Saturday, May 01, 2010


As long as those who hold the keys to power, continue to marginalize those who hold less power, the Church (uppercase) will continue to grow more relevant to those in power, and less relevant to those without.

While this may have been OK even just a few decades ago, when people felt they had no other choices outside of the local church (lowercase), this attitude is not a sustainable model for church health.  Society continues to give people more and more permission to express themselves, but the church still exists in a state of denial.

Why would one continue to be a part of an organization that continues to say "NO." to people's needs, wants, hopes, fears, dreams, and desires.  We no longer need the Church (local or denominational) to validate our salvation, nor do we need it for entertainment, education, or community.  We can now attain all of these things through other venues.

150 years ago, the local church may have been the center of the community, and if one didn't participate, there were significant gaps in their life.  Today, those gaps can be filled with any number of tools.  Typically, the Church denounces the tools - because it feels threatened.  Instead of espousing the evils of these communication vehicles, maybe the Church should show the way and become a more attractive venue in it's own right.

It's a given, young adults in general, and women in particular, are not given the opportunities and respect they deserve.  Why would they continue to participate in an organization that doesn't respect and honor them?  If the Church doesn't need them, they are increasingly deciding that they don't need the church.

As one writer put it recently, why continue to participate in an organization that doesn't share your values?

"too many folks who grow up within a denomination only to discover that they don't 'fit', then attempt to reform their denomination so that it fits them. Their denomination of birth is their culture milieu, though dysfunctionally so, and they don't want to lose the network of friends and their own personal history within the schools and churches within that denomination. Yet, they don't buy into the teachings of their faith.  Again, to attempt changing ones denomination to fit oneself simply to retain ones' cultural heritage, is dishonest. It is not fair to those who love their church as it is" ~Bill Colburn
It's tough to make these decisions, and for most Adventists there are no "good" options other than the local Adventist church.  But make no mistake, there are options.

I'd love to hear from you about this?

Posted by Gary Walter