Britain,  Christianity,  Current Events,  Paul Backholer,  Revival

Why is the Church in Decline in Britain?

Something monumental is going wrong with the world. Virtually everybody knows things are falling apart: Crazy government debts, runaway inflation, food shortages, wars, the pornification of society, the collapse of the family and a mental health crisis destroying lives, to name a few.

People are looking for answers, but religious leaders in traditional denominations often provide a confused mishmash message, effectively saying, “We agree with everything the world thinks.” What’s the point of a Church that doesn’t provide any answers or direction? Biblical Christianity offers another message, “There’s a way out, but it involves repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.”

Do not remove the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set

– Proverbs 22:28

The number of people identifying as Christian in England and Wales has dropped 13.1% in the ten years from 2011. The 2021 Census reveals 46.2% of the population, representing 27.5 million people, think of themselves as Christian. Why the fall? When I hear a senior bishop pronounce his blessing on the latest post-Christian progressive idea, I am reminded of the warnings of C.S. Lewis:

Jesus Christ did not say, “Go into all the world and tell the world that it is quite right”

You can’t secure converts by denying your beliefs and pointing people to post-Christian ideologies. Dr John Hayward is a mathematician, who’s been studying data from British churches to find conclusions about what’s going wrong and right, and he’s found some astonishing truths.

  1. Liberal congregations are declining at speed
  2. UK denominations that embrace progressive ideologies are heading for extinction
  3. Most evangelical denominations are growing
  4. Pentecostal and Charismatic churches increase in numbers

In the media, we hear an unending chorus that the reason the Church in the UK is in decline is because it’s ‘out of touch’ with liberal society. They say it needs to embrace concepts developed by post-Christian progressives: wokeness, equality, critical race theory, inclusion, LGBTQ+, transgenderism, aggressive feminism, anti-capitalism, cultural Marxism and the progressive values of the sexual revolution. Dr John Hayward’s research suggests the opposite. Focusing on same-sex marriage, he concludes, ‘No growing church has adopted same-sex marriage,’ and his data predicts extinction for those that do.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

– Romans 12:2

This shouldn’t be a surprise. You have to believe your beliefs for others to find them worthy of adoption and churches must believe they have found the answer to the problems of this time. We preach Christ because He changes lives for the better; meanwhile, the world is the blind following the blind and both have fallen into a ditch of despair.

Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly”

– John 10:10

Imagine inviting an Apple salesperson to recommend the latest iPhone and instead he preaches the wonders of Samsung or Nokia. That’s what progressive Christians are doing. Bishops are destroying their denominations in the name of tolerance, inclusion and wokeness. Who wants to go to a church that says of the world, “I’m just as confused as them.” With no new converts, these churches are literally dying out.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

– 2 Timothy 3:1-6

When a bishop gives a speech praising liberal ideas, he’s essentially saying, “We don’t have a clue what to believe,” as he points to liberal intellectuals as his new guides to truth. When bishops are more interested in quoting press releases from post-Christian pressure groups than citing Jesus Christ, their denomination will perish.

Jesus likened the church to a lampstand and said, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent”

– Revelation 2:5

Churches that don’t believe Christ and all His fullness is the answer will die. The world has little more to offer than somnolent entertainment, empty consumerism, shallow hedonism, distractive partying, competitive victimhood, narcissistic activism, addictive substances and other forms of escapism. Social media feeds are flooded with the mirage of blissful lives.

The gospel is called the good news because it provides all with hope for the future. Christ offers these empty souls hope, dignity, purpose, vision and eternal salvation. Life changes when you believe you’re made in God’s image and He has a purpose for you. 

There are always a few exceptions and anomalies with data, but Church decline proves there’s a need for repentance, renewal and revival in Britain. In my book, Britain, A Christian Country, I address the many highs and lows of Christianity in Britain. We’ve been in this mess before and there’s always a way out with God.

Britain, A Christian Country by Paul Backholer

Is it all bad news? McDonald’s is regarded as a powerhouse in the United Kingdom, with 1,270 restaurants and the giant Tesco has 2,808 retail stores. However, the Church in Britain is represented by over 40,000 congregations, with many more in house churches and worshipping in unregistered centres on industrial estates. Where there is true faith, there is growth.

The Church in Britain is represented by over 40,000 congregations!

There are millions of believers in Britain volunteering to help society and they are keeping churches at the centre of society. These Christians hold true to their faith and are shocked to hear some bishops care more about gaining honour from Caesar, than eternal honour with God.

Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets”

– Luke 6:26

Bishops must speak the truth this world does not want to hear and accept that being unliked is the path of Christ. Truth, spoken in love, is a painful scalpel. But without it, we’ll create hell on earth in the name of tolerance. As this world experiences crisis after crisis, we must be there as a Church, ready to call society back to the truth of Christ that will save them and society.

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you”

– John 15:18

The UK Church is more potent than many believe, with millions of believers giving sacrificial service to the community. But what’s clear from history is God will withdraw His blessing until He finds Christians willing to believe, live and preach their beliefs, with humility, prayer and repentance before God. The Holy Spirit will be poured out again in revival power, but will the Lord have to wait for another generation to be light in the darkness? Let’s repent and pray revival prayers before it’s too late.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land

– 2 Chronicles 7:14

By Paul Backholer. Find out about Paul’s books here.