Part 23 – What Is Church?
We are living at a time in history where it seems that anything that is of long standing tradition is being called into question. Renewed calls go forth on every side, calling for change. Out with the old and in with the new is the resounding voice of this post-modern generation. Whether it’s marriage; the family home; politics or education; that which once served our forefathers well for centuries and in some cases, from the dawn of time, is being re-examined in light of the new-fangled philosophies being offered by the so-called experts. Sadly, as one looks to the Church, it too follows suit with this itching craving for that which is new. In a period where Church attendance in the West is in decline and atheism and secularism is on the rise, fighting for its “perceived” survival, the Church believes that unless it becomes relevant to this “youth” driven generation, then it will disappear from society and die of old age (literally). In an effort to try and retain the young people who are leaving the Church in their droves, the Church feels pressured to rediscover itself and if need be, reinvent itself to meet the needs of a changing population. Everything from “who” constitutes the Church to the “way” we ought to do Church is on the table for consideration. High-tech marketing research companies are being employed to find out what the local communities want from their local Church in the hope that Church attendance might be boosted and the needs of the community met. Fun days replete with BBQ and games; a nursery for the toddlers; a coffee shop; sports events and a whole host of other amusements ranging from Bingo to Yoga; all now are high on the priority list of what is deemed to make a “successful” Church. In a vastly changing tolerant society, it is felt that the Church’s decline is owing to the fact that the Church has lost touch with the people. However, upon closer inspection, we shall see that losing touch with people is not the root of the Church’s problem so much as it is that the Church has lost touch with God.
In this twenty-third teaching part, we shall explore from Holy Scripture “who” and “what” the Church is.
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