December 24, 2019

Churches Going Through the Motions

Timothy Birdnow

My cousin Ellen forwards this.

Why Catholic Homilies are so Short and Light on Scripture

I don't mind short, but I hate the content-free character of them. I don't remember the last time I heard anyone mention sin, or heaven, or hell, or soul. They are all sort of like diet coke; just one calorie! Basically a kindergarten exhortation.

I suspect it ties in with the tax exemption, for one. Lyndon Johnson was getting hammered by the churches and so he increased the tax exemption BUT made it so churches could only get it if they stayed entirely out of politics. So that avenue was closed.

Of course, there is also now a desire to coax people in rather than to do what Jesus did and proclaim the Truth and let the chips fall where they may. And the more the pews empty the more they double down on the very thing emptying pews. After all, who wants to go to church when you can enjoy a football game or whatnot? There has to be something more to draw people.

The Church is afraid of the World. It wants to befriend the world, to be a major institution at the bedrock of civilization. But that is not what the Church was or is or ever will be; Jesus made it quite plain His Church would always be at odds with  the World. "If the World hates you remember it hated Me first" John 1518.

A Church that is not making some people quite angry is failing at it's mission. Of course, there is great contempt for the Church among the public now, but that is the contempt one holds for a loser. Catholicism in particular but so many of the Protestant churches as well are, to put it blundly, losers, lickspittle suckups who are embarrassed about their faith. You  cannot build something of importance, something that will last, on Barney the Dinosaur polemics.

So they cut the sermons down and do not use much scripture, hoping to entice the lazy and the uncommitted. But why?  Jesus commanded that if a town does not receive you shake the dust of the town from your feet and move on. HE wanted only to offer rthe Word, then if the people did not accept it that was their problem. Jesus never coaxed.

Jesus rightly knew coaxing was pointless. The World has more pleasant things to offer. Jesus just had the Truth, and Eternal Life to offer. Far greater things, but not to the carnally minded man.

The Churches are just going through the motions these days.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:58 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Most spiritual movements go through a progression. They start out as a method of achieving personal change, which is hard work. If you are unable to do what it takes, and do not progress toward this personal change, you drift away because you are not gaining what the movement offers. If you do the hard work, you achieve the personal change and you stay and help others to do likewise.

Gradually, however, the idea of "comfort" creeps in and the movement drifts toward comforting those who seek change rather that promoting them to change. This does not require hard work. Rather than urging members to become better, the group focuses on helping members to become comfortable as they are. This is much easier than becoming different.

I experienced this in AA over a period of some 38 years. When I joined the process was, "I don't want you to learn how to handle your drinking problem, I want you to become a different person, a person who doesn't have a drinking problem." It was brutally hard work, emotionally and spiritually. If you did not change as a person, whether you drank again or not, you left AA.

Gradually, however, it changed its focus to "fellowship." It became a social club, providing a safe haven where people could gather and be social in a place that was safe from alcohol because nobody drank. The people were still alcoholics, they just socialized only with other alcoholics and they didn't drink. It was far easier than becoming a different person who did not need to drink.

Churches today do not seek to make you a better person. They seek to be a safe haven where you can feel good.

Posted by: Bill H at December 24, 2019 10:01 AM (vMiSr)

2 Very wise, Bill!  You really understand this - far better than most!

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at December 25, 2019 11:08 AM (MjT2a)

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