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Five-year study: churches preaching conservative theology grow faster

Review of Religious Research concludes: avoid the social gospel; emphasize heaven and hell

Five-year study: churches preaching conservative theology grow faster

A Canadian study concludes that churches teaching from a literal interpretation of the Bible experience greater growth rates than those holding to a more culturally accepted, seeker-friendly, liberal translation of the Scriptures.

The five-year research project slated to be published next month in the internationally respected and recognized journal, Review of Religious Research, argues against advice that churches switch over to a more progressive theology – such as the Church of England on the matter of same-sex “marriage” – to reverse continued declines in membership. It also suggests that a literal teaching on heaven and hell should not be abandoned by churches looking to strengthen their numbers.

Avoid the social ‘gospel’

Instead of caving in to societal pressures to embrace a more secular, politically correct worldview on issues addressed in the Bible – such as homosexuality, abortion, abstinence before marriage and capital punishment -- researchers behind the project advise churches looking to increase their membership to hold to a conservative theology on controversial topics.

“[On all counts, growing churches] held more firmly to the traditional beliefs of Christianity and were more diligent in things like prayer and Bible reading," David Haskell, the lead researcher of the study, explained, according to The Guardian.

Haskell and his crew began their research project titled "Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant Church Attendees and Clergy" at the beginning of decade, interviewing 2,235 churchgoers in Ontario, Canada, along with 29 clergy members and 195 congregants.

Statistics show that closely adhering to God’s Word is what draws church attendance – not adapting or interpreting biblical teachings to embrace a progressive mindset.

This article continues at [One News Now] Study: Churches with conservative theology grow faster

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