Two newspapers on opposite sides of the USA have insightful editorials regarding the state of Christianity. William Lobdell in the The LA Times ostensibly writes about Anne Rice and her defection from Christianity to follow Jesus, but he has far more to say, including:
But if one adheres to the principle of Occam’s razor — that the simplest explanation is the most likely — there is another, more unsettling conclusion: that many people who call themselves Christian don’t really believe, deep down, in the tenets of their faith. In other words, their actions reveal their true beliefs.
Jeffery MacDonald in the New York Times writes about a growing problem of burned-out pastors in the American clergy core. He links to Paul Vitello’s article about the problem and its reasons for being, but adds his own spin:
But there’s a more fundamental problem that no amount of rest and relaxation can help solve: congregational pressure to forsake one’s highest calling.
The pastoral vocation is to help people grow spiritually, resist their lowest impulses and adopt higher, more compassionate ways. But churchgoers increasingly want pastors to soothe and entertain them. It’s apparent in the theater-style seating and giant projection screens in churches and in mission trips that involve more sightseeing than listening to the local people.
How convicting. How odd that it comes from “secular” media. Before dismissing this as some kind of media church-bashing it might be a bit convicting to re-read Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Or not.