First I am not Catholic.
The churches I go to are crowded, many going to multiple services.
They tend to be very basic Bible driven, lively music and powerful messages.
The messages do not worry about offending people (sometimes the Word of God offens the sinner).
Much more like what you might imagine the early Christian churches were like.
The Church is not a building or a title it is the people who belong to the Body of Christ.
I think many older groups have lost that vision.
“Unintended Consequences” (no offense meant to anyone, just wanting all to look at things from outside the box, for a minute)
So... Jesus returns to Earth, and walks into the nearest church.
He looks around, and smack dab in the middle is a huge cross, with his effigy hanging from it, nails through the wrists and ankles, a crown of thorns on his head, obvious puncture wounds to the chest cavity, and dripping blood.
So, he sets fire to the place and leaves, gets on his horse, takes out his sword, and heads out to destroy as many of these ‘violence worshipping’ abominations as possible.
“Where should we draw the line?” How about where Mason and Dixon drew it! In many cases, places where people are leaving the churches empty are places where people are leaving period. This makes sense: the liberal ideology that destroys cities is the same liberal ideology that destroys dioceses.
“Come out from among ‘em” to the South, where people have jobs and kids and trucks, and the churches are packed. Ours was put under observation by the fire department when the alarm went off during Mass one day, and the captain saw how full the place was. Now we have fire lanes marked off with tape on the floors, as well no-exception-you’ll-be-towed lanes in the parking lot.
I disagree with Sheen, here. The “organized religions” losing members, at least among Protestants, are the loosy goosey liberals. I hope they go totally empty unless they get back to the Bible.
“Organized religions” that are Christian conservatives are growing by and large.
Thank you, my FRiend. You are most certainly one who spends a lot of time and effort spreading the Word. God bless you.
I just LOVE that quote from Archbishop Sheen.
The political chant of fallen Christians, New Agers and anti-Christian activists is that Christians are spiritual and not religious. It’s a slogan.
This is intended to separate Christians from congregational communities so they are isolated and weak, morally, politically and socially. Young people are falling for it and it provides the popular justification of superiority for the open-minded and evolved spiritual ones who have dropped out of church compared to their ‘religious’ inferiors who go to church.
If liberals can get Christians to stop passing on the religion to their children by denying them a structured method of teaching young Christians their religion within churches, they can make the US majority atheist and subject to amorlity for lack of knowledge and understanding. Christians won’t follow when there is no leader.
It has been said God created man in His own image, and we have been returning the favor ever since.
We have to remember to break out of the American mindset that bigger is better, that bigger proved we are doing something right.
We are commanded to preach the word, in season and out. If it is out of season our churches will diminish in size, in season churches will grow.
John 6:66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, Do you want to go away as well? 68 Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.Jesus preached hard topics, church shrinkage sermons if you will, why are we afraid to do the same?
I think it was in the Diocletian persecution that "all" that was asked of Christians was that they put a pinch of incense in a brazier before an image of the emperor. They didn't have to "mean" it, they just had to do it. And many refused and were martyred.
I read a review recently of "For Greater Glory," in which the reviewer was astonished and even horrified that Christian viewers approved of the young boy's preferring a painful death to a verbal renunciation of IHS.
And I know even Catholics who think the fuss about the HHS mandate is much ado about nothing. Why not? They're going to get the abortion, the salpingectomy, the vasectomy, the Norplant anyway. Why make a fuss? Go along; get along; continue the good work of hospital and university.
But I see in the apostate Sebelius and in BHO the seeds of a new persecution, a new winnowing, like that of Gideon's army.
The long term effect of that will be, I think, to fill the pews again. When freedom, livelihood, and even life is on the line, preaching will be renewed and the faithful will catch fire.