An author with an evangelical blog has argued that there are six reasons why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is growing faster than evangelical churches in the United States.
In a post titled "6 Reasons Why Mormons Are Beating Evangelicals in Church Growth," David French of The Gospel Coalition listed: Mormons have bigger families, lower divorce rates, share their faith more frequently, are less selfish, have more demanding church leadership, and are more "orthodox."
"No evangelical can call Mormons 'orthodox' in terms of the Apostles' Creed and biblical canon. But they are orthodox within their own, distinct faith tradition," wrote French, an attorney who also contributes works to the National Review Online and the blog Patheos.
"In other words, members of a Mormon church tend to know and believe their faith. Go to a typical evangelical church – like my own Presbyterian congregation – and you'll find very wide theological divergence."
French painted a different picture for evangelicals.
"Our churches face a demographic crisis," he said. "Young people are leaving, even the Southern Baptist Convention is losing members, and when you drill down deeper – comparing church attendance with population growth – the picture looks even more bleak."
At the comments section for the article, various perspectives were weighed in by posters regarding the claims of French.
One poster with the name "James" questioned why The Gospel Coalition would post an article comparing evangelical and Mormon Church growth.
"Let's talk about the Gospel, not compare ourselves to a cult and pontificate about why their church growth strategy works," wrote "James."
"David M," who identified himself as an ex-Mormon, offered his explanations for why he believed the various points were brought up. He noted disagreement with certain points French had made, including referring to Mormons as being more "orthodox."
"If you do research and see how the church really started out, you'll find they have veered from numerous doctrines, including polygamy, allowing colored people to hold the Priesthood, etc.," wrote "David M."
"There are numerous other tenets, as well, which is why you have the sect of Mormonism that still practices polygamy quite strongly and the LDS church wants no ties with them."
On the website "First Things," a commenter named "Abelard Lindsey" argued that the item that Mormons have which evangelicals do not is "the pioneering spirit."
"This characteristic alone [makes] Mormonism far more authentically 'American' than any of these other religious groups," wrote "Abelard Lindsey." "It seems to me that a religion that shares this pioneering spirit is more appropriate for America than one that does not."
According to LDS Church statistics, as of 2011 there are approximately 6.1 million Mormons in the United States, comprising 2 percent of the population. From 1990 to 2008, the Mormon population increased about 30 percent, which was about double the general population growth of the United States.