Post Christendom or A Dying Church

By the Revitalization Team at Community Presbyterian Church in Southern California

 

From John Vest’s video, “What is Post-Christendom” we learned about Post-Christendom and now a message from a Millennial “To the Dying Church…”.

A Millennial is commonly defined as someone who has come into young adulthood around the year 2000.  Wikipedia states, “There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.”

Christendom is often referred to as a time when the Christian Church or the Christian world represented a geopolitical power.  Or we might look at it as where and when the Christian Church is the dominant power.  Times have changed!

Here are some thoughts from a Millennial – Brandon Robertson from his article on the Sojourners blog.

“…what we have been witnessing in the West is not, in fact, the death of the church at all. Instead, we are experiencing the death of Christendom.”

“For centuries, Christianity has dominated the Western world. … With this kind of position and privilege, we have seen great masses of people flocking to our communities — not necessarily because they sought to commit their lives to the way of Jesus, but rather because it was the culturally acceptable thing to do.”

“So the good news is that you are not dying. While the studies indicate that organized communities of faith are in decline, the amount of men and women who are seeking and finding a radical faith in Jesus is increasing. God is still at work in our world and is still bringing people into this rag-tag family called the church. My generation, the millennials, are also not walking away from their faith in Jesus, but are walking away from the modernized, politicized, sterilized, Europeanized version of Christian faith. Organic, grassroots communities of faith are forming all across our nation without buildings, without marketing, without ordained clergy, without 501(c)(3) exemptions, and without the privilege that most institutionalized churches have enjoyed for so many decades. These communities are simple: spiritual seekers, followers of Jesus, coming to express their true questions, thoughts, and experiences, seeking to be encouraged and empowered to live out the radical way of Jesus in their communities, cultures, and world. These communities aren’t recognized as a church, but as a way of life, a tribe of friends who are working and walking with one another to change the world and establish the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.”

“God is re-revealing to us the radical message of our Lord — a message of transformation through service, sacrifice, and selfless love for our neighbors, enemies, and selves. A message of humiliation and simplicity as the way of abundance and eternal life… a Christianity that is given worldly power is not Christianity at all. Christianity is the religion that proclaims a God who humbled himself and entered into creation, taking the form of a servant —who touched the untouchables and spoke sharp truth that exposed those in power. Christianity is a religion centered the subversive power of love and sacrifice, not power and wealth.”

Now that we are beginning to understand ourselves in a post-Christian era and away of a generation of millennials, the question before us is how to do choose to respond and engage?