Archive for April 4, 2008

Why Don’t We Want to Go to Church?

April 4, 2008 3 comments

Lately, everywhere I turn I meet someone else who tells me that they would prefer to stay home than go to church. These are not embittered Christians or backslidden saints, but ordinary, faithful believers who have been actively involved in church for much of their life. At our last retreat, a lady brought up this topic and asking for responses. I barged in with answer that was typically too long and muddled to make much sense. For over thirty minutes (or more) I rambled on and on about the 500 hundred years. By the time I finished talking, I don’t think anyone had any idea what I was saying, and I neither did I.

Yesterday I answer the same question but someone captured what I was trying to communicate in about five minutes. I thought I might post it to display my ignorance to the world. Per Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, I believe the future must be articulated. (This ties in with another post I need to write about the tendency of the Word.) While many voices led up to a and away from the Reformation, God chose to use Martin Luther as the articulate voice that changed the world. Others came along like and interpreted various nuances of this new world, but Luther was the person chosen to call forth a new world.

But this new world came under God’s judgment. While we see the beginnings of judgment in nineteenth century, the clearest image of judgment is World War 1. This war marked the end of the Western Christian world, and we are still reeling from that war. The Western church has been under judgment since that war. Yes we’ve seen some hints of revival, but the forms are dead.

In the Scripture whenever judgment comes upon the people,  restoration begins with a return to the law (and the ten commandments in particular). We will not find the articulate voice for the future in the latest study on church growth/church problems. We must follow Luther’s lead and go “back to the sources.” While the culture around him cried out, “Back to the source” and returned to Greek thought. Luther returned to a different source: the Word of God.

When asked about prayer, he suggested the Lord’s Prayer, the 10 Commandments and the Apostles’ Creed provided the basis for a “Simple Way to Pray.” Like the wilderness children Moses addressed in Deuteronomy, we have grown up in the wilderness. We were born in a Western church under judgment. But He is stirring and calling us forward. I am compelled to go “back to the sources.” So I am listening, meditating, repenting and wrestling through the call of God revealed in these 10 Commandments.

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