In my discussions with people concerning if we are in a post-church culture, it was amazing to me how many people admitted that we are in one or starting to become one. Most people lamented the fact of a lack of attendance at their churches, traditions that have been lost, schools that were closed, and churches that were almost closing.
We live at a time where the church is not the social norm. People do not assume church membership like they used too, and they don't just go to church because everyone else is (especially the Millenial generation of 20-29 year olds). Actually, the position of the church is usually downgraded even within the church (try telling people that living together before marriage is wrong and base it off the Bible).
So the question for today is, what does a post church culture look like now and in the future?
Here are a few ideas for now:
1) Kids sporting events on Sunday morning
2) The most popular churches function like a YMCA social club
3) Most restaurants and stores are open Sunday morning
4) Pastors do not get respect due to the office of the ministry, but due to how nice they are!
5) Any idea of religion and politics somehow being together is almost completely dismissed.
6) Church being ridiculed for its view on marriage and abortion
Here are a few ideas for the future that might happen:
1) Churches paying taxes for the land they are on?
2) Another day as the prominent day for worship instead of Sunday?
3) Pastors are expected to have other jobs and do simple pastoral acts (worker-priests)?
4) The church having to go underground due to gay marriage?
5) Hospital and military chaplains have to practice all religious beliefs in order for benefits.
Our world is going through some major changes and we are attempting to bring the light of the world in the midst of it. However, in the middle of this all, what is encouraging is that people want solid, strong theological stuff. They want a liturgical service, they want to learn the confessions, they want to dig deep into scripture, they love the candles, incense, and chanting. We will not know about tomorrow, but we know that when we stay strong in our confession and live together according to His Word, the gates of Hades will never overtake the church (even if we don't have tax benefits!).
Next time, I will reflect on how the church might look like in a post-church culture