Weakness of old religion
Thank you, Leonard Pitts, for your spot-on article, “Small Wonder Church Is Shrinking,” published April 13.
“A modern disinclination to be pigeon-holed into any single theological tradition” speaks to hoards of Americans. Too many have been exposed to other traditions in the world, all of them far older than Christianity, that teach “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” share your goods with those less fortunate, have mercy and compassion on the afflicted, and so on. It’s not hard to figure out Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on righteousness!
Christians who take Jesus at his word, are appalled and disgusted with the intolerance they find in some churches. Those who have studied history know the Catholic Church conducted an Inquisition for 300 years where they interrogated suspected heretics with torture and death. There are heretics today. The Catholic Church merely excommunicates them. Some Anglican and other Protestant sects are more tolerant of those who have different points of view.
Pitts says, “The church is shrinking, but God is not.” People will always need God, will always seek God. Some today long for a church and a religion that address the needs of the modern person who has broadened himself through the ideas gleaned from other religions and who feels a spiritual void in a liturgy and dogma that limit his hungry mind.
This modern person does not turn away from Jesus, who was and is the model and pattern of a life more abundant, who turns darkness into light, sin into righteousness. But the old, organized religion has weakened itself too much for too long in the politics of power and can no longer contain the “new wine” that feeds those with a broader understanding of scripture, Christian and other, and who no longer feel fed by what they hear in so many churches.
Church will remain
“I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” Matthew 16:18.
I am writing in response to the Tuesday, April 13 column by Leonard Pitts, entitled, “Small wonder the church is shrinking.” He closes his column with the words, “The church is shrinking but they know God is not.”
“Indeed, the eternal God is thy refuge, and the underneath are the everlasting arms,” Deuteronomy, 33:27. The true and eternal church will not be destroyed though the gates of hell come against it.
CAROLLYN LEE PEERMAN