Why Do People Leave Their Denominations?

Since the beginning of 2014, I know of two notable pastors (John Ortberg and Kevin DeYoung) who, along with their churches, have left their respective denominations.  Their denominations were adopting positions which they felt were in violation of clearing biblical teachings.  For example, according to Ortberg and his church, “There are many PC(USA)-ordained pastors who do not believe, for example, in the deity of Christ or in salvation through faith in Christ.”  While a number of things were listed by DeYoung and his church, the ordination of women and the growing acceptance of homosexual practice were among them.

In both instances, these two pastors and their churches have voted to leave, because their respective denominations have shifted on both primary and secondary core doctrines, that were important to these pastors and their churches.

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2 Responses to Why Do People Leave Their Denominations?

  1. Dan says:

    A history prof of mine from seminary (and he’s Lutheran so he knows splits and mergers) says statistically a split just never works. He has the data on mainline denominations only, so I don’t know about newer evangelical denominations. Ortberg and DeYoung weren’t “splits” but if the movement were wider, my prof would say it’s a fool’s errand.

    The reason is both resulting entities don’t grow. Individual churches may grow, but the resulting denominations continue decline.

    I’m not sure if that would still be enough to keep me in…

    • TC Robinson says:

      Dan, thanks for the input. I know in my own denomination, because of the so-called “Conservative Resurgence,” a number of moderate Southern Baptist left and established the CBF, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which appears to be growing, but probably from those who frustrated with the SBC and are looking for an alternative.

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