Top news in American Christianity
The top news item in American Christianity over the past few years continues to be the ‘nones’ (non-affiliated) phenomenon. Is the exodus of churchgoers a blessed deliverance from bondage or a cursed wandering in the wilderness? How we see it depends on one’s perspective, experience and observations … and it’s going to warrant ongoing examination. But there’s no skirting the stubborn fact that tens of millions no longer and likely will never return to the institutional church as they knew it.
For my part, I note that both churchgoers and nones can get pretty defensive and contemptuous of the other. That’s an instinctive response when we feel judged, however unproductive. Perhaps a better starting point would be an examination and admission that both paths have their challenges, and most especially when judging another’s journey obscures one’s own blind spots. So let’s take Paul’s words to heart:
“Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4 ESV).
Indeed, I propose that passing judgment on others rather than being mindful of my own steps creates conditions as perilous to faith as the life of a chicken, whether caged or free range!