Connecting Invisible Dots

April 30, 2009 at 6:50 pm (change, Leadership) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It’s just not funny anymore…  Are we more concerned with with structure or mission?

If you haven’t seen this important article in the April 4 issue of Newsweek, you may have been on vacation, on a media blackout, or just plain missing a part of the American social conversation.  Some churched people are blasting the article, many are ignoring it, but many are nodding their heads:

RELIGION

The End of Christian America

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The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.

It was a small detail, a point of comparison buried in the fifth paragraph on the 17th page of a 24-page summary of the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey. But as R. Albert Mohler Jr.—president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest on earth—read over the document after its release in March, he was struck by a single sentence. For a believer like Mohler—a starched, unflinchingly conservative Christian, steeped in the theology of his particular province of the faith, devoted to producing ministers who will preach the inerrancy of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means to eternal life—the central news of the survey was troubling enough: the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent. Then came the point he could not get out of his mind: while the unaffiliated have historically been concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, the report said, “this pattern has now changed, and the Northeast emerged in 2008 as the new stronghold of the religiously unidentified.” As Mohler saw it, the historic foundation of America’s religious culture was cracking.

And then today, I find this article.  It is sad really:

Denominational Duct Tape?

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The current debate over United Methodist constitutional amendments reminds me of a standard joke in the rural State where I live.  Farmers quip about holding things together with bailing wire and duct tape.   Throw in a pair of pliers and you’ve got a farmer well-equipped to keep any piece of machinery running awhile longer.

Our United Methodist structures are starting to look more like bailing wire and duct tape all the time.   They’ll hold the denominational machinery together, and we’ll keep sputtering along for another season.  But the wise old farmer knows that the thing is going to wear out and quit eventually…

What do you think?  Any thoughts?

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1 Comment

  1. danceswithklingons said,

    Yet again, I suggest you read the book “Pagan Christianity?” by Frank Viola and George Bana. It will open up your eyes, heart and soul to what is really wrong with the movement know as Christianity.

    Also a book called This Present Future will make you understand that we are asking the wrong questions when it comes to being the Church and not our little factions.

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