Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Unwitting Accomplices To The Demise Of The Church - Part 2

Dr. Carle Zimmerman, a distinguished sociologist who taught at Harvard for years, wrote the book Family And Civilization, demonstrating the connections between the rise and fall of various social and family structures and the rise and fall of the Romans, the Greeks, Medieval and Modern Europe, and the United States. He identified eleven symptoms of final decay. Here are a few of them; increased disrespect for parenthood and parents; defamation of past national heroes; widespread attitudes of feminism, narcissism, and hedonism; propogation of antifamily sentiment; rebellious children.

For at least the past 30 years, the church in America has been criticized by a constant, gnawing form that some have called reformation. Yet, there has been nothing as noble and majestic as Luther's 95 Theses nailed to the door. The Charismatic renewal divided and weakened. The Revival decade wrecked as many lives and churches as it healed. The Conservative Resurgence, while doctrinally imperative, brought no new Spiritual Awakening. Somewhere in the battle for the Bible, we seemed to have lost the high ground. Emerging, emergent, reformed, and neoreformed seem just as likely to criticize the local church as to serve it, to look down upon as to lift up.

I do not speak from the position of observation, but from the position of participation. I have spent time examining each movement, talking with its leaders, and listening. And, I have heard one constant through the last 30 years. Criticism of the local church.