This is a great, must-read post, especially for those Catholics who think introducing the hippest praise music and parading around with a microphone during a homily and using lots of pop culture references are the way to get lost sheep to come to Church and stay there. Matt Walsh over at the Blaze is writing about the plight of all Christian denominations in the United States. (H/T Rod Dreher at the American Conservative.)
Yet many of our fearless leaders, pastors, and pundits think this is, rather than the disease, the remedy. It’s the same remedy they’ve tried for half a century. As the problem gets worse, they don’t change the medication, they just keep upping the dosage. They tell us that in order to bring the sheep into the fold — especially the millennial sheep — Christianity must be as un-Christian as possible. It must be stripped it of its truth, of its sacredness, of its sacrifice, of its morality, of its tradition, of its history, of its hardships, of its joy, and whatever is left will be enough to, if not engage and excite people, at least not scare them away.
And that’s been the strategy of the American church for decades: just try not to scare people. They put on this milquetoast, tedious, effeminate charade, feigning hipness and relevance, aping secular culture in a manner about as cool and current as your science teacher retelling a Dane Cook joke from nine years ago, and then furrow their brows and shake their heads in bewilderment when everyone gets bored and walks away.
Christianity is fading because more and more of our leaders want to steal people from the true faith and deliver them to this convenient version. But that isn’t what actual Christians want, and the Christians who do, only want it because it doesn’t much resemble Christianity at all. Those folks eventually figure out that the only thing more secular than Christian secularism is secular secularism, and there’s really no reason to choose the former over the latter. The transition from Convenientism to agnosticism continues unabated.
There are still plenty of Christians who desire the true faith, but they are mostly ignored or scolded by the very people who should be leading them. And the Convenientists, of course, find no happiness in their secular Christianity, nor do they find it in secular secularism. Even if they don’t know it, they yearn in the pit of their souls for the true message of Christ, but they rarely hear it. And when they do hear it, there are a million competing voices, many from inside the church, warning them that if they go down this road it might involve changing their behavior and their lifestyle, which is a total hassle, man.