Thursday, July 18, 2013

What’s really killing the church

From Christian Century-

I went to see a woman of senior years—in England she is still called “an elderly lady.” She’d left the church when she was a young woman and wanted to come back.

Ah, I thought, a familiar story. A young person grows up in the church, but when she becomes a young adult she decides to get outside and smell a different air. Now that she was over 90 she thought it was time to give the church a second chance. She took her time, I thought, but the church had been patiently waiting for her all this time, as parents do for prodigals.

So I asked, “What was it that led you away from the church for 75 years?” Nothing to lose, I thought. I may learn something. But I forgot the first rule of the inquirer: never ask a question to which you might get an answer you’re not ready to hear. I was in for a shock.

“It was when we wanted to get married. We were in love. The rector wouldn’t marry us.” Well, this sounds intriguing, I thought, and, always a soft touch for the romantic twist on a story, I blundered in where angels fear to tread. “So was there something w
rong?” I asked. “Had your husband been married previously, or were you too young, maybe?”

More here-

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