Christianity Today editor Richard Clark recently wrote a piece admitting that the church was not going anywhere.
By it, he meant that he was quite aware that for the most part the church was irrelevant with all the “nones” and “dones” leaving the church in droves, mainly because most churches were too busy catering to their “tailor-made” tastes, rather than their deep-seated needs.
He could not be more correct!
He, then, does an about face by assuming all the catering was what church is all about.
His argument changes from admitted failure to a hey, we’re not perfect; this is where Jesus lives, deal with it.
Church is just where you should be, regardless.
It is unfortunate that he demonstrates such double-mindedness, because it is that kind of schizophrenia that is leading to many a church’s death.
Nowhere in his article does he mention the need for thoughtful, theological challenges from the pulpit or educational system within the local church.
Everything revolves around the same humdrum that he assumes is what the average congregationalist needs or deserves, while confessing it is that very kind of thing that nearly drove him from the church.
On the one hand, he knows what is leading to failure, while on the other he lauds the same as a success.
Until Christians begin to demand more of themselves, in terms of their own biblical fitness, and then translate that to those they “call” to lead their congregations, then with each passing day the evangelical anemia is that much worse.
The Christian church is living in precarious times and is not in need of double-talk to make itself feel good about what it has brought upon itself.
What it needs is to repent of its sloppiness and start to take serious just what it is that God redeemed it from.
Otherwise, like God’s children of the Old Testament, the church is destined to fade into obscurity, with only those determined to live exemplary lives equally destined for persecution and imprisonment—and that in the land founded on Christian principles by those willing to die for them.