What’s Killing The Church And Is It A Bad Thing?

The Church is dying at least in the traditional sense.
Perhaps it is not visibly seen in the mega church realms yet, but something is taking place in churches all around the United States.  If one were to look solely at church attendance through the lens of entities such as the Barna group, one would see that the decline is quite remarkable and seems to continue trending this way for years to come.

Perhaps we have been asking the “why” question for quite some time now.
Perhaps that’s not the right question.
Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is this:  “Is this really a bad thing?”

We are currently living in a world where spiritualism is on the rise while an individual identification of a specific religion is at an all time low.  One might say that this is a terrible trend.  One could argue, and rightly so, that spiritualism leads to many roads and many uncertain practices.  Recently even Pope Benedict XVI chastised the leadership of the Catholic church for it’s polarizing mission.

Is the death of “Church” really a bad thing? 
Pristine buildings.
Ritual practices.
Worship songs devoid of meaning.
Sermons with the same rhetoric and religious jargon.
…you get my point don’t you?
It sounds quite cynical I know.
But sometimes certain truths should be peeled back.
Sometimes we must allow our eyes to look upon the ugly cancerous parts of the church.
When the heart no longer follows the path of the holy.
When certain practices become high places and replaces the Most High.
Could it be that the death of “Church” is due to its first love being replaced with hollow practice, shallow traditions devoid of the Divine?   I hope not, I really do.

But, if this is truly the case, is the death of such a shallow form really so bad after all?
Could it be that out of its ashes an authentic remnant, a reinvigorated, holy people shall rise again?  Isn’t that sort of biblical?  Every time the Hebrew people prostituted themselves out to foreign gods and false, shallow practices God led them into a time of spiritual death through captivity through foreign powers.

Is this a wake up call? 
Is this a call into a deeper holiness?
Is this a warning to discard all that would distract?
Are we what Christ intended His disciples to become?
Are we still growing…or is our growth stunted, atrophied and broken?

Not to sound like a cliche’ but we cannot afford to simply go through the motions of religious practice.
We weren’t saved for this purpose.
We are all called to higher, more holy purpose.
Do we know what that holy purpose is anymore?
Have we lost our way?

I sure hope not…I really do.
Something more to ponder today.
To God be the glory!

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2 Comments

  1. Many of those things mentioned( in my opinion) are indeed helping to kill the Church. With that said… I feel too many Protestant churches are so set in their ways that ritual,traditionalism,etc. will be defended to the death. I personally know people by their first names that will leave a church over music before they’ll stand up against bad theology being preached. Perhaps the real issue is this…are we killing the church full of believers, or is church dying because many who say they’re believers really aren’t….? After all you can’t expect to grow a sheep pen when it’s being tended by( mainly) goats!

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