“The outcome in the 20th century could be described in various ways but I would just call it an open-mouthed grave: an entire generation of European youth composting the WWI battlefields of Verdun and the Somme, Hitler’s 6 million jews, Stalin’s 20 million Soviet citizens, Mao’s 10s of millions of political enemies and peasant famine victims, Pol Pot’s 2 million Cambodians, the Interhamwe’s 1 million Tutsi Rwandans, and the millions of lives wasted away during apartheid’s 40 year reign.”
“We can easily forget that the same spirit of darkness rules our present age.”
-Gary Haugen, Good News About Injustice
Haugen further states that in our part of the world today this darkness manifest itself as spiritual apathy or spiritual barrenness. We might not deal with the same level of evil & injustice as quoted above but, boy, do we ever deal with spiritual barrenness.
A United Methodist report was released that noted U.S. United Methodists are becoming fewer and fewer. One conference reported a net gain of 7 people. Seven in a church of almost 8 million. And this isn’t the first time. United Methodists have been declining for 42 years, ever since we officially became a church in 1968.
It is time to wake up. It is time to take a hard look at the statistics. It is time for some serious spiritual discontentment. It is time to seriously rethink how we do church, small groups, missions, Bible studies and everything. Not just to give it lip-service or to wear it on a t-shirt one day, but to actually CHANGE how we operate to reach a culture and a world that keeps moving away from us.
And, maybe, just maybe, by waking up, we might help solve or even prevent some of the horrible acts in the world today that rival or exceed what Haugen mentions above.
I’m done living in the dream world. How about you?
This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Ephesians 5:14-15