Date: January 11, 2018
With the alarming decline of Christianity especially in the Western world, where many church buildings are being sold out with pastors abandoning their calls, it has been revealed that Pentecostalism is the sure way to sustain and revive Christianity in this generation and generations to come.
Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Like other forms of evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism adheres to the inerrancy of the Bible and the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour. It is distinguished by belief in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that enables a Christian to live a Spirit-filled and empowered life with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues.
Presenting a paper at the ongoing 6th Ministers and Wives’ Conference of The Church of Pentecost at the Pentecost Convention Centre (PCC) at Gomoa Fetteh, near Kasoa, on Thursday, January 11, 2018, on the topic: “Declining Churches In The Western World: Lessons For Christianity In Ghana And The Church Of Pentecost,” the Takoradi Area Head of the Church, Apostle Dr Alfred Koduah, gave a startling report on Christianity in Europe and the United States of America based on a research he conducted in that part of the world recently.
He said the people in the Western world, especially Europe have proved themselves by all standards as a very religious people. Whereas Europe has served as the centre of gravity of Christianity for over 1,000 years, America has become what it is today because of the influx of Christians from Europe who moved there in the early 1600s in search of a place to enjoy religious freedom, he said.
He, however, said that over the last couple of decades, the situation has changed dramatically as Europe and North America are beginning to lose their Christian heritage with church membership and attendance dwindling at an alarming rate, pastors leaving the ministry in their numbers, seminaries being closed down, Christian bookshops closing down, and church buildings being abandoned, sold out, demolished or modified for secular usage.
He said many years ago, it was considered sinful for anyone to absent him/herself from church services in Europe. However, the study noted, only two to four percent of the Europeans regularly attend church services.
In Holland, he said, it is estimated that 60,000 members of the Protestant Church leave the church every year and that if the trend continues, that denomination will cease to exist by 2050. He also revealed that whereas some 930,000 Muslims attend mosques every week, the Anglican Church in the UK records a total of 916,000 attendance on weekly basis, with some 1.7million people leaving the Anglican Church between 2012 and 2014.
The study also revealed that about 50 percent of pastors drop out within five years of ordination in the Western world. In US, for instance, between 1,500 and 1,700 pastors leave the ministry every month.
Apostle Dr Koduah identified some of the factors that have contributed to the decline as: boring church services without the power of the Holy Spirit, uncaring and unfriendly churches, celebrity lifestyles of some pastors, display of entertainment Christianity, traditionalism and formalism, failed leadership, the homosexual debate, generational gap syndrome, church-state system, secularism and political correctness, philosophical challenges, among others.
Touching on the lessons for Christianity in Ghana, Apostle Dr Koduah cautioned that “…if Christianity in the West, which has been in existence since the first century is now experiencing such a massive decline, then Christianity in Ghana, which has been in existence for less than 200 years is very vulnerable.”
In order that Ghanaians would not lose confidence in the church, he called on Christians in Ghana to deal with the numerous strange teachings and practices, religious extremism and manipulations being displayed by the numerous ministerial charlatans in the name of “deliverance.”
“As a matter of urgency, the Christian ecumenical bodies in Ghana and the government should team up to establish a self-regulatory commission to manage religious affairs in the country,” he said, adding, “Anything short of this can easily make the people to lose confidence in Christianity.”
The Chairman of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah, has urged ministers of the Gospel to abide in the anointing for th read more