More and more, I am starting to think that the Church as we know it is essentially on its death bed in the UK - and that it only has itself to blame.
I posted this on a BB I sometimes contribute to. Any thoughts?
I think we have to exist in the age in which we inhabit. Yes, of course people are going to turn to God and believe almost anything which will give them hope in developing countries - what else do they have?
And I am a convinced late modernist. No, our current life is by no means perfect - but would I choose to live in another age? No, certainly not - the benefits of contemporary life for me, far outweigh the disadvantages. And I actually think that there is a real dissonance here between the nostalgia of many church goers and in particular, younger people.
What is the Church doing wrong?
* Part of it - the loudest part - expects belief in literalistic dogmas which make little sense and appeal largely to authoritarian personalities
* It will not admit openly, the faults, inconsistencies, contradictions, and sheer fantasy of the human production called the Bible
* It hasn't come to terms with late modernity and social change
* It expects people to come to it and either sit through tedious rote-learned events or mildly hysterical happy-clappy embarassments which it calls 'worship'. Most people find both of these utterly alienating
* It does not realise that Sundays are now spent in bed, shopping, taking the kids to footy or ballet - and in the light of that reality what it has to offer appears decideldly second best
* It constantly rants on about sex,in particular homosexuality, which is hardly an issue for most people and more and more is simply part of the fabric of life. The Church's at worst, hostility, or at best, reluctant tolerance, gives out a message about what sort of organisation it is
Where in this, is any sort of message of hope, of love, of affirmation of humanity and human flourishing? Where is a Jesus of hope, of optimism, of laughter?
Pie in the sky when you die might work in Africa. We've moved on, and if Christianity can't move on with us - then it deserves to be part of our past
Oh - and I've finished the final chapter!