More and more, conservative congregations are choosing to leave liberal denominations. Rarely does the opposite occur with a liberal congregation withdrawing to unite with a more conservative denomination.
(Photo: The Christian Post) Congregants at Truro Church in Fairfax, Va., sing on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008, as the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns leads from the front.
"I think conservative Christians generally take their faith seriously," says Dr. Jeffry Marlett, an associate professor of religious studies at The College of Saint Rose in Ablany, N.Y. "They feel that it's better to stand by their faith and not become conformed to the ways of the world, which is why you see conservative congregations leaving liberal denominations and not vice versa."
In December 2006, parishioners of Truro Epsicopal Church in Fairfax, Va., voted overwhelmingly to sever ties with The Episcopal Church (TEC), igniting a hailstorm of controversy. While church leaders pointed to TEC's gradual shift away from the traditional teachings of TEC on the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the core reasons for the disfellowship, the straw that broke the camel's back was the election of Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual, as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003.