Saturday, September 11, 2021

Live Like the Amish?

 From Crisis:

America’s traditional Mainline Protestant denominations are bleeding out so quickly they will likely be gone within 20 years. That is not my prediction, but their own. The ELCA (the main Lutheran branch) projects they’ll only have 16,000 worshippers by 2041; the PCUSA (the main Presbyterian branch) lost almost 40% of their members in the last decade, causing one analyst to note, “At its current rate of shrinkage the PC(USA) will not exist in about 20 years;” and data for the Episcopal Church shows the same 20-year timeline until the denomination runs out of people in the pews. 

More conservative denominations used to chuckle at these headlines and say, “If only they preached the Gospel instead of liberal activism, they’d be growing like us.” But they don’t say that anymore. The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest of the Evangelical churches, has lost 14% of their members since 2006; the Methodists are losing members while in the middle of a brutal split; and for Catholics, according to Bishop Robert Barron while speaking at the 2019 bishops’ annual conference, “Half the kids that we baptized and confirmed in the last 30 years are now ex-Catholics or unaffiliated.”

There is one major exception, though: the Amish—a mustard seed that is growing into a large tree in front of our eyes. The Amish arrived in the United States shortly after their founder, Jakob Ammann, split with the Mennonites in 1693 for being too lax on enforcing their communal rules, as laid out in the Dordrecht Confession of Faith. For the next 200 years, the Amish were just a few eccentric families in Pennsylvania that spoke an archaic Swiss German. By 1920, these few families had grown to 5,000 people and since then have doubled about every 15 to 20 years, including between 2000 and 2020 when they doubled to 351,000. (Read more.)


What happened to honoring a worthy opponent? From Tom Piatak at American Remnant:

We are told ad nauseam that Confederate monuments should come down because we don’t honor those who lost in war and because we don’t honor those who killed Americans. We don’t honor “traitors,” either.

But a large monument is going up in South Dakota that honors someone who lost in war — he was killed after he surrendered to the United States Army — and who killed many Americans before he surrendered. One reason we build monuments to Crazy Horse and Robert E. Lee is because we want the descendants of those who fought under both men to feel that they are no less American than the descendants of the Union soldiers who defeated them, albeit after defeating the U.S. Army in some memorable encounters.

That is a wise policy, in my view, and one we will regret walking away from. (Read more.)


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