Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Overcoming Christendom - Part 1

Almost all churches with all their doctrinal and denominational differences have one thing in common. They are a product of Constantine's Christendom. Yes, even you die-hard Baptists who think you're not Protestant and can trace your heritage back to John the Baptist are deluded...and you are also a product of Christendom. By definition, Christendom is:  
In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Christians, adherents ofChristianity. In a historical or geopolitical sense the term usually refers collectively to Christian majority countries or countries in which Christianity dominates[1] or nations in which Christianity is the established religion. Its original meaning, in yet a more restrictive sense, refers to the sum total of nations in which Catholic Christianity is the established religion of the state.
 Almost all churches in America operate as if Christendom still existed. They still think that the majority of people in our country have a Christian background and think with a somewhat Christian worldview. Many Christians still think that most people are still somewhat friendly to church as a respected institution and pastors as respectable people. They still think that the Christian moral ethic is generally accepted by the majority of the populace and expect it reflected in the laws of the land. When laws that are pro-Abortion and pro-Gay marriage are passed, they are shocked and outraged!

Christendom is almost completely dead in the West, except for certain small towns in the South, but where I live, it's completely gone. The way we operated in Christendom was much like the old Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams - "If you build it, they will come". Build a nice building, with good programs, nice music and people will come to your church. Not so anymore. They don't care about how nice your building is; they don't care about your Easter musical ,they don't care about your worship band, they don't care about your choir, they don't care about your children's program and they don't care about your "friend day" that you want to invite them to. You can get seeker sensitive and attract the last remaining people who are tired of their traditional churches, but those who are pagans without any connection to Christianity won't care about your six week series on how to have a better marriage either, because they know enough Christians and pastors whose marriages are just as screwed up as their own or worse. In fact, they probably don't even know what marriage is; they're probably living with someone, maybe even of the same sex.

The nice church with the programs, special events, mail-outs, promotions and gimmicks is totally irrelevant. This will probably be the last generation to tolerate such churches whether they be contemporary seeker sensitive or traditional fundamentalist. The whole order of things will have to change from Christendom mode back to pre-Christendom mode as the church operated before Constantine. The early church model of grass-roots, organic, missionary disciples with a decentralized  leadership structure is the only thing that will survive...

More thoughts on this to come....

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