September 25, 2010

Convenient Diaspora

This post is worth a read.  It also needs serious balancing.  There's no mystery (or glory) in why Christians are presently abandoning "church" in droves.  It's the same reason divorce statistics shot up several decades ago.  Marriage was equally difficult before 1960 and Institutional Christendom is no more controlling today than it has been at any time in the past.  What's enabled folks to quit Sunday service is the same thing that enabled husbands to start dumping their wives, and vice versa.

"Quitting church" has, purely and simply, passed the tipping point of acceptability.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm all in favor of dropping the traditional weekly parade, but the reasons folks give for their leavings are all over the board, and yet the most common denominator is selfishness, if not outright libertinism.  "I wanted more community."  "I didn't think ___ was right/wrong."  "My questions weren't honored."  Those may well betray genuine problems in ALL parts of Christendom today, but they also betray a mindset of convenience and entitlement.  Not to come down too harshly, but if we're all just looking for a place we like better, how is that any different from what the whole world is doing, right now?

Look, I know I'm not above all these critiques myself. Not hardly. But let's not go overboard and glorify what are really our own failings. Do you want to know why "church" stinks, really?  Most of the time, it's because *we* don't do anything proactive to help make it better.

UPDATE:  the conversation below Ian's post has been excellent.  Go give it a scan.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes the most proactive thing that you can do is to leave.

Bill Heroman said...

I absolutely agree with that.

JWayne said...

Isn't that merely running from the problem?

Bill Heroman said...

Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense! why is the onus always thrown back on people who are sick & tired of churches that don't go out to people. Look around Bill & ask some know what your likely to find:

Maybe the world is tired of your ideas & theologies, tired of your lazy church service. Maybe their not going to believe your pointless rhetoric is what they will believe....Love. It will believe life given & received. Christ reached out so you reach out. Dont play your stupid blame game & whine that nobody comes to church. Ask your self...Why should they?

Bill Heroman said...

The kinds of churches I'm most against, Nony, are precisely the ones you seem to describe.

You speak of 'people' and 'churches' as if those are two different things. Sadly, too many ministerial teams PROMOTE just such a division. First, they train *you & me* to be benchwarmers (literally, pew sitters). So we stop contributing. So 'church' stinks.

I agree with you 100%. I refuse to attend any place that doesn't do anything worthwhile.

But the question remains...

What am I doing?

Anonymous said...

Work with people 1st hand of course who need help & bring the gospel to them when the opportunity presents itself.

Bill Heroman said...

Sounds good. :-)

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