Sunday, June 20, 2004

Is the Church finished?

Francis Schaeffer writes, in The Christian Church at the End of the 20th Century,

One of the greatest injustices we do to our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity today is not conservative, but revolutionary. To be conservative today is to miss the whole point, for conservativism means standing in the flow of the status quo, and the status quo no longer belongs to us. Today we are an absolute minority. If we want to be fair, we must teach young people to be revolutionaries, revolutionaries against the status quo.

Do you wonder why kids leave home? Youngsters come to L'Abri from the richest families in the world, from the greatest luxury. They come in their bare feet. They come in blue jeans. Why? Because they are sick of their parents making gods of affluence and thinking that one adds enough meaning to life merely by adding one more automobile to an already overcrowded garage. These young people are not wrong in this. They may have the wrong solution, but they are right in their diagnosis. Their parents, in the majority of what in 1970 is called the Silent Majority, may sound like Christians, but they have no base. They may say what we have heard in the past and they may say what Christians might say, but it is not the same. They are merely repeating from memory what is comfortable for the moment.

Here we are then, the historic, Bible-believing Christian minority. What are the possibilities for the future? As the New Left and the anarchists come forward, more chaos will result. And as more chaos comes, the majority of the Silent Majority will increasingly tend to strike back. To do so, they will increasingly accept the Establishment elite.

What about the church in this situation? Certainly, at least in first, the Establishment elite will be less harsh on the church than the Left Wing elite if they should come into power. But that is a danger. The church will seem better at first, but not in the end. If the church is identified with the Establishment in the minds of young people, in the minds of those who will be coming forth to be the men and the women in the next 10 years and the next 20 years, I believe the church is finished.

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