January 7, 2015 – Genuine Spirituality

– by Rev. Jeff Gannon

The weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal is called, “WSJ Weekend.”  This past weekend the Journal featured a phenomenon in Europe I found rather disturbing. The photo accompanying the article featured a former Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands, one of hundreds of decommissioned churches, was turned into a skate park.

Some of the statistics named by Naphtali Bendavid, in his article…

  • Percentage of populations who say they are unaffiliated with any religion
    • Brazil – 8%
    • China – 52%
    • France – 28%
    • Germany – 25%
    • Netherlands – 42%
    • United States – 16.4%
  • The number of Muslims in Europe grew from 4% of the total European population to nearly 8% currently.
  • The Church of England closes about 20 churches a year.
  • In the past 10 years, the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, has closed over 500 churches.
  • Most alarming but not surprising…”America’s church going population is graying. Unless the current trends change, within 30 years, the situation in the United States will be at least as bad as what is currently evident in Europe.”

So, my sisters and brothers in Christ, what is the solution?

What is it we must do to prevent a repeat on the European religious phenomenon in America?

I am personally convicted by this growing trend in the world as a whole.

I am personally comforted by our theology which says God is at work in this world in spite of the statistics and observations.

So…over the next few weeks…I want to explore this more deeply. I, in particular, want to dive deeper into exploring ways of engaging our culture with genuine spirituality.

In preparation for next week’s blog…will you please watch this video by a professor at Harvard?

Thanks and God bless!

Jeff

 

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