary from ultra-conservative to uber-liberal.

I pay no heed to this article.

And no one knows when the big guy will return. Not even a close estimate.


28 posted on 12/21/2012 6:11:29 PM PST by american_ranger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Longbow1969; johnthebaptistmoore
Fifty years from now, worldwide secularization will be much more dominant than it is now.

On the path we are currently on, this part of your statement is probably true. Then again, one giant worldwide depression or something like it could completely change the direction the world is going in. But yeah, I think Western Christianity is likely to continue weakening as populations in the Western world secularize.


Predictions are hard to make. Like you said, if we stay on this path, you're right but 50 years is a long time. A lot of things can happen, world wide collapse due to some catastrophe and/or atomic war, perhaps a war with Islam and so on. In 1980, I would have laughed at the idea of the USSR collapsing in the 1989/91 period although I did wonder if I was right in 1983 where I figured that one day the US would be like the USSR and the USSR like the US.
29 posted on 12/21/2012 6:22:17 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field

About the Orthodox and Catholic churches, I did see one interesting reference in an old cartoon made in the Soviet Union called “Christmas Toys” from 1924, being an animation junky I am. They referred to the Orthodox Church as “The Dead Church” and the Roman Catholic Church as “The Living Church.” You can find the cartoon on YouTube. I wonder where they got those terms from.


30 posted on 12/21/2012 6:35:01 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
What about Mormons? Disregarding for the moment whether they are Christians
31 posted on 12/21/2012 6:35:25 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fiji Hill; knarf
>>"For you know quite well that the day of the Lord's return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night."--1 Thessalonians 5:2

Why do people always put that verse out there all alone? That is not conveying the meaning of that passage. Look at what follows it.

1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

There is much in scripture that shows us the seasons to watch for so that it doesn’t come upon us “like a thief in the night”. That is talking about the children of darkness, not the children of light. We who are Christians have the scripture to show us what to look for.

32 posted on 12/21/2012 6:42:04 PM PST by CynicalBear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
>>Interesting, is there a Biblical basis for this belief, or is it just your own feeling?<<

A Biblical basis. Study prophecy. Israel was brought back as a nation after nearly 2000 years in 1948. That’s no coincidence.

33 posted on 12/21/2012 6:46:39 PM PST by CynicalBear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The big story of world religion over the next 50 years will be the flourishing of the Christian church in China. Fujian province is supposedly more than 20% Christian today, and growing amazingly fast. The rest of China is following. It is quite possible that China will be majority Christian within my lifetime, or at least my childrens’.


34 posted on 12/21/2012 7:02:55 PM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The big story of world religion over the next 50 years will be the flourishing of the Christian church in China. Fujian province is supposedly more than 20% Christian today, and growing amazingly fast. The rest of China is following. It is quite possible that China will be majority Christian within my lifetime, or at least my childrens’.


35 posted on 12/21/2012 7:03:01 PM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ccmay

RE: The big story of world religion over the next 50 years will be the flourishing of the Christian church in China. Fujian province is supposedly more than 20% Christian today, and growing amazingly fast.

The more relevant question is this — What FORM will this Chinese Christianity take? Will it be Catholic? Orthodox? Mainline Protestant? Evangelical? Will it hold to the essentials of the Christian faith? Will a more free-wheeling form appear?

THAT is the question.


36 posted on 12/21/2012 7:11:57 PM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

There isn’t anything new under the sun.


37 posted on 12/21/2012 7:16:24 PM PST by Truth2012
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CynicalBear
"After that there will be no “denominations""

Amen to that!

It's sad that it will take such a monumental event for the church to finally "be of one mind" still,better then than never I suppose!

38 posted on 12/21/2012 7:37:20 PM PST by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: CynicalBear

Well, so far, those preachers like Harold Camping who tell us that we’re in the last days have been wrong 100% of the time.


39 posted on 12/21/2012 7:42:58 PM PST by Fiji Hill (i)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: CynicalBear

RE: Israel was brought back as a nation after nearly 2000 years in 1948. That’s no coincidence.

I still fail to see how that translates Biblically to Christ coming back on or before 2062.


40 posted on 12/21/2012 7:48:19 PM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson