The front page of the Times last Saturday had an article by Ruth Gledhill discussing a recent report by the C of E in which the writers complain of the secularism of the government to the detriment of the place of the Church in England. I have not read the report, nor am I likely to, but my first thought was, “At last they are beginning to stand up!” However, I believe that was a wrong response.
When any church declines and finds itself in trouble the reason is never some outsider’s agenda, worldview, opposition. The reason is always internal. The church has got lazy or willfully negligent of doctrine, has a heart that lust after other things, other idols and the glory of God has departed.
On the whole the church has no place because it has lost its way, lost its message, lost its first love. It is seen as increasingly irrelevant to to the world because it has nothing of substance to say.
When this happens the answer is not to start trumpeting how much of a ‘contribution’ it makes, as this report does, so that everyone, especially the government, should take notice. Rather the realisation of its irrelevancy should drive them (and every other Christian too) to their knees in repentance.
The irony of the situation is captured on Holy Cows. (HT: Martin Downes.)