The liberalizing of Christianity is not a recipe for growth. And the selling off one of those liberal denomination’s headquarters is just the latest chapter in that lesson.
We often hear sad stories about how the Christian Church is shrinking in America. But what many news outlets fail to mention is the types of churches that are declining. It is not the faithful bible-teaching, gospel-proclaiming congregations that are hemorrhaging members. It is the more liberal denominations that have long jettisoned historic orthodoxy—denying the deity of Christ, the reality of sin, doubting the truth of Jesus’ literal death and resurrection in addition to embracing abortion, same-sex marriage and gender politics—that are shriveling up.
The latest such denomination is the extremely liberal United Church of Christ (UCC) which is in the process of selling the building that houses its headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio for seven million dollars. The heavily down-sized denominational staff will move from the massive nine story building which once housed 330 employees to a single-floor office space less than a mile away.
The United Church of Christ has been experiencing an uninterrupted purging of members for decades now as a direct result of their increasingly liberal theology and practice. Their membership, which one totaled more than 2.1 million people, is currently just over 800,00 and expected to be a mere 200,000 in 2045. The Institute on Religion & Democracy explains, “While the denomination traces its origins to the puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, its spiritual antecedents would likely not recognize it today.”