Churches

The Future of the Evangelical Church in Canada

Early this year, Internet Monk wrote a three-part series assessing the state of the evangelical church in the United States (here, here and here). Briefly, he argues that evangelicals are on the precipice of the same massive and permanent decline already experienced by the Protestant mainline churches; that this movement will hit hardest among the fundamentalist Baptists, leaving a landscape populated mostly by Pentecostal-style charismatics and “therapeutic, church growth oriented megachurches”; and, finally, that this may not be a bad thing for the church, as the surviving remnants may be forced to reform and to jettison abnormalities like the prosperity gospel.

burned-churchA response and similar analysis of the state of the evangelical church in Canada has since been written by Ro at PomoTheo.com, also in three parts (here, here and here). The PomoTheo piece reaches similar conclusions, though with some additional comments on the particular Canadian context. In this country, the author argues, we are already in the midst of an enormous inter-generational shift, as Canadians continue to mark down religious adherence on the census form but flock to the churches and other houses of worship in fewer and fewer numbers.

It’s also much more skeptical about the remnants which Internet Monk believed would exist in evangelicalized Catholic and Orthodox groups, the charismatic movement, and missionaries coming here from Africa and Asia. Even where such shifts are likely, Ro writes, they are likely to be inaccessible to the surrounding secular culture, and probably (in the case of missionaries) financially unsustainable in a post-denominational religious landscape. Ro remains guardedly optimistic about the prospects for a smaller, revitalized missional movement emerging from the wreckage.

In linking both analyses, Benediction Blogs On commented: “The Internet Monk… has an opinion worth reading. He got a lot of feedback. A Canadian responded with his critique and look at evangelicalism north of the US border; and no feedback. I’m not surprised by that.”

Discussion

5 comments for “The Future of the Evangelical Church in Canada”

  1. Is it a good thing that many marginal believers will depart, leaving evangelicalism with a more committed, serious core of followers?

    Is it a good thing that the emerging church will fade into the irrelevance of the mainlines?

    Is it a good thing that Charismatic-Pentecostal Christianity will become the majority of evangelicals?

    In my opinion the answer to all of the above is no because Christians today under any name are not only apostate but have a form of godliness and deny it’s power!

    True Christianity is a religion of the power of God through Christ Jesus and not of dead anemic impotent words preached by most Christian preachers. Jesus Christ, Who is the same yesterday, today and forever, demonstrated power over storms, demons, sickness, disease and money changers and so should each child of God because the same Christ lives in them! Jesus Christ didn’t promise His disciples words or even the bible, as wonderful as it is but power. The bible, God’s word, is true:

    And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Matthew 10:1
    “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:12-114
    “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
    And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

    If we neglect the Holy Spirit or regulate Him to some small corner of our life we will never have power! No! We need to be not only taught by the Holy Spirit but also led by Him! We need to live and walk in the wisdom and discernment that He provides! We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be full of faith, wisdom and power and to demonstrate power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons! For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power (1 Corinthians 4:20)! And we need to be emptied of ourselves and be full of God and preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord. God’s word is unchanging:

    For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 2 Corinthians 4:5-14

    For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24

    Posted by walter kambulow | July 27, 2009, 4:33 am
  2. Dear Dave,
    The above writeup is beautiful. A very biblical product. I would like to read your views on the future of evangelical churches in Canada in relation to the growth of the charismatic movement. Please add about the impact of this movement on
    the evangelical churches in Canada.

    yours in Christ
    Vicky Greenville Warjri
    Shillong,India

    Posted by Vicky Greenville Warjri | September 15, 2009, 10:59 pm
  3. Please refer to the previous comment where the portion that caught my attention was the presentation made on the Discussion part posted by Walter Kambulow.

    Posted by Vicky Greenville Warjri | September 16, 2009, 10:33 pm
  4. Dear Vicky,

    As far as I am concerned most of the Evangelical and Charismatic churches in Canada are dead if not apostate!

    Posted by walter kambulow | October 11, 2009, 6:30 pm
  5. There is a shift taking place within many evangelical Christian churches in Canada; The emphasis on freedom is becaming strong enough that this biblical movement is avoiding any ecclesiastical traditions that was result of being “largely without dogma, form or structure,” committing only to primitive Christianity, by restoring the church to the New Testament pattern.

    Bishop David Lavigne
    The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada

    Posted by Dr. David Lavigne | September 17, 2010, 4:49 pm

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