When tragedy strikes, nothing is more ubiquitous than calling for a “moment of silence.” In times past, we understood our powerlessness in the face of tragedy and so turned to One who was not powerless to make sense of it. In other words, we prayed. Now, however, prayer is out of the question. Prayer implies we are not in control. Prayer implies we are not the highest authority. Prayer implies, well, that God exists and we can’t have that.
So, instead, we have come up with this vestigial act that looks like prayer but is not. Something we can all participate in that seems spiritual without really being so and, most importantly, that won’t offend anyone.
I don’t do moments of silence. Having a moment of silence in response to tragedy is like choosing a Matchbox car to get you to work. It may look like the real, functioning counterpart but in reality it is powerless to help you.
We should either admit God is there and we need him or admit that he’s not and that tragic events have no rhyme, reason or purpose. They are in fact not really tragic because nothing is good, bad or indifferent if there is no God – everything just is. And if that is so, why should we stop our lives for even a moment to be quiet simply because stuff happened?
You’ve seen the blog posts and articles – why group X is leaving the church, men, millennials, college students, teens, etc.
Can I just say something? I’m tired of that approach. There are two and only two reasons people “give up on the church” no matter their demographic:
They are immature Christians. (Hebrews 5:12)
They were not Christians to start with. (I John 2:19, 3:10)
Listen to what God’s Word says about the importance of the church to the Lord and, by extension, to His people:
Christ died for the church, not for a collection of autonomous individuals. (Ephesians 5:25, Acts 20:28)
The church is Christ’s bride (Revelation 21:2)
The church is Christ’s body (Colossians 1:24)
The church is God’s plan to sanctify His people (I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 5:26-27)
The church is God’s plan to evangelize the lost (Matthew 28:18-20)
The church glorifies God to all creation (Ephesians 3:10)
Someone who does not see the church as essential to the Christian life is not viewing life through the lens of scripture, not viewing life from the perspective of one transformed by the Holy Spirit. That’s not to deny that sometimes one must leave a particular local congregation. However, a mature Christian will always seek another local expression of the Body of Christ with which to affiliate, no matter how difficult or hurtful their experience at a specific local church. Being part of a church is what Christians do. To say I’m a Christian who has given up on the church is like saying I’m a husband who has given up living with my wife. “Husband” implies relationship with the wife. “Christian” implies relationship with the church.
So next time you see an article on “5 Reasons Why Duck Hunters in the Midwest Leave the Church,” you can save yourself some reading: they are leaving because they are either immature Christians or not Christians at all.