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athgarvan

THE CHURCH IN CRISIS IS A CHALLENGE

Institutional Christianity in Ireland is in crisis. Falling attendance at liturgies and a diminishing presence of the working class are becoming the preserve of the middle class and the elderly.

The committed church person, upset at all of this, may take the broader view and see in it the normal ebb and flow of religious practice as has been happening through the centuries. Others may look to the future with greater trepidation.

That should be no surprise. St. Paul said, "In the last days difficult times will come. For humans will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power." (2 Timothy 3:1-5). And St. Peter echoes that truth: "Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words." (2 Peter 2:1-3)

However, Albert Einstein says: "Let us not claim that things will change if we always do the same thing. Crisis is the best blessing that can happen to persons and countries, because crisis brings progress. Creativity is born of anguish, like the day of the dark night. It is in crisis that resourcefulness, discovery, great strategies are born… Without crisis there are no challenges, without challenges life is routine, a slow agony. Without crisis there is no merit. It is in crisis where the best in each person surfaces, because without crisis the wind has no bite".


"The Storm on the Sea of Galilee" (1633) by Rembrandt

Comments

This is a very powerful perspective on where we are and also a challenging solution to a lot of our dilemma. Thank you friend.
i think it was Mark Twain who said the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated

hopefully, crisis will lead to an examination of how to spread the good news in the 21st century

the first followers of Jesus were jews
the first cultural crisis was what to do about gentile followers
did they need to be circumcised according to the law?

are laws of the church blocking the message?
is it all about who belongs instead of being open to who wants to come to hear the glad tidings?

what are those glad tidings?
has the message of Jesus been lost in layers of philosophy and theology?

(2Timothy may not be Paul and is certainly a political diatribe against Rome)