Monday, March 27, 2023

Trends. . .

Trends over time are revealing for the shape of our culture and our nation.  The general public finds it harder to say that extra-marital sex is always wrong while at the same increasingly favoring same sex marriage, and legalizing marijuana.  There is some significant support for abortion for any reason and less support for restricting pornography.  

It would be a surprise if these trends were not also reflected in changing Christian responses to the same issues.  In fact, it is already a given that some churches are trying to get out in front of the pulse of the general public on most of these issues (though less for the legalization of marijuana and approving of pornography).  We all know which churches these are and they have made no secret of their support for free access to abortion, same sex marriage (and the whole alphabet soup of gender), and for the normalization of nearly anything and everything sexual so long as it is consensual. 

One of the real questions that remains, however, is why anyone needs a church which is but an echo of their views and the prevailing views of culture -- an echo which is always behind the move of the general public's evolving views.  Do we really need a church whose only use and value is to tell us what we have already said?  Such churches have become like the politicians who have to poll the public to find out what they are for and what they are against.

My point is that echoing back the voice of the public hardly requires all the religious apparatus of church.  I guess we already knew that since those churches that are nearer the pulse of the public are already shrinking faster than nearly every other Christian denomination.  I am not judging them irrelevant but the culture has already made that judgment with a yawn.  Nothing is more boring in a church than one whose voice is only your voice on time delay.  But if you have any hint of uncertainty in your position, I suppose it might be comforting to have the illusion of divine approval to reassure you.  Sadly, it would seem, too many of our churches are willing to be only that -- a tardy echo to what the world has already decided and moved on.  How tragic! 

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