It is important that terms be defined. “Technical theology demands precision and precision is only possible when terms are clearly understood.” Some terms can not be clearly defined. More than one church has published membership statistics indicating not only that their church attendance and membership declining, but also that it is declining at a faster rate than five years ago. Membership decline must be an indication of a defective church but this factor is not part of the definition.
Where did all the members go? When I ask the clergy this question, usually the answer is that they stay home but sometimes I am told they are attending the Chapel of Holy Comfort where St Mattress is their patron saint. Recently I have been reminded of the phenomenal church growth rate in third world countries and occasionally the reason for this growth is succinctly stated: fear of Islam.