The End of the High Church

Years ago, I had cause to be at the Episcopal cathedral in Albany for a mass. A friend was being ordained into the church as a priest, so I went up to celebrate the occasion with his family. I noted the subtle beauty of the church, particularly inside. It just oozed tradition, which is quite imposing in the spiritual setting. The outside of the building was rather plain, which is what made the inside impressive. I walked in expecting a utilitarian facility and instead I walked into a beautiful cathedral with arches and stained glass.

The mass was not well attended, despite the fact there were half a dozen people being minted as priests that day. My guess, at the time, was that most of the people were relatives of the condemned. Talking a bit with some people after the mass, I was told that attendance at Episcopal services in the area was down to a sprinkling and most of the regulars were old people. If what I saw in Albany is typical for the church as a whole, I’d bet they are finished in a generation at best. A church without worshipers is a building.

This is a common story with mainline Protestant churches. The local Presbyterian Church is lightly attended and the average age is somewhere in the 60’s. They used to have a grammar school, but that closed. They still run a daycare center, but I suspect that is just a business. They hope that the mothers dropping off their kids will decide to attend services at some point. Until then it is a cash relationship for services rendered. There’s a good chance government subsidies play some role as the kids are mostly black.

Part of what has destroyed the mainline Protestant churches is their full-throated embrace of Progressive lunacy. At my friend’s ordination, three of the people ordained were woman. Judging by the haircuts, all three were lesbians. Gay marriage is a huge issue in these churches, driving off the sensible and leaving only those who see Christianity as a vehicle for Progressive activism. Many of these churches are no longer Christian, as a theological matter. They are just Progressive meeting houses for the deranged.

If you are a normal person, the mainline Protestant churches have nothing to offer but endless lectures about the joys of liberalism. It’s a familiar pattern. First the women take over, then the men leave, except for the guys willing to take orders from the gals. Then the normal women bolt. This boiling off of the sensible eventually leaves the crazies in charge of the organization. Before long the freak flag is hoisted and it is the bar in Star Wars. It’s the pattern we saw with Labour in Britain and the Democrats in the US.

A similar thing seems to be happening in the Catholic Church, which had managed to resist the same fate until recently. The turning point appears to have been the sex scandals, which have been used by the lunatics to push out the sensible. It’s also emptied the pews in many parts of the world, as parishioners simply could not tolerate the handling of these cases. The conservatives in the Church should have gone on the offensive to purge the pink monasteries and the buggerers. Instead they surrendered.

It is hard to know if the Red Pope will live long enough to destroy the Church, but he will certainly cripple it. There is only one good response to the death of Fidel Castro and that is “enjoy hell.” That’s true for the Pope, as well. It’s perfectly fine for the religious to pray for the souls of the wicked, but it is not required. The Pope should be the one guy making that point, but instead he took the opportunity to celebrate the life of a homicidal maniac. The reason is Fidel belongs to the same Church as the Pope – the Communist Church.

What’s happening with the Catholic Church is it is following the same path as the Protestant churches. They are inviting in people from other religions, thinking they will be Catholic first and communist or Progressive second. It never works that way. The secular faith always comes first, which is why you can never find a liberal Catholic, who is pro-life. Their liberal faith will never tolerate opposition to abortion and their liberalism trumps everything else. A man cannot have two religions; one must be dominant.

The demise of the high church in the West was inevitable. Big, highly organized organizations need protection from the state to survive. McDonalds cannot exist without government protection. This is especially true of churches, which often challenge the wishes of the rulers. It’s why the Catholics were willing to cut deals with both communists and fascists. It is why the Orthodox Church supports Putin. No above ground church can exist at war with the ruling class. They always have to cut a deal.

When the the ruling classes of the West began to abandon their Christianity, it was just a matter of time. Students of the French Revolution know that the radical’s hostility to the Church started with economics, but quickly became ideological. As the religion of the Western ruling classes became one version of leftism or another, hostility to the high church was inevitable. It took longer in the US than Europe, but we are well on our way to see the elimination of the main churches.

132 thoughts on “The End of the High Church

  1. I left the Episcopal Church to join the Anglicans (, who are still holding to the Bible and Christianity.

    The Episcopal Buildings have, without the say-so of their congregations, changed the Sacrament of Marriage to “a Celebration of Marriage,” and welcomed sodomites to partake.

    Jesus Christ himself said, in Matthew 19, that we were created male and female “for the purpose of marriage”: that means, bluntly, that male/female marriage is a fulfillment of the very God-given essence of our being. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find such a mate, and some people are destined for other roles in life, but for most of humanity, this is so.

    When a “church” contradicts the Son of God, light of light, very God of very God, begotten before all worlds, they not only lose the plot, they imperil their souls.

  2. I attended a Presbyterian church, with my parents, for about two years. Not my cuppa, but it made my folks happy, and the small, old congregation was nice. When the interim pastor announced that the Presbytery had voted to accept Gay Marriage, I knew IU was done there. I never went back. I found a local Assemblies of God and have attended there ever since. My folks left their church for another, then settled on a Lutheran church.

    My present pastor is not as resounding and thundering as I’d prefer. But my sensibilities were honed by Doc Scott in the 80s and 90s, and buttressed by Chuck Missler, John D. MacArthur, and others. However, at this time my pastor IS a textualist regarding Scripture. I grab whatever insights he might provide. I like the place, like the congregation, like the pastor.

    But if this church suddenly slides away from Scripture, and heads ‘south’, I’ll be outta there in no time at all. I don’t need a ‘social club’, but a Church.

  3. Sad, but true! I left TEO because of the inclusiveness foisted upon her thirty years ago. Ordained Anglican, now out in the cold due to Provincial closure. Adrift in the morass! Alas!

  4. Sorry but you seem to know little about the Catholic Church which actually created the term “Social Justice” and began the modern SJW movement one and half centuries ago. Look up Dorothy Day, Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical
    Rerum Novarum of 1891, Cardinal Henry Edward Manning (15 July 1808 – 14 January 1892)…

    Otherwise I like this essay. But then I’ve always thought that Protestants and their individualism slide into solipsism and narcissism.

  5. Sadly enough, and no matter how bad it sounds, it is indeed about the women. When they take over, they immediately want to mommy the world; to take care of everybody. So they give away the farm and open the gates to the barbarians. The moment women took over in Europe, they started doing nonsense like taking down crosses and taking out pews “so Muslims will feel at home in a church.”

    It’s almost like St. Paul knew something when he told men to be in charge of speaking in the church. The more this all goes downhill the more I realize that St. Paul and his contemporaries were smarter than we are.

  6. Some interesting points, but I think you’ve put the cart before the horse. Politics is downstream from culture, and that’s downstream from the spiritual life of a culture. The rush to embrace modern liberalism is nothing more than the natural outgrowth of where Protestantism, in general, began: with the elevation of the human intellect to the role of God.

    Also, the Moscow Patriarchate does not the Orthodox Church make. I don’t think the Romanians, Ukrainian, or Georgian Orthodox embrace Putin. And the Greek Orthodox Church was abandoned by the Greek people for Marxism decades ago, hence the position they’re in. In the US, it’s a real mixed bag.

  7. Wow, this mirrors my experiences with mainstream protestants exactly. Presbyterian, then episcopal. I turning Roman Catholicism, with no where else to go, but even they’re going off the deep end.

  8. Actually, the church is doing great. It’s the church you attend every day of the year, the materialist secularist church you watch on your video device. With few exceptions, every program presents news, drama, humor or documentaries that have secularist base assumptions about the world. How can going to church for an hour on Sunday compete with the 30 to 40 hours/week you get subtly indoctrinated by your “entertainment”?

  9. Finally, someone else gets Bergoglio. He is a South American Jesuit = Liberation Theologist => small ‘c’, catholic communist.

  10. I agree wholeheartedly. I left my church for the same reason. I then visited other denominations and am happy to say we found a wonderful Baptist church that still adheres to the Bible. I urge you to give it a look. After all, we are commanded to not forsake gathering together. That pleases God.

  11. It seems to me, Zman, that it was the Catholic church that got infested with Commies before the Protestant church did. During the 60s, the Catholics started their Vatican II, which brought with it feminazis in the church denouncing the chapel veil. Now, only with the Traditional Latin Mass will you see women wearing the mantilla veil. It’s all very sad, indeed.

  12. I knew a guy who, despite having a degree in law and practicing as an attorney, gave it up to become a priest — or as we would recognise it in England, a vicar.

    He liked being a vicar more than defending some scumbag in court and was happy to do his bit for the Church of England. However he was far more ‘high church’ than ‘low church’ and loved the ritual and the pomp. He was also utterly and implacably opposed to the ordination of women. When I asked him about it, he made no apologies. Women, in his view, should never be priests.

  13. The medieval Catholic Church was the foundation of European culture and civilization and the Euro-Christian heritage of art, architecture, music, etc. is the equal of any world heritage. All this has been discarded by many fools who find “beauty” in the aberrations of modernism and “truth” in the cant of “progressivism” or whatever one might wish to label an anti-natural, deracinated and delusional “philosophy”.

    The Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican, among others, were deliberately infiltrated by saboteurs and subsequently destroyed or at least gravely weakened. Time will tell if the gormless well-intentioned one day awaken and try to reclaim their religions and their heritage.

  14. “There is only one good response to the death of Fidel Castro and that is “enjoy hell.””

    Except, of course, that the purpose of the Church is not to punish one’s enemies, but to love them, and to try to bring them to salvation. No one can see into the heart of anyone else, and no Christian gives up hope that even the most ardent sinner might not come to repentance at the end. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

    As to the commonly repeated idea that Pope Francis is a “Communist,” I sometimes come close to despair. Does anyone even know what Communism is? Does the phrase “dialectical materialism” ring a bell? Has the meaning somehow expanded to apply to anyone on the political spectrum to the left of Mitt Romney?

    If you want to understand Communism, and can’t somehow bring yourself to read Marx, I would recommend Leszek Kolakowski’s highly critical “Main Currents of Marxism.” For how those ideas have been discussed in the Church, Gustavo Guttierez’s “Liberation Theology,” plus the two instructions from the CDF, authored by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, on the limitations of that perspective, can provide an informed beginning.

    Historically, Communism (like Islam) can best be understood as a Christian heresy, an unbalanced emphasis on one aspect of Christian teaching to the exclusion of others equally important. That, in fact, can probably be said about most political ideologies growing out of the Christian West. I understand that most commenters on this blog want nothing to do with Christianity, and of course that’s your choice. It’s a religion, not a political party, a relationship with God and a demand to take an attitude of love and forgiveness toward others rather than a particular social and economic program. It is compatible with most–but not all–political theories. It combines a high standard of behavior with a generous–perhaps I can use that despised synonym, “liberal”–willingness to forgive. Christians, at least, believe it will not go away so long as the world turns, not because it is favored by our rulers, but because it was founded by God Himself, incarnate in the second person of the Trinity, the Son.

    To those unhappy with our hypocrisy, pettiness, and failings, I would invite you to come inside, and help us do better.

    • Castro was proud of what he did, the opposite of repentance. Of course we can’t know what was in his heart, but his personal life was not a model for good Christians ( In his public life he was best known for enslaving his people and murdering and imprisoning his political enemies. As to Francis, I think when people call him a Communist or Marxist, they are using hyperbole to make the point that he is an ultra liberal who gives hope to real Marxists and Communists. The picture of him and Castro is nausea inducing.

    • Rick;
      With all due respect, while you are right about many of the inclusionary aspects of the Gospel, you seem to miss its exclusionary aspects as well as the proper role of the parties involved.

      Yes, we (me too) are all sinners in need of the savior and are called on to be forgiving of our fellow believers. But the Bible is also quite clear about the consequences of willful rejection of Jesus’ gracious offer of forgiveness and salvation. By embracing athiestic communism Fidel Castro explicitly rejected Jesus offer. It is indeed presumptuous to pretend to speak for God, but based on His word, it is not wrong to conclude that Fidel is now ‘enjoying’ the results of his own free choice. And his many, many crimes against God and man are ample indirect evidence of a complete lack of any regeneration by God’s Holy Spirit.

      As Jesus stated upon His ascension, the church’s role is to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. God alone saves souls based on their free choice, not the church, however we might wish. Sadly, it is due to the fallen nature of man that people suppose God needs their help in the work of salvation. Yet we are commanded to pray for sinners. A paradox_? Yes. A logical contradiction_? No, a mystery that we cannot fathom this side of the divide.

    • There is Christian forgiveness, but there is also the Word of God which places expectations on each one of us. To practice forgiveness without practicing some sort of legitimate attempt to understand what living your own life, and how others should live their lives, in a way that is acceptable to God should be, is a doomed exercise. To treat the norms of behavior and attitudes as a cafeteria from which one can pick and choose, is folly.

  15. The interesting question, I think, is why did we let this all get away from us? The environment we face today wasn’t forcibly imposed on us – we allowed it to happen – why?

  16. You nailed it, Z. The Progressive Church is the undisputed master at eating its competitors alive and wearing their skins like ill-fitting suits.

    Something, somebody needs to abort Progresivism with prejudice and permanently inoculate everyone against equality, diversity, feminism, and libertinism. That may require razing Harvard and salting the ground where once it stood, but sacrifices must be made.

  17. Great minds think alike, and apparently so do you and I, Z Man. At least to a certain extent; we are poles apart on the political spectrum (I’m content with TEC as it is, especially considering that no one actually cares what the House of Bishops says about anything,) but I posted something yesterday that dealt with many of these same themes, particularly the question “why the Catholics were willing to cut deals with both communists and fascists.” The title of my post was “Power Keeps Faith With Power”; that line is easily the best part of the post, so if you don’t like it you can skip the whole thing.

  18. The Church would consider me a bad Catholic but I don’t take my orders from freaks or commies so fuck em.Like many in the past I’ll answer to God while I wait out the current rubbish in the Vatican…they will pass. Many others in my family are now Mormons….they seem to be holding the line.

  19. In 2002 I joined the Orthodox Church Each Sunday we celebrate the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom as we have since the middle of the Fourth Century. We regard Marriage as one of the established Seven Sacraments. When the “marriage” crisis deepened Father denounced the new innovations, and declared that would not happen in our parish. Marriages would be performed only for members of our church, in communion, after a period of preparation. .If a “happy couple, or threesome” want a fancy civil ceremony in high drag, they can go to the county registrar or to one of those non-religious “wedding chapels”, the sort of place that does underwater ceremonies in scuba gear, or in a hot air balloon, or maybe a skydive freefall. The circus can come after the Sacrament, not during. We continue to dresist the call of modernity. And our Congregation has been growing steadily.

      • I think there’s only one, and the leadership of the US branch claims to be semi-independent but really more or less responds to the leadership in Russia. Since Putin provides the only protection provided for any Christian church, it’s likely the only branch of Christianity with any real future.

        (Sorry to the Evangelists out there, but you guys are a little nuts.)

        • Actually there are many Orthodox Churches — Greek, Syrian, Antiochian, Russian, Ukrainian, etc. The city I live closest to has an Antiochian Orthodox Church, whose membership is about half second- or third-generation Mediterranean immigrants who grew up Orthodox, and the other half former Episcopalians who discovered Orthodoxy after the Episcopal Church in America went off the rails. The Antiochian Orthodox Church all across America has many converts from Episcopalianism and other Protestant denominations.

          • that’s why i asked, the orthodox church holds a lot of appeal to me, but it seems like you have to be of a certain ethnicity to join.

          • Absolutely no, you do not “have to” be of a certain ethnicity to join, although perhaps some congregations are more or less welcoming than others. I know that the Antiochian Orthodox Church is actively evangelical, and has a reputation for welcoming converts from Protestant denominations. But ANY Orthodox church SHOULD welcome seekers and inquirers.

          • I Wikipedia’d it. Looks like the Russian Orthodox Church claims authority over all Orthodox Christians in the states of FSU, though short of “formal ecclesiastical control” over some Orthodox churches in some countries. Of course we know better; we know that all Orthodox churches take their signals from the Russian church, though they piously declare themselves independent while in hostile territory (NATO). The mere existence of a spiritually strong Orthodox leadership in Russia is like one neverending testosterone shot in the arm, and of course most Orthodox churches were very recently fully integrated with the Moscow Patriarchate (lovely name) or are descended of Orthodox Christians living in the West who were very recently part of the Moscow Patriarchate.

  20. Key points: “Episcopal” is a term used by many churches, much the same as the word “catholic” is used by non-catholic churches. The first means, “having bishops” and the second means “universal.” Now, The Episcopal Church as a denomination didn’t use to exist. It was a church that was Anglican in concept and creed, episcopal in its organization. Much like you see some churches touted as “Apostolic.” It’s a clue for the pilgrim looking for that type of spiritual oversight.

    The Anglican Communion is a vast and global affiliation and The Episcopal Church is a very small, and getting smaller, segment of it. “The Episcopal Church USA” is a vindictive, mean, and well-lawyered group with an eye to stealing as much real estate as possible, to ruin pastors by denying them their pensions after decades of faithful work, if they fail to toe the progressive line. They glory in their wickedness and are likely to be found at Podesta’s house.

    Regardless, here in SC, the “Episcopal Diocese” existed before TEC. They are still trying to sue us into submission. We keep moving forward, regardless. Seven vocational deacons (unpaid servant positions) were just ordained in April with about 500 people in attendance.

    Push back against this age as hard as it pushes against you.

    • I was an adult convert to TEC, and my husband was a cradle Episcopalian. We left when they went off the rails (endorsing abortion was the final straw) There’s an Anglican (formerly TEC) congregation in coastal SC that our son & his family belong to (although they have since moved out of state). We’ve visited when we are there and it is wonderful. Powerful preaching by youthful priests who are family men, and a full house for each service we’ve been to. They recently completed a building project, enlarging their space. May God continue to bless South Carolina for standing firm!

  21. I used to belong to the Episcopal/Anglican Church, and even blogged a lot about it. My husband and I weren’t just High Church, we were Anglo-Catholics! Our churches were like Catholic churches of 75 years ago. But even our parishes weren’t safe from the liberal freak parade. The promises about how precious and valued our witness was gave way to bare tolerance, and then to sadistic torment. I finally quit when I realized that we were really living a lie. All the things we said we believed blatantly contradicted what the church was officially promoting as doctrine, and there was no real way to escape the dissonance except to pretend that we could somehow be “the church” all on our own and ignore everyone else, while still declaring that we were full and faithful members of a debauched and degraded abortion of a church.

    I hopped to the Catholic Church while Benedict XVI was pope, and thought I’d found the real place where what was true would never change, but then Pope Shitty took over and I now see the same doublethinking that drove me out of the Anglican Church. It’s not just the same faggy priesthood and leftwing politics, it’s the same deadly way of thinking 2 opposite things at the same time that’s infected even the good people. I remember very nice Anglicans who were thinking about converting, saying that the only thing they had trouble with was the supremacy of the pope, and wasn’t there some way around that, to be unceremoniously high-hatted by Catholics barking “NO! You have to accept EVERYTHING! The pope is absolutely ESSENTIAL!” And now today they shrug and say blandly that the pope isn’t really that important and they’re just ignoring him and “getting on with being Catholic” all on their own. (They don’t like it if you point out that then the Protestants weren’t all that wrong, then, if what was once considered absolutely a core aspect of Catholicism can just become optional when it becomes inconvenient.)

    I don’t think the Episcopal Church will last a generation, though. I think 10 years is more like it,and that’s probably being generous. When the average age is 68, and no new young people are coming in, the decline won’t continue on a slow slope. In 5 or 6 years, as those people reach the natural end of their lives, the drop will be precipitous. There will be a few years when the church is booked every weekend for funerals, and then… nothing.

    • We took our kids out of the Episcopal Church in a nice suburb and became members of an inner city Anglo-Catholic Church. Was very interesting for a while. Our two grade school kids and one other, maybe a couple of teenagers dragged there by their parents, Very high church, no women serving at Mass. Kindly rector, but largely gay undercurrent, many former Catholics. Fun and tasty coffee hours;-) We did this again in the city where we now live, but that church was busted up by the Diocese and forced off their property. Don’t think they or the Diocese handled it well. People in these odd churches are sweet as a rule, but naive about power politics. They are losers, really, and this does not attract people to their cause, just as it might be. Newcomers, such as ourselves, are treated with suspicion. I am done warring and worrying about this stuff. Go to a little chapel in the summertime led by a female priest who’s a good soul in my opinion and who stays away from politics.

      • You have it right: Anglo-Catholics were naive about power, and figured that part of their “charism” included childlike submission to the bishop, because he’s their father and loves them and never would hurt them, right? It got them just what you described: crushed by the ruthless pervo-Marxists once they had the whip firmly in their hands. They were losers with no hope of ever winning in the clerical power games, but it’s worth noting that even their insignificance couldn’t protect them. They were no threat to the left, but they were destroyed anyway, because no one can be permitted to get away with not submitting to the New Order.

  22. Z, I thought you had a similar essay awhile back on women’s influence on churches in the US, when you wrote about the protestant churches, heyday, peculiar time in the 1920’s-1950’s? As the church , in the US, lost it’s appeal in the 50’s, one by one, the denominations decided to either modernize to keep up with the new times, and/or to openly throw canon to the wind and allow “empowered” women to overtake and “improve” …. and they did… most evident in the Methodist and Episcopalian in the 60’s and 70’s, and then expounded greatly in most others in the 80’s and 90’s.

    Mom-culture. It even overtook the military. I stopped going to church in the late 70’s. A Methodist church in major college town… my Mom loved this church and was the choir director and on the board and even taught Sunday school. We got a new minister and seemingly, the women of the church took over, root and branch ( I’m guessing 1978). They had all the pews taken out and had chairs brought in , so we could all sit in a circle. They got rid of the pulpit, so the minister could stand in the middle and walk around. They hung huge purple and pink banners from the ceiling ( I hate purple ). They changed ALL of the hymns and biblical readings to gender neutral. It was horrid. I felt like I didn’t recognize it. Lots of families started no longer attending.

    I finally asked my Mom if I could stop going. I didn’t like the services and a lot of my peers had left. She defended the changes made and as I reflect now, she gave me the ” it’s time for the patriarchy inherent in the church to end!” speech.. but thankfully relented. That church went further and further left as I would still go to special services, but it was awful. I haven’t been back to that town since leaving for college. I think the culture of University towns was/is profound on the churches within those towns, ie, progressive thought/theory/dogma AND too, the seminaries started churning out some kinda lefty pastors.

  23. “Claiming to be wise, they worship creation rather than the Creator.” Paul wrote this in 57 A.D. There’s no need for churches high or low if we worship ourselves. This is why pride is the first deadly sin.

    • And there it is. I’ve spent 60 of the last 69 years as an outlier. I don’t do man-made religion. I have a personal relationship with Christ that does not require organization or building. And yet I am as much a Christian as anyone who belongs to a designated denomination. But then, that’s just me. I’ve always understood that Christ did not come to start a new religion. He came to restart a way of life. In fact, the first Christians were known as followers of The Way. But humans need structure so they build it and then they tweak it until they can make it fit human understanding. And then it becomes a system of humans worshipping their own creation. Again.

      • Seems we are two who think alot alike. Being raised in a military family, I was not encouraged to speak my mind but I did think. Raised Catholic, I wondered especially when attending Parochial School, about some of the teachings and rituals that were part of the ‘faith.’ Something just never clicked for me, didn’t add up. It wasn’t until I was thirty and introduced to a Bible teaching non-denominational church that the lights went on and my real learning began. A babe drinking milk. Thirty years old and so much to learn. Just like that Christmas when I first heard Handel’s Messiah! Blew my mind! I couldn’t believe I had been alive for thirty years and had never heard such beautiful music before. Simply astounding as was the Word of God.

        • I understand what you are saying completely and I also know it’s hard to explain. It’s been a journey and it takes, first and foremost, not caring what anyone else thinks so remaining in the wilderness is not for everyone. I’m heartened to report long the way I’ve met genuine Christians who are both in and out of organized religion which confirms for me that the most important factor is that His sheep know the Shepherd’s voice wherever they are pastured..

          When someone, and there have been many, challenges my choice with the Scripture about not forsaking the assembly I pose the question- what would Jesus reply if you asked Him what denomination He belongs to? – I think He would respond, “If ye can ask that, you do not know Me.”

          I’d just rather trust that He can manage me quite nicely without help from apostate rules of religion. Ask, Obey, Trust. And know what a cult is – not just what it poses as. They are out there.

  24. Dear Zman,

    The Catholic Church was captured by the Modernists. The battle was recognized more than a century ago and specifically addressed by Pope Pius X. The culmination of the overthrow was Vatican II in the early 1960s. One traditional Catholic group that has partly removed itself from the current Catholic Church is the SSPX organization which is growing worldwide. It began in the early 1970s with a handful of priests and one bishop brow away in Switzerland. Now the community spans the globe with nearly a thousand priests and four bishops. Read about the American branch here:

    DAn Kurt

  25. The Z Man: I noticed that the blog doesn’t have a “favicon”, but that you do have a disqus icon.

    So why not reuse the later for the former?

    How to:

    “Since WordPress 4.3, you can add a favicon or site icon from WordPress admin area. Simply go to Appearance » Customize and click on the ‘Site Identity’ tab.”

    or “Go to Administration Screen > Appearance > Customize Click Site Identify “

  26. I grew up in the Protestant Episcopal Church (c.1967-1990) and everything you wrote is 100% accurate as I saw exactly the same trends. My family was military so we rotated duty stations every three years. As a result, we attended Episcopal churches in five different states at one point or another during my childhood. Given that I was born in San Francisco and my mother’s side of the family lived scattered throughout the Bay Area, we frequently returned there to see family for the Xmas holidays. The trends toward liberal indoctrination at the church where I was baptized was clear. After being gone for one-three year intervals, at different points we’d return to SF to find the same church even more proudly liberal than ever before (The pride in labeling oneself and your coreligionists as “liberal” is what really tells objective observers that something is up, even to my 10 year old eyes back in 1977.). We started to see women priests, openly gay priests, priests living with partners of the opposite sex outside of marriage and to hear sermons permeated with blatant left-wing, uber-liberal political indoctrination. But after a while the blatant “you must accept the New Order of things and love everyone no matter how screwed up they are” attitude started to turn my grandparents off (Understand these were individuals who joined that church in 1950 and were members of the local vestry for decades until they quit.). Being the church in question was in San Francisco, we dismissed it all as “SF weirdness” and would return to wherever dad was stationed at the time and our regular congregation. Then my family started to see the same trends toward women priests, openly gay priests, etc. in the churches we attended in NC, Hawaii, SoCal, etc. By the time I was 18 (1985), I’d had enough of the obvious disconnect between traditional Episcopal/Anglican values and the new emphasis on diversity for its own sake. Beautiful church interiors, nice low key services, and a pleasant coffee hour afterward lost any attraction. I haven’t been in or attended an Episcopal service since my grandmother passed away in 2007.

    • Wayne;
      upon reflection, I think the beginning of the slide occurred in the ’50’s when ‘Niceness’ somehow became a key element in mainline protestant theology. It is tempting to trace this to 2nd wave feminism since the desire for no in-group conflict is a cross-cultural female attribute and elite female demands came to the forefront of society. Thus Cultural Marxism has historically advanced itself through appeals to not hurt the feelings of various social deviants.

      Once biblical Christian orthodoxy can be questioned and shamed as not being ‘nice’ it has found itself in constant retreat within any church. At the local level it seemed to me that unless a man or two, particularly the pastor, was willing to affirm orthodoxy and to stand up to the circle of soft-headed, hard hearted old female battle-axes that seems to form in every congregation (because they are willing to do the day-to-day tasks, to be fair) decline was immanent if not immediate.

      In the non-demoniminational evangelical world that congregation dies and two new, more solid ones are formed out of the refugees. In the mainline denominations there is usually no alternative available as the now Cultural Marxist hierarchy will not support those men but will rather undercut them.

      • Ministers found that asking people, in the name of God, to live up to some sort of expected behavioral standards was much more difficult than finding ways to intellectually excuse such behavior. Hence the sermons and articles of faith that go around in circles and say nothing.

        • I think you nailed it, Dutch. Priests and ministers are people, too. Far too many ministers/priests realize that asking people to adhere to a rigorous set of behavioral standards is a futile exercise, at the best of times. Better instead, to tell the congregants how their failings either are not so bad or the old standards no longer apply because with modern technology and science, the rules of good conduct vis-a-vis your fellow humans has changed or must change. Bottom line: it’s good business to tell congregants how good they are despite their flaws and make them feel good about themselves so that they keep coming back with their collection plate envelopes.

    • Just a bit of a personal nit of mine, especially with Christmas coming up, have you ever considered your use of Xmas? I think that is part of “liberal” indoctrination more than convenient shorthand. It crosses out the ‘Christ’ part of Christmas. And as the saying goes “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

      Are five more characters really that much trouble to type or write to do it properly?

  27. “Part of what has destroyed the mainline Protestant churches is their full-throated embrace of Progressive lunacy.”

    Who wants to waste their time on a progressive lecture in a church when you are getting it everywhere else? School, work, television and now the Internet all amount to the same message so why get dressed up to hear it? Why take a taxi when you can get an Uber straight to your door so to speak?

    Plus its not just the churches; every mainstream religious denomination has drifted this way. Yom Kippur in a Reform or Conservative synagogue might as well be an extremely annoying political lecture. And the rest of the year they’re completely empty. Meanwhile every small neighborhood Orthodox synagogue, storefront church and mosque in NYC has multiple times a day attendance.

    “There is only one good response to the death of Fidel Castro and that is “enjoy hell.” ”

    Amen. I would have loved to see the Pope say just that. But it was never going to happen; everything else aside, there’s no will to shake the boat up with the truth.

    • Good point. Progressivism is eating its competitors alive and then shuffling around in its skin like an ill-fitting suit. Only Islam seems to have much immunity. And Orthodox Judaism is drifting too, I might add, though not as much as fast.

      • Islam is probably much less immune than we think; its main advantages are that it was largely quarantined for the last in the last two centuries, has been introduced relatively late into the post-war West and benefits from our era of multicultural theory run amok. Progressives don’t seem worried about it which could suggest confidence (you could alternately say naivete) that they can roll them over like they did with the other religions in the west. I’m inclined to say they are probably could do it given enough time but do they have that time?

        Orthodox Judaism has a major problem that causes drift and that is being largely an urban movement at least in America and Europe. There’s only so much you can do to protect yourself from progressive ideas when you live in the heart of progressive territory. There’s also the problem that they aren’t just fighting against progressives in the surrounding culture but also that they are a minority within the Jewish population as well – birthrates may promise them the future but you still have to get from here to there so to speak. Its possible that if progressives begin to get really aggressive that the Orthodox might begin to follow the Amish, basically bringing back the shtetl in an American form but right now that’s just speculation.

        • I would disagree and say that islam is very much immune and it is dangerous to western civilization like a virus that could never be truly apart of the body of western culture/civilization but like a virus waits for other things to weaken the host before making a play to empower it’s self over the old body. Islam is decentralized hard to make orginizational changes as leftists have done when infiltrating christian denominations and islam is based on submission with core tenants of violence to in force compliance, spreading the faith by the sword is completely acceptable to muslims and Taqiyya (taqiya, taqiyah, taqiyyah) an eccepted form of Islamic deception. The Quran (16:106 and 3:28) allows Muslims to lie in order to protect themselves or to protect the Muslim community and appear to be peaceful and apearing to reject violence in the advancement of islam even as a constant drip drip drip of jihadis attack the host country and weaken it. No unlike the christian faiths that preach love and have had that turned around on them to force acceptance of deviant behavior and people with a leftist agenda the muslims will have no internal conflict over anything they suspect is being brought into the mosque to water down and neuter the faith. They will best them physically and throw them out at best and assassinate them if need be. Life is not held as sacred in the same context as true christians hold life sacred. Instead true muslim teachings to distill it down to the core and dispense with the taqiya used to cloak over it to keep us in the dark, say that life is sacred only for muslims in the ummah, and even that is in a hierarchical order, anyone who strays and exhibits heretical views or apostate views is warned to return to the fold, and if not they are fair game to be killed. And killing unbeleivers is written in the koran as one of the only sure ways to gain admittance to paradise. ~~~~~what’s my point? Don’t expect a reformation let alone a leftist take over of islam. Islam will wait it out and if it gets a chance to go toe to toe with the religion of secular leftism for final control over the west it will crush it and fill mass graves with leftist homosexual clergy, politicians, social justice warriors and anyone else that refuses to submit and convert just like isis was doing in the Levant with thousands murdered in an afternoon and dropped into the pit. And some might say, well the leftists and communists never had a problem filling pits with bodies, and would fight the islamists, to that I would say the western socialist marxist leftist progtards are soft. Capable of wining and crybullying and crushing well manored civilized cake making christians under thier boot, but they are fat and soft compared with an ascendant islam ready to destroy and replace them and willing to praise stoning gays and infidels to death right now in sermons in mosques around the U.S. and europe. Don’t believe that? Go search videos of muslims in mosques being asked by the imam who supports stoning gays and infidels to deat right now as a proper punishment for opposing islam and watch every hand in the place raised.hundreds of men young and old with no hesitation affirming thier willingness to impose thier brand of instant “justice” on anyone unwilling to join the ummah or submit to islamic law.

  28. If you really want to know what happened to the Catholic church then you should read JESUITS and THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN CHURCH, both by Malachi Martin. The first is about how the Society of Jesus changed from being the Pope’s shock troops to whatever the hell they are now. The second title speaks for itself.

    I attended a parochial school from 1st through 8th grades (1960 – 1968) and got the full religious indoctrination experience. Our parish was supervised by an old-school Irish Jesuit.

    In one episode of HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS the Andre Braugher character said, “I was educated by the Jesuits. I haven’t felt safe since.” Many people laughed. I didn’t.

    Liberation Theology was the beginning of the end.

    • Liberation theology was originally formulated to bring third world peoples into the Catholic church, but it took on a life of it’s own. The results are obvious. What would Baal do?

    • Be careful with Malachi Martin, he was one of the responsibles for the Vatican II but later abandoned the Church and became a ‘traditionalist” denouncing the Vatican.

  29. In his essay on the Jewish question Marx makes the point that the Christian Church would be paradoxically at its peak of power when it is driven completely from the public square. If you aren’t making deals with the state you can concentrate on your core mission and beliefs.

  30. Pingback: The More Liberal the Church | IowaDawg Musings & More

    • The W.A.S.P. way of life really had a religious basis. The institutions of higher learning in this country were among the very first corporate entities, e.g. Harvard, founded to train ministers in Puritan doctrine. My collateral ancestor, Dr. John Clark, left Mass. for Rhode Island, along with Roger Williams. They were Baptists, who, along with Quakers, were denied citizenship in Mass. Clark made several trips to England and succeeded in getting a charter for the RI Colony from King Charles II which permitted religious freedom. Some of Clark’s words are inscribed in the
      dome of the RI State House. I feel sad now as I enter the Golden Years (hah!) that the things that were admirable about WASP-dom, its patriotism, civic-mindedness, sturdy intellectualism and interest in cultures from all over the world, have now been beaten down and mocked. The small cities across the land where people would return to take their place in society after their Ivy League/Seven Sisters years in college/grad school, are now shells of what they were. The grand Presbyterian and Episcopal churches that stood at the intersections of some of the finest suburbs in America, now just are shadows of what they used to represent: a confident people, not unduly bumptious about who they were but not afraid to “be all they could be.” In the past 20-30 years, somebody has dropped the baton —
      a lot of somebodies — and the generational relay race is over. As Zman noted above, these churches will be shut in twenty years, if not sooner. Bad money drives out the good. Sad, isn’t it?

      • Keep your eyes and ears open. New institutions will rise. They will not look or feel like the ones of old, but they will fill a need.

        The grand Episcopal and Presbyterian churches will make nice museums and places of abstract meditation. God’s work will be done in other places, perhaps even in people’s basements.

      • Descended from William Witter on my maternal side, he was one of early Baptist converts in the Bay Colony, though due to ill health never moved to Rhode Island, remaining on the north shore property he purchased from the Indians. My Dad’s side left Dorchester after a dispute with John Winthrop, or as their minister put it, “we came here to found the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, not that of the Winthrops” and moved overland to found the Hartford Colony in 1636. 1600s New England was small place. We’re likely cousins of some stripe.

        • Yes, we could be cousins as another direct ancestor was William Kelsey who is listed as one of the Founders of Hartford. He and offspring then settled in Killingworth and Clinton CT. Also, the Holcombs, Gaillards, Ellsworths, etc. founded Windsor, too. My late brother’s widow is descended from Mary Dyer, who was hanged as a witch in MA. Doing this genealogy research recently made me realize that half my forebears were, a. all English (some Huguenot thrown in) and came to the colonies in the 1600s, and that b. no other ancestors emigrated to the US until my mother arrived from Russia by way of China in 1922. It doesn’t appear that anyone came over in the 18th or the 19th centuries. Sorry my Dad’s not around. He would have loved the internet and sites like this! Probably would have had his own blog. As far as I know, I am the first Episcopalian in the lot;-) My Rhode Island descent includes Philip Sherman, the Colony’s first Clerk/Secretary of State. I believe John Adams had Sherman ancestors.

          • Well, here’s a clue, my name is the same as the one on the Founder’s monument, you just have to guess which one. Technically am the “7th”. It is funny though, as those original settlers migrated west, they pretty much were genetically isolated until until the 1900s. On my fathers side it was a big to do when my uncle actually married a Catholic (and straight Irish to boot!). Both sides came west after the war, since the original colonies paid many of the soldiers in “land bounties” in the new western territories. Have to say it was an incentive. Lose you get nothing, win you get land that was huge improvement over farming rocks in New England. That’s how we became flatland hillbillies.

  31. An excellent essay. A longtime Presbyterian, I had to leave the organized church when it became so liberal that I no longer felt comfortable there. And no other organized church beckoned. They seemed more like social and political organizations that offered little spirituality. And an ingrown snobbery of sorts put the lie to their supposed lovingkindness.

    I I didn’t leave our church organization; it left me. It did not take my Christian belief with it. I still pray and try to be a decent person. Every day, all the time. Not just on Sunday morning.

  32. The great advantage that Marxism and Islam have over most Christianity is the frequency with which they practice their religion. Muslims, presumably, five times a day. Marxist never miss an opportunity. Christians,generally, once a week if that. The exception I see to that is the bible study group of Christians. I see many examples where they believe that practice makes perfect.

    • I have to think about that “practice their religion”. I’ve known far too many who attend church on Sunday, take part in various church-related groups, and are meaner than dirt. Muslims practice their religion five times a day and are given permission by their “belief” to murder, destroy, commit terrible acts of terrorism. My late Mother used to talk about her Catholic high school friends who’d go to confession and then go out and raise hell.

      Formal practice does not necessarily make perfect. A foundation in a Christian family that “practiced” 24/7/365 can assure a better outcome.

      • Where a Muslim practices his religion he is often committing a crime in a Christian or post-Christinan society. When the Christians I spoke of practice their religion it is taken directly from their Gospel reading and discussion, and cannot be separated from charitable thinking and practice. This is why Christianity is no longer popular. Tocqueville claimed that what made America great were it’s religious fervor from it’s Protestant congregations. America is an increasingly foreign country. Read Dickens 1841 essays in America. Dickens loved America but at the same time found the extreme friendliness and charity of Americans unnerving. Just a whiff of socialism breaks down the health of a society in a slow death. Progressive it is.

    • Do you have any religious experience to speak of James? It sounds like you don’t.
      I say this because your comments are based on superficial observation of what “practice” means in terms of religious ceremony. I personally cringe at public displays of religiosity because that should be done in private. The primary goal of congregating to worship is for fellowship and learning. The fellowship is to encourage each other and to let each other know that they do not stand alone in their daily challenges to act the Christian life.

      A society that barks at its people five times a day the when and how to pray is just another example to me of the control this faux religion exerts on its followers. That is a key reason why I left the Catholic Church. I am more of a contrarian, I admit it. But I think that means maybe more of an individualist. I don’t like being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I will search out meaning for myself while being guided by teachers/pastors whom I trust knowing full well that they are only human also.

      And now in my latter years, the reason I don’t participate in organized church is the infighting, the conflicts that exist between denominations, and the weaknesses of leadership. Call is disillusionment with my fellow man. But Christ and the Bible have not let me down. God is good. God is great! In that I place my faith.

  33. Another thought: you say that the Church needs protection from the state to thrive? It’s been the Church of Marx, especially in Europe, that has enjoyed state sponsorship and protection.

    • I’d say that history indicates (not proves) that the church HIERARCHY needs the state to thrive_! The early church thrived and spread under intermittent Roman persecution. The church today is spreading and thriving under intermittent Chinese persecution. Stultification often comes when church and state converge.

      As you say, the church hierarchy is fully intact and well paid in Europe, they just have no congregants. Were European churches to be only voluntarily funded, they’d collapse in a week.

  34. Z Man, you’d make a pretty good Bible teacher. When soon to be kind David and his Good Book Evangelical band of misfits hid from the persecutions of King Saul (High Church and government of the time) it was in the cave of Adullam. Saul knew they were out there, he just didn’t know where they were and he didn’t understand what was coming. Today there is a church in the cave of Adullam. The elites know they’re out there, they just don’t know where they are. Your post today is straight out of the O.T., and you are right; it’s just a matter of time.

  35. One area that appears to be growing is the Catholic Traditional Latin Mass. Here in NH, they just re-opened (!) an old church for the Old (pre Vatican II) Rite exclusively. Interesting to see how many younger people are attending; just about a full house every Sunday. First growth I’ve seen in the Church in many years.

    • We have been attending Catholic Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) for 11 years, so our four children consider it the standard now. We are uncomfortable in the pseudo-Protestant “Novus Ordo” masses and only attend them when there is no TLM option during road trips. Our local TLM parish has jumped from 40 regulars to 160 each Sunday in the last 7 years, with scarcely any positive attention from the diocese or national church. From what I have read, TLM parishes are enjoying the largest growth in North America, but they have to swim against a steady tide of resistance from the baby boomer bishops who still think it’s 1970 and Vatican II is going to catch on any day now. The FSSP based in Nebraska and St. John Cantius in Chicago are some of the centers of this growing renewal movement. The TLM churches per capita are also highly overrepresented in new vocations – priests and nuns. This bodes very well for the future.

      • I should have noted, rgarand3006, that the priest at our ‘new’ parish is also FSSP. God bless ’em!
        ( I prefer the M1A, though ;^)

  36. I think a lot of it depends on where you live. The Bible Belt is still the Bible Belt from what I hear, and what Z Man describes sounds like it’s coming from the deep blue northeast.

    I was raised as a non practicing Catholic. I don’t think I’ve participated in organized religion since elementary school. My observations on church are second hand accounts of people I associate with in life as well as observing the physical churches as I drive past, taking note of the amount of cars I see in the parking lots and the church names changing on the placards out front. I live on the border of red and blue America, in Pennsylvania on the east end, but far enough north of Philadelphia not to be a satellite of it. The Lehigh Valley is a roughly even-ish mix of rural, suburban, and urban rolled into one.

    The mainline churches seem to be dying here as well. Many of the Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian etc. churches have closed down in recent years. Almost nobody I know goes to those churches, and the ones that still exist have empty parking lots most of the time. The Catholic churches are a mixed bag. We are an ethnically mixed area, and historically the Catholic Churches were neighborhood single ethnic churches. In a town of 30k people, there was an Irish Catholic Church, an Italian Catholic Church, and a German Catholic Church, and a few smaller ones I’m less sure about. Some of these churches are still doing well, some are fading fast. It seems the ones with active communities and that are well run are the ones doing better, the dying ones are mostly old people who have been going to the same church since they were born. There is a big suburban Catholic Church nearby that seems to be doing better than any other. The evangelical churches seem to be doing very well. There are a number of big suburban megachurches that always seem to have full parking lots. All of the old Protestant churches that close down are quickly taken over by new small evangelical groups, and there is more activity at these churches than there was before the mainlines left. There are even one or two Latino evangelical churches in my nieghborhood(I live in the ghetto).

  37. I’ve ended friendships with Catholics who are enthused about immigration from south of the border. “It will make the country more Catholic”, they say. And none of them can tell me what–if anything–is wrong with so-called liberation theology, or what role the “red bishop” played in the behind-the-scenes treachery at Vatican II.

    I used to think that the progressivization of Christianity was simply to excuse degeneracy and advance feminist ideology. I’ve since learned it was to free all that guilt from Christian sin so that it might be applied to the more properly current-year sin of being white.

    Our ancestors used to put degenerates in the bog because it was better for the health of the community that they be there. As late as the time of the Venerable Bede, we were burning them alive, though this time with an Old Testament justification. Soon, they’ll be burning us.

    • Here in Southern California we have a group called “Justice Overcoming Boundaries”. It is all about support and sanctuary for illegal immigrants. After helping put on a music program at a regional meeting, I managed to hang around and sit in on the “nuts and bolts” of their program. What they did, is they took the ministers of the congregations that were contributing sermons and money to JOB, and arm-twisted and shamed the ministers of the congregations not making an effort. Remember, these ministers are all friends with each other. The JOB person went so far as to get in the face of each recalcitrant minister individually, in front of his peers and superiors, and say “what is it gonna take to get your church on board”. Almost a “nice church you got there, it would be a shame if anything were to happen to it” moment. Keep in mind, too, that the regional church reps were there, to lay on an extra dose of peer pressure to the proceedings. Not only were the ministers expected to bring their congregations to heel, but they were expected to participate in raucous demonstrations and bring congregants along to act up as well. There also seemed to be financial funding involved, whether it was public money or union money or welfare-ish money was hard to tell, but there was obviously a money train involved.

    • Perhaps your Catholic exfriends should familiarize themselves with Santeria, that is the growing religion coming from south of the border. Buy chicken futures.

      • Right you are Senor Tapman. A Puerto Rican friend one told me that she was officially Catholic, but what they practiced was not Catholicism (visions of chickens).

        I was Catholic, until I knew better. The current Pope is a commie piece of shit. I would not return, even if I still believed.

        • Dan, that is very sad! I do not like Pope Francis one bit, but I am Catholic because it is the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and it is HIM whom I love. A Catholic priest, no matter his personal flaws, is ordained by Jesus to administer the sacraments, in which Jesus Himself chooses to make himself present to me in a special way and even come to live within me. I will not let commie priests, or even a commie Pope, keep me away from JESUS!

          • My allegiance is to God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, through the teachings of the Bible, the Holy Word; not to any man or organization said to be a church of God on earth because they are simply creations of man and man is fallible in many ways, Christian or not. Hence, one of my sins, judgmentalism. But I prefer to worship in my own way keeping my focus on Him. Same goes for government. A necessary evil but my allegiance is to America, her concepts and my inalienable rights regardless of what people like KGIII thinks. If he wants a perfect white world, he should just go to Neuschwabenland where everything is white except the penguins.

        • Dan – find a local church that offers the Traditional Latin Mass. It’s the Catholics who still actually believe in God. Once I found the Latin Mass, I never set foot in a Vatican II church ever again.

  38. Interesting timing … you are describing to slow-motion collapse of my mom’s local Presbyterian church. 10 years ago her PC(USA) congregation appeared to be healthy and growing, full of new members with (this is important) young children. Today, half the congregation is gone – driven off by the denomination’s ordained leadership’s effort to fully embrace the Progressive cult. From what I can tell, the local church leadership seemed to do a pretty good job in holding off the worst instincts of the denomination’s leadership. Then the minister’s son entered Princeton Theological Seminary, and his other son came out as gay, and the pretense of neutrality evaporated – it was Full Speed Ahead for Gay Marriage, etc. And within a year the families were gone. All that remained was the Democrat Party at prayer, all childless and old. And stingy – while the remaining congregants talk a lot about their piety, it apparently isn’t matched by their donations. Having lost half its congregants, the local church’s revenues have dropped about 75% .

    The part I didn’t understand until I started reading this blog … why would PC(USA) go down this road? They had to know that following the Episcopal Church’s actions would lead to similar results. There was no obvious groundswell demand for gay marriage in PC(USA) but the ordained leadership kept insisting. Now I realize that the ordained leadership didn’t care about the practical consequences, because their real fealty is to the religion of progressive leftism – consequences be damned.

    • Our local Congregational Church is in a consevative neighborhood. As my wife, a Preacher’s Kid, is heavily involved in the church association, I get sucked in to the whole thing. As in so many things these days, I feel like I am living in the belly of the beast. The local clergy keeps pushing the gay thing, along with trying to get the church designated “open and affirming”. My point, to all and sundry (and so far listened to by the older power structure of the congregation), is that we do have young families and quite a few children, along with a vigorous youth group. I believe this has come about because the congregation is not pursuing an overtly gay agenda that confronts the membership every Sunday morning. Parents of young children do not want their kids dealing with this stuff at four or six years of age. Still, it is obvious that at the ministerial level, our congregation is a bit of an embarrassment to the clergy, because we have not gotten “with it”. Never mind that ours is just about the only congregation in the area that has lots of kids and is holding its own. That is not really the priority of the denominational hierarchy. They are more interested in “correct thinking”, even if it burns down the house.

      • The Congregational Churches as originally envisioned (no hierarchy, fully controlled by the local members) should have been immune to this nonsense. Then most of them joined up with the United Church of Christ (UCC) and started drifting left together.

        My parents are still members of a very old Congregational church in MA. Membership is falling fast. When I went through confirmation classes there, the minster was a very intellectual pipe-smoking bible-scholar. I learned something new and valuable every time we met.

        Now the place is a joke. My Dad stopped giving them money because they were wasting it so fast. One of the Associate Pastor is a lesbian SJW who has a click of single-mother types – none of whom give money or do anything useful for the church. The service and the sermons are meaningless word salads. I no longer attend when visiting.

      • Folks, they are demonic. Burning down the house of God is their aim.

        “By their fruits shall you know them.” –Jesus Christ, our lord and Savior

  39. Z Man;
    Agree about the demise of the mainline churches in the US. Specifically re Episcopal Church, there was deliberate subversion by seemingly organized homosexual operatives starting at least in the early ’80’s. My evidence: Wife and I were invited in ~’83 to attend the bar-mitzva of the son of one of my wife’s colleagues. His wife had a mid-level position inside the Episcopal hierarchy staff. I thought it unusual that they’d hire the rare, actual practicing Jew instead of, you know, one of their own, ‘but whatever’ I thought at the time.

    But I was really amazed by two of her colleagues from inside the hierarchy who also attended. Gaydar pegged at 11_! I could tell that they knew I knew so that made for some discomfort on both sides. I asked latter what was up with that and got a chirpy, happy-clappy reply about the wonders of diversity or some such bilge. My evidence that this was a deliberate penetration effort was the low pay and that Episcopal doctrine then was decidedly not gay-friendly. Why go where you are underpaid and unwelcome_?

    But not for long_! Shortly thereafter, certainly by the late ’80’s began the efforts to ‘define deviancy down’. Interestingly they seemed nearly simultaneous across the spectrum of mainline protestantism. Churches in own non-Epispocal denomination suddenly began getting messages from our own hierarchy about the urgent need to ‘have a new conversation about human sexuality’. You can guess which aspects were suddenly up for discussion.

    As you say, ordination of women was on the table immediately to be followed shortly by homosexual ordination, pretty much in most denominations simultaneously: All top down, IIRC. A pattern_?

    We left shortly for the growing, thriving evangelical world and have not looked back except in sorrow. Thing is, since we evangelicals are disorganized and divisive such subversion is nearly impossible, bottom up. Hence, the current ongoing efforts by the deeply converged Cloud state at suppression, I’d say.

    • I grew up in the Protestant Episcopal Church (c.1967-1990) and everything you wrote is 100% accurate as I saw exactly the same trends.

    • Per Mark Steyn, in 1961 a group of Belgian homosexual Catholic priests began their own cult to take over the Church- and we saw the harvest later as many lawyers tried to grab some of the Vatican’s gold.

  40. My son attends a Catholic High School – a very conservative alternative to the public indoctrination centers. I’m not Catholic but can see the nervousness about the Red Pope. It has the same feel as when I was in the Reserves and Clinton and later Obama were elected. Real slow to change the pictures on the headquarters walls, even slower to acknowledge the cultural changes that are coming.

  41. Raised a Presbyterian, spouse is a Congregationalist. But left a couple of years after 9/11. Our congregation has a wonderful minister, who happened to be third generation Armenian, grandson of refugees from the massacre by the Turks. After 9/11 he did nightly chapel services and gave a wonderful sermon that Sunday about the evil inherent in religious intolerance and specifically called out Islamism by name. Pulled no punches. My spouse and I were coming to grips with losing nearly three dozen of our friends, colleagues and neighbors. Not many tonics for that, but it was as close as you could get. But, that sermon and the ones that followed galvanized the SJWs in the congregation who decided he needed to go. Took a couple of years, but they brought in someone more in the “mainline” mold. After being lectured to from the pulpit about all our evils and support of injustice, we just left. It’s only been downhill since then. And they can’t figure out why the church is losing membership. But then these are largely the same people that can’t figure out why the Democrats lost either.

    • We attend a Presbyterian church further west in NJ I’m guessing. The current Pastor is clearly a liberal but seems to be doing a decent job of walking that tightrope. If her successor or the church itself lurches hard to the left, close to half the members will leave. Where I would go isn’t clear.

      When (not if) I escape NJ, I seriously doubt I would join another Presbyterian or UCC church.

      • Westchester County. That should answer your question. Mostly ex NYC (now a lot of Brooklyn hipster types). The only saving grace is post 11/8 I get to see them soil themselves every day on Facebook. Hasn’t let up.

  42. A few random, unconnected thoughts:

    1. The high church is dying, but the low church is in better shape. Evangelical Christianity is where the action is at. It’s even sweeping across formerly catholic Latin America from what I hear.

    2. The church, generally speaking, as gone through some bad patches of corruption in the past and its current situation isn’t entirely undeserved. Whenever the church gains power or protection from government tends to be when it goes corrupt.

    3. The church of Christ in the modern world has to compete with the church of Marx. The church of Marx is based more on cultural Marxism than socialism at this point, and is a very jealous church that cannot stand any rivals.

    4. Some seem to worship Libertarian nonsense to the same extent as people do for the church of Marx, but in far lower numbers.

    5. The fading of Christianity in the US is nothing compared to the downright hostility I see from most of Europe.

    6. From what I’ve read about the early 20th century, the faith really didn’t handle the transition to modernity well.

    7. In US politics, the religious right had an unhealthy relationship with the republican establishment that in my opinion encouraged their worst instincts. That link seems to be severed thanks to the incompetence of the latter, so there is some hope for the future.

    • Taco, re:#7… take a moment to remember Al Gore’s wife harpy overreach on V-chips in TVs , Mandatory! For the Children! Her demand on TV labeling! For the children! So great it must be imposed! Some of the worst instincts of do-gooder-overreach… and it came within and during a Democrat administration. Of course, the press memory-holed the whole thing..

      • But Tipper’s crusade was about state power. Hard as it may be for you to hear, Christians should be doing that job: forbidding their children to be exposed to pornography. While you’re sneering at the phrase “for the children,” keep this in mind: If parents are NOT protecting their children (not the state, but parents) then they are condemning them to lives of perversion.

    • Re point 2. Since the IRS code under 501(c)3 nationalized the US church it has been all down hill. Tolerating abortion, homosex marriage, and non stop unjust war for decade after decade. Abortion and the divorce rate are the same in the churches as out. Ask a young person what the difference is between church and state and they say little if anything. Why go if your church is your state!

    • What is “Evangelical Christianity?”

      When Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists move to the West to be good Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, what is the point of Christian evangelism? If you can’t even convert your own neighbors, what are you doing traipsing around Latin America, turning Catholics into Iconoclasts?

  43. It’ll be interesting to see if US churches follow their historical pattern, or if Marxism really is cultural acid in this sphere, too. “First the women show up, then the crazies” described the American religious scene from about 1820 until the late 1880s… when so-called “Muscular Christianity” took over (from whence we get the YMCA, etc.). Let’s hope.

      • Sure. After the 2nd Great Awakening (1820s), American religion was widely perceived as a woman’s concern – abolition aside (and remember how many Americans on both sides *hated* abolitionists), “reform” and “church” were synonymous with “female.” Churchgoing — as opposed to belief — was widely perceived as the realm of bossy women and the pansy intellectuals who orbited them. But in the later Gilded Age, when everyone was worried about industrialism causing physical degeneration, some Christians got the idea to link “physical culture” with the Gospel. So you got organizations like the YMCA (Young Man’s Christian Association), where kids growing up sickly in the city, pale wimpy office clerks, etc. could work out *and* hear the Word. They emphasized muscular workingman carpenter Jesus and encouraged young men to bond over a good workout / Bible study.

        • So if the pattern holds, we’ll see a revival of macho Christianity, maybe something like they had briefly in the late 80s when the “Power Team” of bodybuilders went around ripping phone books in half on college campuses, recruiting for Campus Crusade. As opposed to now, where there’s a definite social penalty associated with being one of the church kids — I briefly volunteered with a youth church group a while back, and while I did my best to help them (basically, “don’t do anything I did / still do”), I couldn’t help thinking they were… losers. Great kids, hope of the future, etc., but losers for all that. As one would expect from a feminized congregation. If the football team starts showing up, we’ll know we’re on the right track. If not, well, the Marxists have probably won — “the opiate of the masses.”

          • Such a move is already afoot. It’s in Cowboy churches that dot the landscape in Texas, and in Independent churches and multi-site churches all around the country. It’s in the Anglican churches that @Fuel Filter mentions above – supported originally by godly African Bishops who depend on muscle for survival against attempts on their lives in Nigeria. In all of these churches, young fathers “suit up and show up” on Sunday mornings and sit with their families in church.

            For all the pretense about why people voted for Donald Trump, one very strong driver of his support is that he represents the Christian Man of America, from the eras when faith was so integral to the culture that it was simply accepted, and didn’t need to be brought into conversation every six minutes. Like the Christian men of my grandfather’s era, he has never drank nor smoked and takes care of himself. Trump grew up in Norman Vincent Peale’s church (and Peale and his father were best friends), serving God through his daily work with his father, building houses to shelter people. When he became fabulously successful, he made mistakes, but he never blamed others, and always found ways to share and to teach so that others could have success too. He offends the polished and primping, but there are a thousand strong manly men out there who each has a personal story about a time when Donald Trump gave them just the hand up they needed. That is “muscular Christianity” at work.

          • Tina, that is a very interesting perspective of Donald Trump. I never looked at his candidacy that way. Thank you for that.

        • Let us not forget the Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892 by a Christian socialist. I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation (not that pesky federal style several states thing), indivisible (no going back, slackers), with liberty and justice for all (substitute for equality). Complete with the fascist salute until the 1930’s.

          • Interesting point. I never much liked the Pledge, and now I know why. Also, not fascist, but Roman.

          • You seem to have left out ‘conveniently?’ the key part of the phrase ” … one nation under God,”

            Whose the socialist here?

          • Actually, the phrase “under God” was added during Eisenhower’s term. So the socialist author never used it. [BTW, I didn’t know that about the author of the pledge.]

          • Twisted words above. The ‘pledge’ is to the flag, to the Republic (not the government), and you forgot the key phrase which harkens back to the Founders words “one nation under God.” The Pledge changed, advanced as did the country (the people) and now it is regressing with a complicit bunch of sheep who only now are bleeping their discontent.

  44. Left the Episcopal church twenty years ago for every reason you stated. I hated leaving but ‘worshiping’ in a church community that had few actual believing Christians–the church hierarchy in particular–didn’t make a lot of sense. Bells and smells and coffee after just wasn’t enough. It seems that about all the church PTB’s do now is make sure that as many homosexuals as possible become priests and priestesses and that every social justice cause is joined with fervor and spite their remaining believing congregation in any way that they can. The priestess at my local Episcopal church is a black woman who had an affair with a married man–ended up with a black eye from the wife–and is living with some guy without benefit of marriage now. What an inspiration.

    • I grew up in the “Old” Episcopal Church. Then, in the 50s and 60s, it was truly the American branch of the Church of England.

      Then, in the early 60s the Left started to take over the Church with COCU and other Leftist movements. My parish was literally sued out of existence and the entire property taken over by the litigious Left. I quit during the late 60s. The beautiful Santa Barbara monastery where I used to go on silent retreats was completely taken over by homosexuals and turned into a den of inequity.

      Now, in England, the Left is entirely in control and the Arch Bishop spot has been a joke for decades with homosexual “marriage” and female (not sure of which species) “ordinations” (BTW, whenever women are in control you can bet destruction is close at hand).

      I moved away from my ACC church in Orange County to San Diego in 2011 and there are no ACC churches here at all. I am left with nowhere to go except to mainline Protestant churches which I despise with their endless repetition of mantras which every moderately intelligent  Christian already knows. Their odious Tammy Fay/Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert aping is off-putting, to say the least. Their arrogant self-righteousness is despicable. I know. I attended Calvary Church in Costa Mesa (listening to that con-artist Chuck Smith  with my ex for years. I quit going in disgust because of their bullshit which led directly to the breakup of my marriage (and a *VERY messy divorce.  I spent years  in court just trying to get 50% time with my kids. Total cost: over $50,000 in legal fees and I still got divorce-raped by my “Christian” ex who also poisoned my kids against me).

      There are many Catholics that truly believe that Pope Francis is a forerunner of the apostate church cited many times in Revelation. I have studied Roman Catholicism and I know their version of theology only too well.  I happen to agree, although I have never been a Catholic. He is most certainly a step towards that end. 

        • Thank you, Joan. Will visit all sites and call priests to make sure they are actual ACC parishes. Some call themselves “Anglican” when they are nothing more than lukewarm Protestants using the name, veneer and trappings of actual ACC churches. I have tried a couple out when I first moved to Escondido and was sorely disappointed.

          Thanx Again!


      • You might try Missouri Synod Lutheran Church — small, but still faithful. When I was in college I went to the local Anglican church in London (Kensington). Very easy for me to assimilate — although the incense was all new to me.
        Missouri Synod frowns upon politics in the service and is only included in praying for our leaders, those in the military, and our country – regardless of party affiliation.

  45. there isn’t one of them that is worth a damn. all full of mush headed sheep. let their supposed brethren in the middle east, and elsewhere, be slaughtered without lifting a finger (or wallet) to help arm them,

    • ” let their supposed brethren in the middle east, and elsewhere, be slaughtered without lifting a finger (or wallet) to help arm them,”

      Well, it’s spread the other chee…wait, turn. I mean turn the other cheek

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