Here is an angle on the decline of The United Methodist Church I hadn’t considered before: living “in a culture that is less and less sensitive to communities of faith and Christian values.”
(before I go on, every time I capitalize the “T” on “The United Methodist Church,” which is the correct thing to do because the UMC has so determined, I wonder if this fact itself doesn’t tell us an awful lot about our denomination’s 43 year decline.)
I’m a bit incredulous at this excuse. I don’t recall the Roman Empire being particularly “sensitive to communities of [Christian] faith and Christian values.” While the first couple centuries of Church history were not as rife with persecution as some would like to believe, calling any Emperor before Constantine truly Christian friendly would be a stretch.
Rather than blaming an unfriendly culture for our decline, perhaps culture seems unfriendly for the very reasons we have been in decline for more than four decades. What The United Methodist Church has offered American Society has (obviously) been nothing that society at large senses a compelling need for.
More succinctly, perhaps they are not interested in what we offer. Not what we say we offer; what we actually offer.