President-elect Obama was elected on the platform of “Change”.
Taking a cue from his campaign, I want to shift the focus of change onto the Church.
Now, this is something we’ve all been discussing for numerous years, without so much as a solid definition for what kind of change is appropriate, and how much. If we were to be objective about the Church’s place in the world today, or at least her influence, we would notice that it seems to be dwindling.
True, there are many areas-such as battling social justice issues, systemic poverty, clean water, etc.-that the Church leads the way in, and I’m proud of that. But in terms of cultural relevance, it’s disheartening, to me at least, to see how far we have slipped on the list in terms of who the world looks to for guidance.
Could this be because we have not only lost our relevance, but the respect we once commanded?
I’m pretty sure that most of my generation interacts with the Church like they do with that uncle who comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We love him and care for him, but when he starts talking about his glory days, and how things used to be and should be, we just shrug him off as Crazy Uncle Karl and continue watching our football game.
When we neglect to move on, and adapt how we do things, we run the risk of not only diminishing our effect on an ever-changing culture/society, but becoming obsolete as well.
Now, I know that the Church will NEVER be completely obsolete. I believe we are the brightest beacon of hope in a world darkened by despair. That’s not brow-beating or bravado, it’s just solid truth.
But in spight of the salt we are to the Earth, we’ve made things a bit sour as well.
What I’m saying is nothing new. Many men and women have espoused similar ideas for a long time, albeit in a much more intelligent and cohesive manner than my own.
When we stop changing, we die. The medical definition of death is a body that doesn’t change. So, the very definition of impermanence is the definition of life…It’s[the Church] been feeding off fruit that’s decaying and rotten; nobody wants to touch it except for a few die-hards that have grown used to the rancid odor...I think the church has got to embrace impermanence, fluidity.–Leonard Sweet
Is change something we are really ready for? Does it matter if we’re ready for it or not? If we decide to change, which areas do we target first, and which ones do we target hardest?
All comments and thoughts are appreciated.