Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And Now, for Something Completely Different...

Hello, Jason here. Allow me a moment to step away from my usually-silly posts in this space to pass along something I came across while reading for a class. I'll post it with minimal comment--interpret it as you will...

"Though there is no probability that a Church, which has its own intrinsic means of renewal, will actually cease to be, it is only honest to admit that the Church, as we know it now, is a sleeping giant. That it is, externally, a giant is obvious. The official membership is very large, including, by any computation, well over a billion human beings. There are large investments, strong headquarters, and countless buildings, most of which, at least in the English-speaking world, are exempt from taxation. Large crowds can be assembled for some Christian gatherings, but in nearly all of them the men are fewer than the women and frequently the age level is so high that surprisingly few of the attenders are under twenty-five years of age. Thousands of Christian gatherings are made up primarily of spectators, with practically no sense of involvement or Christian commitment, and with no expectation of a real breakthrough of the Holy Spirit. Evidence of the mood is that, in the great majority of Christian gatherings, attenders prefer the back seats and are actually encouraged in this gesture of noninvolvement by the ushers who, for the most part, fill rooms from the rear. They are serving people who are performing a dull routine duty, with no expectation of any consequent change in their lives. It is not comforting to call attention to such weaknesses, but we dare not omit reference to them if we seek to report truthfully."

--D. Elton Trueblood, from The People Called Quakers. Published in 1966.

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