Thursday, May 22, 2014
Are We Dead Yet?
There are too many doomsayers out there today, projecting the demise of the Church in America and asking with a wry smile, "Are we dead yet?"
What's sad is that many of the people casting doubt on the Church's future are insiders, people who have called the Church their home but seem more apt to cast seeds of doubt than seeds of hope.
It's certainly easy to be frightened by the statistics showing a continual decrease in church attendance, especially in my own denomination, the Episcopal Church. It's easy to be frightened by financial setbacks and resources drying up like a slow trickle in Death Valley.
But then I remember the Church in the Acts of the Apostles. A versatile church that pooled resources to creatively meet the needs they encountered. A nimble church that thrived when their numbers were cut down by martyrdom and oppression. Everytime a wave of persecution broke out the fleeing Christians took their faith and preaching with them. The Gospel spread in the face of violence and desperation.
The Church in America may not be facing the kind of violence the Church in Acts faced, but we can still learn from their forward movement in the face of their own setbacks.
If I am truly convinced that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead, the same spirit that has inspired the Church for 2000 years is inspiring the Church today, then there is no reason for me to fear the future.
"Are we dead yet," some may ask.
"Not even close."