You can read it here.
There are a host of similar pithy sayings -- my own personal favorite "the Church that marries the spirit of this age will be a widow in the next generation" (by Dean William Inge). Some of them are cliches and some are worthless truths but these are important truths that seem to be missed by so many in the leadership of the many churches today.
Motivated by fear (mostly the fear of smaller denominational size) and shaped by a severe lack of confidence in the means of grace (God working through His Word and Sacraments as He has promised), these do-gooders think they are helping the churches grow, reclaim their cache, clean house, and get "up to the task" facing us in the present and future. Instead, most of them (including the LCMS versions of church growth and TCN and a host of other programs of renewal) are doing us the greatest of disservice. By obsessing over the present and over the marks of success instead of faithfulness, they rob the Church of its permanence, its power, and its place (as given by God). Instead, the churches become merely social institutions of like-minded people without any real or eternal significance. Would that those who lead our LCMS Districts would wake up to the truth of this little truism and abandon their obsession with numbers, earthly measures of success, and programs to grow the Church without relying upon the means of grace.
But don't hold your breath.... I believe the time will come when these will be exposed for the emptiness and dangerous consequences but that time is not yet... As an example, our former Synod President, Kieschnick, has sent out a missive on being warm and welcoming on Sunday morning. Not to argue his point and suggest that we should be cold and aloof to new faces, the problem with his perspective is that he thinks that the church lives or dies by the welcome folks receive and not by the Word and Sacraments. We are undone more by the well-meaning than by those who intend harm. The church’s present obsession with success guarantees its eventual irrelevance.
HT to Paul Gregory Alms
Thank you for considering my reflection. I am honored and grateful.
Chris Momany, Adrian College
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