Monday, February 01, 2010

Is God Killing the Uniting Church?


Read this.

It's called 'The lowest common denomination: a lament'.

It is a piece by Scott Stephens, a pastor and theological educator in the Uniting Church in Australia.

He builds a case, and he ends this way:
What if God is killing the Uniting Church? Here is what Stanley Hauerwas told the congregation of Broadway United Methodist Church in South Bend, Indiana, in 1993:

“The plain truth is that Broadway survives as part of a larger church that is dying. Mainstream Protestantism in America is dying. Actually I prefer to put the matter in more positive terms: God is killing Protestantism and perhaps Christianity in America and we deserve it.”

Is God is killing the Uniting Church?
I don't really know about the Uniting Church.

But I pray to the God whom I fear that he will spare us.

Pic on Flickr by oldsads.


Andrew + Jessica said...

After church-shopping our way through a number of mainstream churches in South Bend Indiana, our first-hand experience (in this place) would support Dr. Hauerwas' thesis that "Mainstream Protestantism in America is dying" - lots of beautiful old church buildings with stories of booming congregational life in the good ol' days - but today, these churches are visibly struggling.

For a good taste of what Dr. Hauerwas has to say about why "God is killing Protestantism and perhaps Christianity in America," check-out: Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony

A selection of quotes: 

"This church knows that its most credible form of witness (and the most 'effective' thing it can do in the world) is the actual creation of a living, breathing, visible community of faith." pg. 47

“The only way for the world to know that it is being redeemed is for the church to point to the Redeemer by being a redeemed people.” Pg. 94

“At every turn the church must ask itself: Does it really make any difference, in our life together, in what we do, that in Jesus Christ God is reconciling the world to himself?” Pg. 95

“Early on we asserted that the challenge facing today’s Christians is not the necessity to translate Christian convictions into a modern idiom, but rather to form a community, a colony of resident aliens which is so shaped by our convictions that no one even has to ask what we mean by confessing belief in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” pg. 170

shopping for a church that isn't dying in South Bend Indiana

Justin said...

AH -- May God bless you as you find a space and a community.