Committed to building up Christ's Church in North America and beyond
I read this article but it seems a bit one sided just having a shot at Anglicans. For example following the reasoning of the article one could easily point out that the Roman Church doesn't have 1.2 billion members but rather somewhere closer to about 200 million as that is the approximate number of those Roman Catholics across the world who actually go to mass. Similar statements could be made about the Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, etc Churches, all of which have millions of nominal members who never darken a church door.Not sure why the researcher in the article just targets Anglicans? What was his agenda? Other figures put Anglican membership at higher than the often mentioned 80-85 million. Anglican Frontier Missions points out that in fact there may be as many as 104 million people in the world who identify as Anglican.
Nominalism is a problem that affects all denominations and is not confined to the United States and Europe.It is particularly a problem in the Global South. The unfortunate tendency in the Anglican Church and other denominations is to count the nominal members along with the active members and to report inflated membership figures. Well before this study was undertaken a number of African Anglican leaders admitted that the explosive growth that is often credited to their provinces is no longer the case and that there was a strong need to re-evangelize church members as many of them were nominally Christian. In the Common Cause days of the Anglican Church in North America one of the arguments made for present form of governance in the ACNA was that it modeled on that of the African provinces and a strong episcopate was a major contributing factor to the remarkable growth that the African provinces were experiencing. As it turned out, these provinces were no longer experiencing such growth and what was touted as an African model actually had its origin in the Roman Catholic Church. Those who favored this particular model took an unreformed Catholic view of the episcopate and favored a strong episcopate in the first place. I personally welcome more in-depth research into the growth figures reported by various denominations.
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