Protestantism in 15, 20 + years?

I was having a talk the other day with my mom who I am trying to get to become Catholic, and I started talking about the future of protestantism, and I have been thinking about it a lot more. Having grown up in the very heavy protestant, South I’ve noticed trends within the different churches in that area and wanted to know other peoples thoughts.

Where do you think protestantism will be in 15-20+ years? I am not only talking about the mainline churches which I know are dying, but I’m talking about the baptists, non-denom’s and that type. Would be interested in seeing if other peoples opinion match up with mine, which I will post a little bit later when people have responded.

:popcorn:

A few things may happen. The Protestants will continue dividing and arguing and become either more liberal or conservative, depending on the faction.

Anglicans and Lutherans may come home to Rome at a faster rate.

Entire denominations may just dissolve.

That’s all I can think of right now :stuck_out_tongue:

:popcorn::popcorn:

I see a complete disintegration in Protestantism and a return Home to the Catholic Church
by many people.

Mary.

Maybe not in the next 15 years, but in the next 25-50 years or so I think they will just go away as “churches” altogether. Most of their pastors are now the ‘self-help’ type with very little reference to Jesus anyway. I was invited to a non-denominational church here in Texas. I went one time (still went to mass that week!) and was impressed…with the doughnuts and coffee shop. :stuck_out_tongue: There was no talk about Jesus, but there was a lot of talk about how prosperous God wants us all to be.

I read somewhere the other day that everyone talks about the fact that Catholics are leaving the church in huge numbers. Apparently (according to what I read), the Catholic church has declined by about 5% over the last decade. Wow. That sounds like a lot of people…until you read that Protestant churches have declined by 48% in the same time period.

It seems to me like “thinking” Protestants (the kind who actually read, study theology, pray and think about their faith) should end up Catholic by defualt.

The form of Protestantism I’m most familiar with, having grown up Methodist, is the dying mainline Protestant denominations. But you said you did not want to hear about them.

Intuitively, I would suspect that if America and Europe continue in the same direction they have been going that some of these hardcore Protestant groups will liberalize and go in the same direction as the mainline Protestants and others will circle their wagons and become even more entrenched and reactionary than they are currently. In any case I think their political clout will wane.

In the year 2032 a Mainline Protestant drone called KJV32 will be battling Gen. Luther Connors; a man who scotch-taped his document of 91 protests to 40,000 different Church doors and one Dairy Queen restroom; calling for the assimilation of all faiths to drop their doctrines and practice Tolerencism. Tolerancism was created so everyone could dialog without offending each other because they believe truth must be open to error for the sake and safety of toes.

Interesting question! Certain Protestant Sects seem to be built on little more the hate for the Roman Church. This seems to center around the misunderstanding of John’s Apocalypse (Revelations) where these Protestant heretics believe the Beast in John’s dream is the Roman Catholic Church. Interestingly, Martin Luther wanted to purge the Bible of several of the New Testament Books, including the Apocalypse, and some of John Epistles along with Old Testament Apocrypha, taken from the Hebrew Old Torah by the Pharisees at the so-called Council of Jamnia (c. A.D. 90), which purged the Hebrew Old Testament of Tobias (Tobit), Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, I and II Machabees, and three documents added to protocanonical books, viz., the supplement to Esther, from x, 4, to the end, the Canticle of the Three Youths (Song of the Three Children) in Daniel, iii, and the stories of Susanna and the Elders and Bel and the Dragon, forming the closing chapters of the Catholic version of that book. Considering the Pharisees persecution of the early Christian (see the Pharisee St. Paul’s pre- Epiphany activities against the early Church). Interestingly some of these purged Old Testament books included the only references to the Hebrew Hanuka (Festival of Lights) in Maccabees.

Of course, the Truth is in the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. Most Protestants readily use out of context quotes to score their point. However, when read in context, these are not really that compelling. It is most interesting to watch the contortions Protestant anti-Catholics go through to explain Mathew 19 or John 6. Of course, their house is built on sand and not on the Rock.

“It seems to me like “thinking” Protestants (the kind who actually read, study theology, pray and think about their faith) should end up Catholic by defualt.”

The very best example of this is Scott Hahn, who bible research has expanded my understanding of my Faith exponentially!

Pardon if I am a little leary of underestimating our seperated brethren, as they have proven extraordinarily resilient over the centuries.

Protestantism is undergoing a severe challenge today, I do not dispute that. However, I have my reservations about extrapulating that, to full blown extinction (or anything near that). Seems like they’ve undergone a few such depressions, then bounced back (can you say ‘revival’?).

What’s more, I’m not so sure it’s a bad thing. Protestanism is…not good. But protestants, are. They are generally pretty darn good folks. Certainly better than pretty much any other group outside of Catholics (in my humble, and of course completely objective, and unbiased opinion ;)) What’s more, in my experience, stateside anyway, seems like when the economy is in the tank, our Catholic Churches swell in attendence–ppl. feeling pain, come back to her friendly confines, for comfort, renourshiment, rest, replenishment, etc.–but when times are good…our Churches get back burnered. We are somewhat forgotten, as folks are lured away by…well…more alluring endeavors. Amassing things to come back to confession for, among others…

Hence what I see, is the Catholic Church in the US enjoying a little bit of a bump, compliments of a brutal recession, whose effects continue to linger.

Just the opposite is true of our protestant counterparts. When the economy is good and booming…their pews swell up. I do not know why that is (perhaps because I’m not protestant); but I do believe, from my own personal experience, that when the economy is humming along, their churches swell up nicely.

So, where do I see protestantism in 15-20 years?

I’d say, about where I see the economy. :slight_smile:

What does that mean? Who knows. Looking back at history, and projecting forward, I’d say their prospects (and ours, economically) are pretty good. However, looking at 16 TRILLION dollars of national debt, and continuing to go up, with no end in sight…seeing our GDP stagnate…watching our job market evaporate…watching our middle class being disseminated, and giving ever more way to government dependence…let’s just say I don’t like what I’m seeing.

Now, our country has proven pretty resilient–but we’ve got some serious issues facing us.

But the bottom line, as I see it–as goes the nation’s economy…so goes protestantism.

…and I’m no economist.

Just my humble (and admittedly anecdotal), take.

From all I can see, I believe that the Church is about to enter a new time of persecution that may make the persecutions of Rome seem tame. In the Middle East Christians, whose churches date back to the 4th Century are having their Churches burned and their faithful martyred in ways that make the Arena in Rome, pale in comparison. We must pray, not only for the Church Militant in the Middle East and Africa, but also for the Church in Western Europe and North America.

I am not an “End Time” fanatic, however, the Church has always grown when fertilized with the "blood of its martyrs!’

All of Protestantism is a hersey against Church Doctrine. This started early in the life of the Church when the Judeo-Christians, Judeo-Gnostics, Nicolaites, Docetae, Cerinthians, Ebionites, Nazarenes, followed, in the next two centuries, by a variety of Syrian and Alexandrian Gnostics, by Ophites, Marcionites, Encratites, Montanists, Manichæans, and others. The greatest early heresy was Arianism. It was the first heresy that gained a strong footing in the Church and seriously endangered its very nature and existence. This was centuries before Luther. This also excludes the schism that divided the Eastern Church from Western Rome.

Interestingly, once the Protestant Reformation began, it schism were like peanuts, they were satisfied with just one, as the Calvinist divided and sub-divided until it is hard to trace most Protestant Doctrine back to their roots.

As for troubling times, the Church in the US and Europe has recently managed to get through a major scandal involving priests who lost their way and let the sex drives rule their moral life. Of course, the current administration seems bent on destroying the Church in the US, by attacking its deepest mores and beliefs.

The answer I think is prayer. And I believe the current persecution of the US Church has given most of our Protestant brothers reason to look at and admire the Church for its moral stances.

Even Mohammedanism is truly a heresy of Catholic Doctrine. An interesting see: THE GREAT HERESIES by Hilaire Belloc at:
catholic.com/tracts/the-great-heresies

The thought which comes to mind is Matthew Ch 7.

The fullness of the Lord’s message is preserved by the church which He himself founded by giving Peter the keys, therefore I wonder about those splinter denominations who are not working within the fullness of the Word and who have built their house on shifting sands.

If their foundations are flawed then they will fall away and disappear. Like some others have commented, I do think that many in the larger churches (like the traditional wing of the Church of England) will come home to Rome.

24 'Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock.

25 Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock.

26 But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand.

27 Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had.

=movwater;11146297] Interestingly, Martin Luther wanted to purge the Bible of several of the New Testament Books, including the Apocalypse, and some of John Epistles along with Old Testament Apocrypha,

sigh
Source, please, where Luther says this.

Originally Posted by NorthTexan88
I was having a talk the other day with my mom who I am trying to get to become Catholic, and I started talking about the future of protestantism, and I have been thinking about it a lot more. Having grown up in the very heavy protestant, South I’ve noticed trends within the different churches in that area and wanted to know other peoples thoughts.

Where do you think protestantism will be in 15-20+ years? I am not only talking about the mainline churches which I know are dying, but I’m talking about the baptists, non-denom’s and that type. Would be interested in seeing if other peoples opinion match up with mine, which I will post a little bit later when people have responded.

Protestantism is such a big and various apple, and there seems to be a tendency for Americans to view it from an American perspective. A couple of thoughts.

Of the so-called mainline churches, declines in Europe and America seem to mask growth in the southern hemisphere. There is the center of growth for Lutheranism, for example. It is also the center of growth of the types of groups that Pope Benedict warned the German Lutherans of - evangelicals, Pentecostals, etc.

Stateside, I think there is pending a certain realignment, somewhat along political lines. These lines have the tendency to split standing denominations. Lutheranism is an example, with the conservative LCMS and the liberal ELCA. Even conservative evangelicals find themselves aligned politically with the Catholic Church, as does the LCMS.

In short, while protestant groups may look different in 20 years, they will still be there.

Jon

This is a possibility for some Lutherans, particularly if they/we/I see the communion swerve away from confessions. For example, the LCMS is, for me, the last bastion of confessional Lutheranism in America. Were it to succumb to the liberal trend that has swallowed up the ELCA, I might find Rome the only viable alternative, as there are no Orthodox churches nearby.

Jon

I have no idea where they will be, but I pray every day that they all come home very soon.

“Source, please, where Luther says this.”

Read his works. His entire creed was “faith alone” and “predestination” with no room for works and free will. Hence John Esp

His position on Revelations was: "In the 16th century, Martin Luther initially considered it to be “neither apostolic nor prophetic” and stated that “Christ is neither taught nor known in it,” and placed it in his Antilegomena (his list of questionable documents), though he retracted this view in later life.

“Luther himself took the liberty of criticizing some of these books in a polemical manner which few Lutherans today would find completely acceptable. He had a low view of Hebrews, James, Jude, and the Revelation, and so when he published his New Testament in 1522 he placed these books apart at the end. In his Preface to Hebrews, which comes first in the series, he says, “Up to this point we have had to do with the true and certain chief books of the New Testament. The four which follow have from ancient times had a different reputation”.” From: Luther’s Treatment of the ‘Disputed Books’
of the New Testament at: bible-researcher.com/antilegomena.html

“The undue importance he had placed on his own strength in the spiritual process of justification, he now peremptorily and completely rejected. He convinced himself that man, as a consequence of original sin, was totally depraved, destitute of free will, that all works, even though directed towards the good, were nothing more than an outgrowth of his corrupted will, and in the judgments of God in reality mortal sins. Man can be saved by faith alone. Our faith in Christ makes His merits our possession, envelops us in the garb of righteousness, which our guilt and sinfulness hide, and supplies in abundance every defect of human righteousness.”

James 2

"14 What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?

15 And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food:

16 And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit?

17 So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

18 But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith.

19 Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God.

24 Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?

25 And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way?

26 For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead."

This makes Martin Luther’s creed of Faith Alone (Soli Fidelis) look rather silly, don’t you think?

Hi, Jon,

My twin grandsons were baptized in the Lutheran Church. I remark to the Pastor, at the time, how similar much of the service was like that of the Roman Catholic Church. The Pastor me that Lutheran was RC Light. Perhaps some day my grandsons and my son-in-law will come home with me in the Roman Catholic Church. As for the Orthodox Church, you may as well shoot for the “real deal!”

Regards, and God Bless,

Neal

With electronic communications becomming stronger and wider, the truth about what really happened to christianity thru time will be out in the open for all to see who want to see.

I believe the catholic church can benefit from this in one way from those who are after the truth. The problem is, so many people take it for granted that what church you belong to really doesn’t matter as long as you try to follow Jesus. The issues that divide can be ignored and assumed unimportant. If the catholic church does have a greater following, it will be because it is politically correct, not for all, but for many.

If our society continues to take the easy road with regard to morals, the protestant community may grow a lot, and the catholic church may shrink. This was the opinion of our previous Pope.

If there is a serious war, then this will definitely change things. I believe people will start scrubbing themselves again and start to follow their religion with some sort of seriousness.

In 2 or 3 generations down the road, there will be some heavy persecution of the church in one way or the other.

What will really take place is anybody’s guess.

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