In his book “The Crucified God” (link) published in 1974 Theologian Jurgen Moltmann made the following observations which are, at least in my mind, descriptions of our faith and culture today.
“Then they build a defensive wall around their own little group, and in apocalyptic terms call themselves the “little flock” or the faithful remnant and abandon the world outside to the godlessness and immorality which they themselves lament. They lament the assimilation of Christianity to secularized society which has declined since the “good old days” and bewail the loss of identity of those who in theology and in practice involve themselves in the conflicts of society and work with others to resolve them. But by this reaction, they themselves are running the risk of a loss of identity by passive assimilation. They accept the increasing isolation of the church as an insignificant sect on the margin of society and encourage each it by their sectarian withdrawal. The symptoms of the increase of this kind of sectarian mentality include the preservation of traditional without the attempt to found new tradition; biblicism without liberating preaching; increasing unwillingness to undergo new experience with the gospel and faith, and the language of zealotry and militant behavior in disputes within the church. People boast of their own growing meaningless, and failure of the world to understand, as which ‘the cross’ which they have to bear, and they regard their own obstinate lack of courage as bearing the cross. Because the situation has become so obscure and their own identity so uncertain, they seek to cut the Gordian Knot with the sword of a decision taken in isolation. This leads to the fragmentation of the church into the true ‘church of Jesus’ and the evil political church of Barabbas’s; or the true ‘church of Mary’ which alone hears the word of the Lord, and the ‘church of Martha’ preoccupied with useless social activity.” Pages 20-21 The Crucified God.
Today many in the Church, many Evangelicals are crying the victim and have believed that an anarchist president can bulldoze his way through our culture and weed out the unrighteous and Marxist elements and return us to a Godlier nation. Now I do recognize that when the church first formed the Apostles did many things that were rebellious and in the realm of anarchy against the society, religious establishment of that time and age. But I ask you with all we have today in way of what lies behind (we have the Gospel, we have the Indwelling Holy Spirt & Christ) and what is ahead (the second coming, we are 2,000 years closer) can we justify our lack of courage, our lack of faith, our lack of any meaningful relationship with our Lord? We Christians in America, with the most information/access to and about God and his Holy Word than we have ever had in the history of humanity cant seem to find time to study scripture or develop a relationship with our Lord. It’s easier to gossip, criticize, whine and complain on social media instead of knowing Christ and actually getting out into the world on his behalf.
God is at work, breaking down the church to build it up. You must reflect and if you find that you have been immersed in the shallow faith of our culture and politics, confess, repent and start anew. Instead of complaining about how everything is falling apart help it change for the better. Be an agent of change. And I am not talking about joining some cult like Qanon, or a political party or riot. Your calling to your Lord and the Church. Will you answer the call?
Tomorrow in part 2 we will look at: “The Post-Christian Apocalypse.”
This is an excellent book to serve as an introduction: Jürgen Moltmann in Plain English by Stephen Morrison (link)