If we keep parroting that we are the true church some of the longer tenured members will continue to believe it. Not the case with the younger generations. Are they to be viewed as selfish and disrespectful? Perhaps a few could be so labeled.
Yet I think their exit is more accurately placed upon some of us who remain. The old standard of keeping the doctrine pure in the church house via those five steps simply weakens our drive; for in the early church there was no church house. Since World War II, at least, great emphasis has been stressed to the church that what we do "in church" has to be right...absolutely and unequivocally right.
So why is it so few pray? Why is it that so many of us who have been in the church 30 and 40 and 50...and yeah 60...years cannot and will not pray? How has this been allowed among us while claiming to possess all of the trademarks of the true church?
When I look at scriptures which reveal the pattern of the people back then, I appear to be utmost in one main category; shallowness. I am a shallow believer. My prayer life is on oxygen. What's worse is comparing my prayer walk now to my earlier years in ministry...I've progressed light years.
Churches of all kinds are dying off. In each case there is sober concern for the welfare and continued existence...yet in nearly all of those cases, weak and shallow breathing of prayer exists. There is little prayer.
I remain disappointed to get with a group of Christians to pray...men or women...and some refuse because they appear to be just too shy. Our God is the answer to the world's dilemma. While thousands are obviously moved to protest in the streets in nation upon nation...I am convinced the real victorious movement of hope will be found in prayer.
This post began because I was reviewing my own shallowness. And then it seemed to me that it might be a useful thing to share it with you. May we build a powerful protest for good over the earth by coming out of our shells and exposing ourselves to the prayer life Jesus exemplified. Change--proper and healthy--will arise.
Until we restore the valiant and all-member-inclusive participatory prayer life of the early church, we need to discontinue the parroting that we are it. We are far from it.