A lot to digest and think about.
One of the comments said the following,”…However, I would argue that to the extent that the decline reflects reality, the decline has already happened. You say you see a future of Moralistic-Therapeutic-Deism, but that is exactly where the American church is now.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Basically, the post asks why must we be so negative and in attack mode so much?
Here is an excerpt:
In the past I could ignore those groups of people who say they are Christian, and may well be, yet practice something I find disturbing, like snake handling, or legalism. Now I am exposed to things I formerly was able to ignore. At the top of my personal Ignorance list was the existence of a cottage industry full of vehemence and bile, that group of people who say they are Christian and spend their lives criticizing everything that happens in a building with a cross on the roof. Don’t get me wrong, there are some loose wingnuts on the wheels of modern Christianity, and pointing out the insanity is healthy! I am not talking about those of us [me] who desire to point out wackos and frauds; I mean people who take on whole denominations, entire -faith-groups of mainstream believers, or really well known figureheads of the faith.
My first response, as is my nature, was to become defensive and justify my own vitriol that is often pointed at part of the Body of Christ.
My take from that sermon is don’t sweat the small stuff and almost everything is small stuff. That’s kind of trivializing the sermon and it is certainly deeper and more compicated than that but you get the idea. Listen to the sermon.
I have< for example, on this site been very critical of Contemporary Christian Music. It’s not my taste but why should I attack this music that is enjoyed and edifying to millions of others? (In fact since that post one responder pointed me to some really good CCM, Waterdeep and Don Chaffer, excellent.)
I’m a big critic of the mega-churches. I will continue to be one but I needn’t be so harsh about it.
In other words my criticism and statements were not made in love but rather in anger and bitterness.
I would ask anyone whom I have offended to please forgive me.
I feel strongly about many aspects of the modern church and will continue to speak out about those things.
I will continue to point out the silly and absurd.
It is very easy to be hot under the collar when you have the anonymity of the internet. We (I) say things in a way that we would never do to someone’s face. It is cowardly and I am sorry.
But, with the help of friends like Willoh and Jeofurry I will with the grace of God endeavor to cut down on the negativity, anger and sarcasm (a form of angry comment).
Thank you Will and Jeff.
In spite of the nonsense that the radical abortionists are throwing down, science continues to prove that babies are indeed human and are so before the passage through the birth canal.
I wanted to be on board with the new president but infanticide is more than I can stomach.
I thought about showing graphic baby murders but my sense of decency won out which is more than I can say for the murdering abortionists.
The kicker is that its not even ideological for them. It’s all about the money.
The Vatican reacts here.
The question is posed if in today’s media saturated world are we better off than say 50 years ago?
I responded on Mr. Monk’s site but would like to respond here as well with my story.
When I was a boy in the 50’s and 60’s we of course had television but it was in no way the center of our lives. Nor was radio.
What we had were neighbors, friends and relatives.
What we had was a true sense of community.
A typical Summer evening was spent with all of the adults gathered on the front porch and in the yard of my grandparent’s home. Nothing was organized people just showed up.
The adults would talk. They would talk sometimes about world or national events but mostly the conversations were about local subjects.
The high school football team, crop and livestock prices, local politics, church, people who had died were sick or were born.
The talk was of people and events that they knew and affected the daily life of each one.
Even thought there was a television set in the house it was never turned on during these times. The adults found it noisy and distracting and the children had better things to do.
Important things like catching fireflies, seeing the new calf, playing kick the can or thousand other things that kids can do when their imaginations are given free reign.
The adults gathered there all raised me and my brothers and my cousins and my friends. I had the accumulated wisdom of not just my parents and grandparents (a time machine back into the 1800’s when they were born) but the extended family and their friends. Mrs. Clinton was certainly right about a village but I think she did not mean what I mean.
This all seemed to have started in the early 60’s when President Kennedy was assasinated and we were glued to the tube for days at a time. Then the media circus of the Beatles. Vietnam was brought into our homes in living color.
However, the whole tenor seemed to change with Watergate. No longer did journalists seek to just get the facts and report the story it became more about the “gotcha” factor.
So is the world better?
Today we hardly know our relatives much less our neighbors. I read an article in the newspaper this morning (there’s a shocker) about a man whose neighbors had lost their home in foreclosure and he never knew until they were packed up and gone. he didn’t really know these people at all but wished he could have at least given them someone to talk to.
Today we live in virtual isolation in these 3 bedroom prisons of our own doing. We sit in our homes and offices quaking in fear from the latest panic foisted on us by the media.
It’s not even the media’s fault. Oh, of course they are to blame for giving in to our worst inclinations (my how the world could use Edward R. Murrow) but we have asked, pleaded for the shallow blather that we get. And I’m not even discussing what passes for entertainment I’m talking about the “news”.
There are those lonely voices crying out such as Wendell Berry and Rod Dreher but their voices are lost in the clamour.
I don’t think we can go back. We can try but we are a nation and world of self imposed agoraphobics.
The loss cannot be measured. When we lost our community we lost part of what being human is. Perhaps we are on the cusp of a new humanity but it looks very much like the world of “THX1138” or “Brave New World” and I don’t really want to be a part of it. I guess it’s good that I’m on the downhill side of my 50’s.