Thursday, November 7, 2013

Churchianity: Continuous Evangelism

In a previous post, I defined churchianity, which is the elevation of the church over God within Christianity.  I also discussed how church growth is a big part of that and about how the focus is more on growing revenue rather than simply being a house of worship and a community of believers.

In this post, I want to address a related issue, but one that is probably less obvious.  Modern Christian churches engage in continuous evangelism.  On its own, evangelism is not a bad thing.  It is perfectly in line with the principles of Christianity and an important part of the faith.

What I see as a problem is that the primary focus of a church is evangelism.  Or rather, it is often times the only focus.  This largely can attributed to the nature of the personality of the pastor or priest of the church.

In protestant churches, pastors and preachers tend to be more charismatic, less formal, and generally less versed in theology.  This is because many protestant churches have a much less formal process for ordination.  Even more so, many of them are taught to make new believers and little regard is given to many other aspects of Christianity which are just as important, if not more so.

Matters of justice are largely ignored.  For example, you will be hard pressed to find a pastor telling his congregation that the civilian bombings by United States drones is immoral.

In fact, you will not hear many political stances coming from the pulpit.  This is largely because most churches are registered as 501c3 organizations and as such prevented by the government to make political speech or risk losing their non-profit organization status.  Since when does the First Amendment matter?

In any case, while that is a reason, it is not the whole reason why the church, which should be the moral compass of our society, has failed to provide proper moral guidance.  Modern pastors have no interest in moral guidance and are instead focused on evangelism.  So the sermons are nothing more than watered-down theology.

The United States Independence War started in the churches.  There were many pastors who routinely decried the injustices that they suffered at the hands of the British Crown.  Many of these injustices, by the way, were child’s play compared to outright evil committed against the American people these days by our own government.

With a focus on evangelism, the church misses out on being the moral head of its community or congregation.  I firmly believe that this is why more men than women don’t go to church.  It is because men need moral guidance in order to manage the affairs of their household and modern churches have failed to provide any.

A focus on evangelism also ignores an uncomfortable fact about Americans: that roughly 82% of all Americans consider themselves to be Christian.  I know that 66% of all Americans are not real Christians, but you must understand that people who think they are Christian don’t like to be told they are not.  So by going out and evangelizing, you are merely acting as an annoyance rather than a loving Christian trying to save the souls.

Instead of focusing on encouraging congregates to go forth and convert, perhaps the focus should be more about teaching proper morality in the modern context.  Sermons should focus more on identifying the nature of evil and demonstrating how it occurs in our modern world.  There are some things that are obvious, but much of it is subtle and often times church leaders fail to recognize real evil in their midst.

But that is another post for another time.