Monday, February 18, 2013

Insightful CoC Article

One of my facebook friends pointed me to this article here: Why are Churches of Christ shrinking?
which is very insightful on why they are in decline.
The gist of it is that the CoC is a cultural movement, born out of the early 1800s, and since Romanticism and Modernism have run out of steam so has the churches of Christ. Post Modernism has ushered in people who don't care anything about preserving the existing culture, and if they are to survive it must be by changing everything. You will notice that their rational is a secular one, that their focus in not on "have we been unfaithful to Scripture and brought this sin on ourselves" but "how can we entice the culture to be friends with us to grow again?"
Part two takes the consequences of this and offers the cure: stop focus on teaching and discussing ideas, junk the existing culture, and offer them an experience they want. In so doing you can recapture the next generation.

This perfectly matches what I have been saying about the movement for some time. They are standing at a crossroads, to the left is a more relevant, less teaching focused direction. To tread down this path means the death of the current culture and the current members of the country club will be booted and have no place there. It's not clear that this would work to attract them anyway. Lots of risk, lots of problems, saves the institution.
To the right is a more biblical model, should they walk it they will be faithful to the God of the Scripture, they believe in all the great doctrinal truths, and they dedicate themselves to serving Him. But only real Christians are going to want to take this road, and it's not clear if they have the numbers of true believers to make this happen. I'm sure a handful of churches will make this transition, I strongly doubt most will.
The other only option is to take neither path, and to reject the future completely. To stand at the fork until death - this is what I predict will happen. The older people will simply clutch their traditions to their chest and die holding on to them, and with them will go the bulk of the CoC.
May God do what pleases Him.

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