14 comments

  1. For the first time in my life, I think that Mormonism is on the slow fade downward in our country.

    But I am just the outsider. What do I know?

  2. Most denominations are seeing a decline in membership Todd. The LDS church and the Assemblies of God are some of the only churches that are still growing, and their numbers have slowed. There was a discussion of this at T&S here.

  3. I read the “collapse” earlier, today. Some things to chew on.

    I think that Mormonism will surely decline wherever a conservative Christian voice is muted. I do not think that the GA’s will want to be the last standing voice. I think they piggyback on others, BJM.

    Another question: how long will the American culture tolerate the American religion?

  4. Part of Mormonism’s “decline” is self-chosen.

    We’ve been focusing less on upping baptism numbers and focusing more on seeking out inactive or struggling members. This has been going on for a while.

    Any Evangelical megachurch knows you can artificially inflate growth numbers with shallow conversions. The LDS Church is not immune to the same possibility.

  5. Todd, if you are interested, the full report is available at the ARIS 2008 site. However, since ARIS does not provide religious affiliation data by denomination and by state, but only in aggregate format, it is impossible to answer your state-specific question based upon the presented results of the survey. However, in regards to Mormon/LDS affiliation data at the national level, the survey notes that “The Mormon and Latter Day Saints tradition has slowly but steadily grown throughout this period [i.e. 1990, 2001, 2008].” (ARIS 2008, p. 5). If you could obtain the raw data collected by ARIS you might have better luck answering your specific question, or you might turn to other sources of data on religious affiliation.

  6. I think that the piggybacking is a given. You can’t really preach a restored gospel if your subject doesn’t already know of a gospel that needs restoring.

    Still, I’m not really counting on Mormonism to falter by much; in fact, Christians slipping away from the more complacent denominations of Christianity might help their numbers since those people will be more receptive to the upstart message of the LDS church. On top of that, the LDS leaders are shrewd businessmen who run the church like a corporation. They are very organized and motivated and they are very, very good problem solvers, plus the church has a lot of money stockpiled which it can throw at problems at will. Most Protestant denominations don’t have that.

    That isn’t an attack on the church, btw. I think the most successful churches do run themselves like corporations. Selling religion and selling a product are not very different concepts.

    I can’t say what the future holds for American evangelical Christianity, but becoming more liberal or mainline is not the answer. Ever read The Churching of America by Finke & Stark? The mainline churches will always be on the sidelines.

  7. how long will the American culture tolerate the American religion?

    It already doesn’t — I’m sure you are aware of how Mormons are treated in America today, as in years past.

  8. To all: the article that Jack cited is from Michael Spencer, and a condensed version of a three part series that can be found at internetmonk.com. I HEARTILY recommend reading the series,and Michael Spencer in general. He doewn’t touch on LDS per se, but I think many of the forces that are squeezing the mainline protestant denoms will also squeeze the LDS….most people don’t know, and many don’t care, of the distinctions among them all anyway.

    anyway, thot I’d give a quick shout out to the i-monk, who rocks, and his blog rocks also.

    GERmIT

  9. rereading this post makes me wonder..

    Todd: what do you mean by “the american religion ??”

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