The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


'Faith in Flux' report: Why did they leave?

A new study reports that most former churchgoers (44 percent of U.S. adults) “just gradually drifted away” from church attendance.

According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s “Faith in Flux” report, 71 percent of former Protestants and Roman Catholics said their decision to leave happened over time, not because of any one-time event.

Their reasons for leaving ranged from disagreement with specific church teachings to marrying outside their childhood religion or seeking new ways of worshiping.

More than half cited hypocrisy and judgment within church traditions as one of their reasons for disaffiliation. Forty-two percent of former Roman Catholics and 39 percent of former Protestants said they no longer believed in God or most religious teachings.

Most Protestants who changed their affiliations said they found a religion they liked better (58 percent) or had unmet spiritual needs (51 percent).


Greg Kaufmann

Greg Kaufmann

Posted at 11:20 pm (U.S. Eastern) 6/9/2009

An interesting follow-up question would be to ask if anyone actually interacted with them as they were gradually leaving their congregation. It is my sense of things that no one actually takes the initiative to make connections with folks that are absent from the worshipping community. Maybe we just figure the pastor or someone else will do it...




Posted at 5:33 pm (U.S. Eastern) 6/30/2009

No one called me or asked why I left, although they all knew why but did not want to hear that they were not following the Bible.



Posted at 10:10 pm (U.S. Eastern) 12/13/2009

I haven't darkened the doorway of my church since the shooting of George Tiller and I learned that this mass murderer was a member in good standing of an ELCA church. The homosexual vote was the last straw. Now they're into the global warming hoax. Next they'll be praying to Mother Earth. I feel like I've been sucker punched. I'm growing more mistrustful of organized religion. Most denominations are on the wrong track.  

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