Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Future of the US Church?

If Italy, or Eataly, has anything, it's cathedrals.  They talk about a church building on every street corner in the SE USA, that's close to true in Italy too.  We have seen so many beautiful cathedrals that our interest in them has declined somewhat.  They are often HUGE, with beautiful adornments.  It also appears there is seldom occasion to use them.  Italy and Japan offer an interesting contrast.  Japan appears to have some old Buddhist shrines but very few Living Christian churches.  A few years back I traveled from east coast to west coast near Osaka and saw a total of one cross.  In Italy, I think you would be hard pressed to walk 100m without seeing a cross, a relevant statue, or some other symbol of Christianity.

But the differences end there.  It seems that  western Europe is truly largely in the post-Christian era.  There aren't many Christians left, and most of the citizens are not only irreligious, they are also disinterested.  Europe has a rich heritage of Christianity, but little residual impact.

It is sad to see.  In fact, the institutional church, especially in Italy, seems to be a MAJOR obstacle to the Gospel.  Sad indeed.

But what does that have to with us and US?  I fear we are headed down the same road as the European Christian Church.  We build impressive structures.  We have huge organizations.  We have economic clout.  But, we have declining influence.  A young friend of mine said his generation is more concerned with social justice than they are with Christianity.

How sad.

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