Thursday, April 16, 2009

Churches are in the Resurrection 'business'

Few things in life are absolutely certain these days. If you had told me last Easter that this year we would be celebrating the Resurrection in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, I wouldn't have believed you. It goes to show just how fickle the changes and chances of our vulnerable world can be.

But one thing I can rely on year after year is that certain news media will take aim at Christianity, just as we prepare to celebrate our most joyous day. Early last week the New York Post broke the story about a former colleague of mine from Staten Island who, over the course of the last three years, embezzled almost $85,000 of church funds to finance several Botox and plastic surgery treatments. The Post, known for its salacious headlines, dubbed him Friar Tuck. Ouch. Everything about the case was sad — not the least its timing.

But the piece that most caught my attention was the cover story in Newsweek. The article, once again, proclaimed the end of "Christian America" — a phrase that is now so overused so as to become cliché. Christian America's days are numbered, Newsweek proclaims, as the U.S. Northeast — the birthplace of American Christianity — quickly catches up to the Northwest as the "most unchurched part of the country." What rarely gets covered in the pages of Newsweek, though, is that the only group shrinking faster than churchgoers are readers of printed magazines like Newsweek and Time. The times, they are a changin'.

More here-

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