I was in a conversation with a friend on the weekend where he spoke of the impending death of the church in the west.
That might sound extreme but I think he is on the money. He doesn’t at all mean a decline in attendance until there is virtually no one left. Rather he was referring to the point in history when the lives of Christians are indistinguishable from those of people who do not profess a faith.
Its a pretty solid test. A frightening test…
Its no secret that in the last 50 years the morality and values of those who claim to be Christians has shifted to a place where there is little to distinguish us from those who do not claim a faith.
We are often just a religious version of the secular world – all the same values and aspirations but with a weekly Sunday meeting thrown in.
I like Steve’s definition of ‘death’ because it calls us to much more than regular church going. It calls to live a life that is truly remarkable – truly distinct – truly Christlike. I was listening to Seth Godin speak of the importance of being ‘remarkable‘ in a bland world and the danger is that we simply end up another shade of beige.
Attendance will continue long after the church has died but all that will tell us is how many people are willing to play the game.
Perhaps the question is how do we foster communities of disciples who live remarkable lives? How do we spur one another on to challenge the status quo and ultimately shift the trajectory of the whole church?
No easy answers but that’s the challenge I reckon…
“Its no secret that in the last 50 years the morality and values of those who claim to be Christians has shifted to a place where there is little to distinguish us from those who do not claim a faith.”
Have the morality and values of the world changed too? And does this mean the church of 50 years ago was not too different from its surrounding culture? How remarkable were the Christians in the days when the Aust Church was numerically strong?
How much do you think the spurious concept of our being undergorded by the neocons’ ‘judeo-christian ethic’ has any bearing on this? I feel that if there is such a thing, it certainly doesn’t undergird the culture of the West.
Cheers for this reminder Hamo, timely and helpful.
I enjoy your writing very much. Thoughtful and reasoned, i dont always agree which is healthy. My only criticism is the lack of engagement you have with those who comment. You are busy. Or you just prefer monologue… No worries. God surfing. That new banner picture, lines, wow!
Yep you’re right – I don’t engage much at all now 🙂 blogging has kinda fallen down the priority list just a bit!
Fair play. Not a criticism. Will keep visiting…as time permits. 😉