Today I'm releasing the latest in a series of case studies in the lifecycle of a movement: SCM - Missionaries to Marxists
We'll be looking at the final stage of the lifecycle: death. The case study I've chosen is especially instructive for those on left wing of the Emerging Church, described by Ed Stetzer as revisionists. The lesson: Culturally relevance without biblical orthodoxy results in cultural captivity and the death of a movement.
The Student Christian Movement (SCM) was formed in Britain in 1889 with around the watchword: "The Evangelisation of the World in this Generation".
Through SCM a new generation heeded the call to world missions. But gradually SCM distanced itself from its evangelical heritage and accommodated its message to the values of the surrounding culture.
Today, SCM barely survives on a few British campuses. The official SCM website affirms that SCM "chooses to hold no doctrinal basis" and boasts that membership "is open to people of any faith and none". The only "watchword" found on the website was "SCM, Questioning the Christian Faith".
In contrast, the evangelical student movement (now UCCF) that formed as a breakaway from SCM in 1928, now boasts 20,000 student members and 49 full-time staff in the UK. InterVarsity USA has 33,000 members and 880 workers in the US. Its mission and commitment to evangelical Christianity is clear and it can justifiably lay claim to be the modern day successors of those who pioneered the SCM with the watchword: "The Evangelisation of the World in this Generation".