Evangelist Luis Palau: “Mainline Churches Need to Wake Up or They’re Dead”

By Asociación Luis Palau [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Asociación Luis Palau [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Churches need to teach “basic Biblical doctrine,” but reports on the decline of religion are nothing to worry about according to Luis Palau.

Luis Palau is a famed evangelist born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He came to the United States in 1960, and was privy to many interesting events of the nation. He recently announced a dismissal of the claims found by the PEW research study on religion. The study revealed a decline in religion, however Palau says the results can be considered differently if one looks at church history. He said that the history of the church in America makes you feel “less panicky.” He went on to describe the roller coaster ride that religion in the U.S. has experienced.

Church History in the USA

The First Great Awakening came just after the American Revolution. John Wesley, an English theologian, and other people moved through the colonies to revive faith. Of course, it wasn’t too long after that faith had a sharp downturn. In the 1830s, Charles Finney led the Second Great Awakening, in which he converted numerous people. In the 1850s, after Fulton Street Church noticed a huge decline in their members, Jeremiah Lanpher stepped forward. He drew millions to pray together at noon every day. When the Civil War hit, “Christians were very active in the front line.” In the 1880s, church members were low and faith had, once again, taken a downward trend. It dropped again in the 1920s, after World War I. About midway through the Twentieth Century, the membership rose again.

Throughout history, religiosity has fluctuated from time to time. However, the youth of today are noticeably less devout in comparison to the earlier generations. Palau says that it isn’t something to panic over, primarily because “the churches that have lost all the [youth] are the mainline churches.” He spoke out to the churches, encouraging them to accurately convey biblical sentiment to their youths. He implored that churches be careful of the way they get their point across.


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