Finally found time to read Saturday's Times yesterday, and now rather wish I hadn't. Ruth Gledhill reported on survey of 20,000 church-goers and church leavers, " an idictment of modern preaching and worship, illustrating how how excessive liberalism and lack of conviction are driving worshippers from the pews".
No surprises, maybe, but I was still saddened to read it all in black and white...
"Because people believe that God will continue to love them no matter what they do,
[kf...can't argue with that]
...... they no longer see any need to go to church to confess their sins or seek guidance on how to changer their lives"
Hang on, are we only supposed to go because we are fearful of the consequences if we don't?...have I been missing something? What about that hymn "My God, I love thee, not because I hope for heaven thereby".That's surely one of the old familiars whose disappearance the report condemns by implication (there is a fair amount of complaint about dumbing down in family/all age worship...). Isn't there something rather important about our need and desire to respond to Love with love,- which brings us to worship? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear....
There's a sad little graph showing the rapid decline of church attendance; that shouldn't worry us that much ( I don't care a jot where people encounter God as long as they do, and are changed by the experience) , perhaps, if only there was more understanding of why we might want to attend anyway. Oh, go and read it, please...I need some thoughtful responses to it.