Is Christianity Dead?

Well folks, another Christmas is in the books!

Christmas 2K16 is officially behind us. The eggnog has been consumed. Gifts gifted. Food coma endured. And for those brave souls who took on a real tree this year, its pine needles are officially all over the floor and will be mysteriously appearing in random crevices for the next 4 months.

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Ever since I was of “appropriate age,” my family has always gone to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It is one of my favorite memories and traditions. The caroling at 11pm. The candles. The trumpets. For the past, say, 15+ years, we have been going, and every year, we’d always get there right at 11:00, throwing elbows, and staking out our pew, as it is always standing room only. And don’t even bother coming at 11:15…because there will be no parking and you’re guaranteed to be standing – two deep – in the back.

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But over the past couple years, I’ve noticed that each Christmas, we don’t have to arrive quite as early. And the full-court-press/box-out/battle-to-the-death to get and save a pew has ever so gradually deescalated.

Until this year.

When the church was half empty.

Half empty.

For Midnight Mass. Christmas Eve.

There wasn’t a snow storm. The zombie apocalypse hasn’t happened….unless of course, I am terribly mistaken about that one..


But where the heck was everyone?

And I couldn’t help but ask myself, as I looked around and saw several dozen teenage boys counting the ceiling tiles, looking as though they wanted to die…is our faith on life support?

Are we experiencing the decline of faith and church as we know it?

Is Christianity dead?

And that friends, is not the type of thought pattern you want to be mulling over while in church, literally celebrating the birth of Christ.

As with everything in life, looking in the mirror is a hard thing to do. Facing the truth, acknowledging and accepting it…is an exercise in extreme humility, to say the least.

But let’s call it how it is…we are experiencing a decline in Christianity. Look it up. Pew studies. People identifying as Christian. Church attendance. Prayer. Christians actively living their faith are going down. Especially in Gen X’ers and Millennials.

And that. Is scary.

Leafing through the church bulletin after mass, I was almost in a fog. Nevermind the fact that it was nearing 2am and I had just come off a 7am flight from NYC the day before…but my mind was just swirling after witnessing the stagnant, lifeless state of my once vibrant and spiritually ablaze childhood parish. So I was numbly flipping through the pages.

And there was something that caught my eye.

There was, of course, a big “welcome” section in the front. Offering Christmas greetings to parishioners, out-of-towners, guests, non-Christians joining us, etc. All nice. Great.

And then there was the line, “We are your church family and are here for you!”

And I hate to admit this, but I’ve got to be honest….that really rubbed me the wrong way. It felt painfully disingenuous.

There’s a stereotype about “church people.” And I for one, hate even giving the time of day to negative stereotypes about people. Because they’re always hurtful and typically untrue.

But desperate times…

There is a decline in our faith, and it’s time to not mince words and take a cold, hard look in the mirror. Because like it or not, we are the face of the church.

But the stereotype is that “church people” are incredibly “judgey” people. That they prance around all hoity-toity and look down on “non-church people” and scoff at their “heathen ways.”


And we, as the face of the church, what are we going to do about that?

How are we going to fix that?

Because I can attest to the fact that that stereotype is, for the most part, false. 

But the commonly accepted (albeit misconceived) notion is that church is a boring, out-of-touch institution that is full of either judgy snobs, dowdy/orthopedic-shoe-wearing shut-ins, or “Jesus-freaks.”

And people don’t want anything to do with that.

So they just don’t come.

And I want to pause here for a second. I know this is only one factor. There are a lot of other issues – people having different priorities, having other interests, adopting “spirituality” while leaving behind “religion.” Not to mention the church’s often unpopular stances on hot button social issues, such as abortion and the sanctity of marriage, etc. This stereotype is only one contributing factor.

But you and I…we have a personal responsibility.

We have a job to do: and that is to change that stereotype. Turn people’s minds around. Change their hearts to be open to Christ and open to faith.

Is Christianity dead?

Only if we let it.

You can’t give away what you don’t personally have.

And if I want to share Christ’s love and have it be attractive and inviting to another person, I need to have it in my heart myself. I need to have His love be overflowing in my own life, so as to attract another person to Him. And attract them back to church.


The pathetic church attendance on Christmas Eve…I partially blame myself. Because I ask myself…how am I personally fighting to set the record straight on how a “church person” looks and acts.

Because I’m going to be honest…(and I hate to admit it)…but I don’t really wear my faith outspokenly on my sleeve, for fear of being labeled a “church person.” 


And I am filled with such shame typing that out, but it’s true. I don’t want to be labeled as “weird” or “out of touch” … so I keep my faith private. Let that be a personal part of my life that is between me and God.

But I realize now, that I am part of the problem.

My faith can’t be hidden. I can’t just be a silent by-stander as my church is red lining, in desperate need of rebranding and resuscitation.


Christianity is not dead. It is alive in our hearts. In our homes. In our prayers. But that is not enough.

I’m going to go out on a limb. For God. Invite someone to church with me.

Because at the end of the day, if Jesus can stretch out His arms and die on a limb for me, I can go out on one, for Him.

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615 thoughts on “Is Christianity Dead?

  1. Well said!
    Our church was almost full on Christmas day, and those that were there were full of joy and hope. We are fortunate to be involved with a church that reaches out in the community. Works with schools and law enforcement and after 70+ years in the area is still going strong.
    The Spirit draws people, but each of us has a light that can draw as well. If we hide it or it is barely flickering, folks will walk right on by. You are a light! Keep shining!

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      • I have nothing but respect for your faith and your desire to share the love of God with a messed up world. I have believed what you believe. And I still call myself a Christian of-a-sort, though not having anything like the singular certainty I once had … and sometimes leaning toward agnostic. There is much that is beautiful and uplifting about the teachings of Christ. And the same is true for many other religious faiths, there is considerable overlap. The big question becomes (for me anyway) this: is your faith (or mine, or Cindy’s or Kabir’s) THE TRUTH or does it, rather, POINT to spiritual truth? You see, as soon as Christians say, “What I’ve got here is the one truth for all humanity and there is no other,” we have just condemned the vast majority of people on Earth to eternity in hell. That’s a tough one to swallow. Is that really “God’s wonderful plan?” Is that really how “perfect love” operates? I mean no disrespect. These are hard questions. Ones I began asking myself long ago. Loving people. Serving people. Lifting up hurting people. THIS is the work of healthy faith, the work of God. When Jesus says (of the people who are busy murdering him), “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” THIS is the God of all mercy and all compassion. If he can forgive his killers, who is beyond his forgiveness? I know the Bible verses well enough. But what does your heart tell you? When all those millions of Jews were annihilated in Hitler’s holocaust, did they really wake up in hell after their hearts stopped beating because they “didn’t accept Jesus as their Savior?” Man, that does not seem like love or justice. This is the central problem with Christianity: perfect love and eternal punishment don’t seem like they can issue forth from the same source. “Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” (James 3: 11). Blessings to you, my friend. And a Happy New Year!

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      • Hi Jim, thank you so much for this reflection and sharing this perspective. You’re right – those are really freaking difficult questions to answer. And there are so many different ways our hearts are pulled when answering that question. Especially when you do think about all those things you mentioned. What I keep coming back to though, is when Jesus says in the Bible, ” I am the way, the Truth, and the life. No one comes to the Gather except through me.” And to me, that seems pretty cut and dry. But I don’t know, I am a mere mortal. And I will never truly know until I meet my maker. I really appreciate you stopping by and for offering this powerful food for thought. Big hugs xox

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly I have wondered the same thing. God is not dead; He is there waiting for us to come to Him. He never leaves us, we may leave Him, and I am guilty of that at different times in my life, but when I wise up and turn to Him, He is waiting with outstretched arms. His love never ceases to amaze me.

      My pastor did a wonderful series of sermons about growing up as a Christian and learning to go out and make disciples. It was great. He wrote a book on it that is really good. I won’t list it here because I don’t want to be an advertiser, but I will do it for the sake of spreading God’s word. Here is the link to the book on amazon if anyone would like to see it..

      https://www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Disciple-Makes-Disciples/dp/1462729983/ref=s9_simh_gw_g14_i1_r?_encoding=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=&pf_rd_r=SEM6X9838VB9ZNXXW99H&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=a6aaf593-1ba4-4f4e-bdcc-0febe090b8ed&pf_rd_i=desktop

      (Sorry, i can’t get it to copy as a link. still trying to convert from pc to mac user lol)

      It is up to us to make new disciples and spread the Word. Don’t hide your faith, let it shine! I will stand with you = )

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  2. Religion is a lie, sold to us to keep us a controlled people and take our money. I used to believe, but when you do the research, its there in plain black and white. Christianity/Catholicism was a direct rip off of paganism, Egyptians and Isis, Greek and Dionysus. All stated the same things…12 apostles, horoscopes, 3wise men/women, commandments, a resurrection, a virgin birth, a Judas figure except Christianity bastardised it. It was SUN worship not SON worship. At a certain time in the sky (solstace/equinox), the sun appears at its lowest on the horizon. It appears to stop for 3 days. THIS phenomenon was revered as the resurrection of the sun. Watch Zeitgeist video on religion. It explains how modern day religion is a farce and all in the name of money. Makes me sick. I summarise it here at http://www.storiesupnorth.wordpress.com/original

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  3. Loved what you shared! I’m sure that I am echoing what others have already said in response to your blog, but I try to remind myself that I am not here to please the world. We were made for God and are to love Him with all our hearts, minds, and souls. We are also to make disciples, which can be hard in this climate. I have to remind myself that in the process I may be labeled as judgmental or weird, or even be persecuted (Matt. 10:22; 2 Tim. 3:12), but I will be doing my Father’s will. Great post 🙂

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  4. “Because at the end of the day, if Jesus can stretch out His arms and die on a limb for me, I can go out on one, for Him.” – So good! Jesus didn’t buy us to hide us. We ARE the church. We are lights of the world. We were made to reflect Him. There is no shame in the gospel. There is no shame in loving Jesus – He is our hope; our life. Our identity and purpose is in direct proportion to our relationship with God. Religion turns people off, but truth – a real relationship being lived out for all the world to see can change lives. You are a hope-giver; a world-changer. Keep pressing in and seeking God and watch how He will use you for His glory. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Girl! I know all too well the troubles of Christianity and the sesaw of it all. I can remember when going to church was fun and a bit forceful since my dad was a preacher. Im not saying I’m not religious but more spiritual. The reason why I don’t like going is because my question about the human life and how it can get better isn’t answered. Still looking for my home church though. Great post and I think this was the best in 2016! Here’s my question, as Christians, how can we make it better?

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  6. Hello,

    Yes, it is very noticeable that we are in a time of change in the church. I was just thinking about this today. My dad meant well, but really was super-churchy at times. It was a turn off and I didn’t want to be churchy. I didn’t want to deny Christ either. I think what helps is that we, like you said, draw closer to the Lord and live it. He uses the gifts we have, some more quieter than others, but He uses even a cup of cold water in Jesus name.

    I pray the Lord will open doors for you and give you the boldness to share who He is. (We have the toughest places to be the East and West coast)

    Happy New Year,

    Gary

    On Mon, Dec 26, 2016 at 4:01 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “Well folks, another Christmas is in the books! > Christmas 2K16 is officially behind us. The eggnog has been consumed. Gifts > gifted. Food coma endured. And for those brave souls who took on a real > tree this year, its pine needles are officially all over th” >

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The mere fact that there are small numbers, and that some may be falling away does not in any sense constitute the death of Christianity. As long as one Christian is left, than there is the potential for that one Christian to be enough of a light to generate more Christians and bring Souls to Christ, thereby restarting the Church. Christianity is not dead nor dying. It cannot be proven to be such until the last Christian falls and the Church totally collapses, an event that I am not convinced any of us will ever see as I believe Jesus is on the way soon.

    Personally, I feel that apostasy is much worse than a failure in Church attendance. It would be horrifying if the majority of Christians suddenly started preaching that anything goes and we may do as we please, that the Bible is just a fable and there is no need to heed what it says, it is okay to worship something whack like the stars, or that we should all start practicing witchcraft or communicating with the dead [Deuteronomy 18:10-12].

    As for the reasons of the supposed death of Christianity, the perception of Church as a judgmental place has not been held by all ‘millennials’. I am 24 years old, and I never had this idea. Nor did I perceive Church to be a boring place. I came with a determination that would not be denied. I reached out for Jesus Christ with an insatiable craving for him that would not take ‘no’ for answer. I was going to start coming to Church and I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way. An attitude such as this will not be stopped by a few judgmental people looking down there noses at others, or even by the presence of hypocrites. In the end, I feel like some one used these as more excuses to stop going to Church or to keep from becoming a part of it.

    You should not blame yourself for whatever took place on that day. The lack of attendance at the mass is merely the choice of those who were not there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to go to a church that was very welcoming to non believers. And they got concerned that if someone left, they had pushed them away. But I notice people just seem predisposed to think Christians are wackos, whether we actually are or not. I think we should just own it. We are different from other people, and that should show. Not that we should be freaky, but it’s normal for the world to think we’re kind of crazy.

    I want people to be drawn to my faith, but I want them to be drawn to the real thing, not a misconception of it. The truth is, the Real Thing will always seem wacky to some. But that’s because it’s real.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for this thoughtful response. You’re right- we shouldn’t try to morph or change our faith to please others or fit in. I do think we should try and be as welcoming as possible though 🙂 share Christ’s light and love in every area of life 🙂 happy new year friend. So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

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  9. Pingback: Why We Stopped Going To Church – Subjective Belief

  10. Yup. I, too, don’t want to be labeled as one of those “church people” as you said. I also don’t talk about Jesus much publicly in order to avoid another stereotype – that of a poor cripple needing the crutch of faith. Too often, people think that church is only for the elderly, the disabled, the simpleminded – or only for the judgmental types who want to use the fear of God to control others and tell them what to do.

    If the world only knew!!! But… How can they know unless they are told… And how can they be told unless someone tells them…

    Sadly, the mainstream culture of the world is pushing a self-centered, materialistic point of view. Even volunteering for charities is mandatory high school credit. There is too little love in this world. And, though I am always striving to love others more and to show God’s love to others, after reading this post I can clearly see that I need to name that love for others. I need to be very clear about where my love originates – the Source and Summit of All: Christ. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Christina, thanks for this. You’re right — we need more love for sure!! People don’t even know their neighbors anymore…and I am guilty of that, living in an apartment building in nyc! I definitely need to work on that. Amen — He IS our life source! big hugs xox

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  11. I loved your post. Very well said! I was pleasantly surprised to see our church full Christmas morning. I hate to admit, I think that was the first time I actually attended church on Christmas day. I had been to Christmas Eve services on occasion, but on Christmas morning it can be too easy to blame the busy-ness of the day and stay home. I am so glad we went. It refreshed my heart and soul in a way that staying home would not have done. Plus, I got to see our friends’ adult children who were home for Christmas. 🙂

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  12. I 100% agree. I often worry its gone. Then I talk to my friends or see the amazing acts of love others do not only during the holidays but year round and think “It’s still here. Where there is generosity, kindness, and love. I will find it.”

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  13. Awesome post Sister. Great question:Is Christianity dead? We must keep in mind that we are commissioned to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19), which means that it is the Christ that lives in us that attracts the “fish” to God. Fisherman don’t fish from the safety and comfort of a building, they go out amongst the fish and use bait that is appealing to the various fish that they are hoping to catch. I say that the fragrant aroma of Christ Jesus, that lives in us who truly Believe is our bait, but not everyone is attracted to the scent of Salvation and righteousness. We serve a mighty and very alive God, who said that we are the “Church” (1 Corinthians 3:9, 3:16, 6:19), and that He would live in us. So, I think that measuring the life of Christianity according to attendance in a dead building can be misleading and disheartening. Any good fisherman knows that the fish don’t just jump into the boat, right? Think about it; Jesus preached His message and drew the “Church” people out from the building and urged them to follow Him. God has given us the same mission; to urge men to turn to the living and loving God that raised our Lord and Savior from death to life. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 says- God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
    What an awesome and incredibly humbling thought, that the God who created the Universe and everything in it, had commissioned us with Christ to represent Him here on Earth, and not only that, He has given us the script- His Son and His Word- so we don’t have to worry about what to say or how to say it. So No, Christianity is not dead, but to quote our Lord Jesus Christ ” the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few, So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields” Luke 10:2).

    God really loves your heart and He has grand plans for you so keep on seeking and be ready for your call.

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  14. I grew up non-Churchgoing Protestant, converted to RC in 2001, so have sat on both sides of the fence. You pretty well nailed it in this one! Many Catholics are far more open-minded than they might first appear. You have to actually *talk* with them to see what they really believe.

    Attendance is still pretty strong here in Toronto. I think it’s our multiculturalism. The Church is international, which is one of its strongest points, imo. So many newcomers find a home in their new country… home in the Church. Probably the same in NYC, I would imagine. 🙂

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  15. Thank you for this. I really loved it. You have some of the very same conflicts that I experience and often stalled between living ‘real life’ and my ‘letting my light shine’ so to speak. I do believe that we are in a new era. People have less tolerance for hypocritical behavior and pretense which I believe defines ‘church people’ and are desperately seeking real love and abundant living …like Christ came for. God bless you and enjoyed the post.

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  16. Thank you, for a wonderful and thoughtful piece, I am guilty of hypocrisy, I dwell in Christ and He in me, however when it comes to proclaiming that to the world I am a dismal failure. I am reluctant to share my faith unless someone asks. I take responsibility for improving others perception of a Christian. I believe it starts in our own heart and those closest to us. I will be praying to improve.

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  17. I think it takes a lot of guts to say what you said here, but I will also say that I am one of those Gen X’ers you referred to who doesn’t embrace any religion because I just have a really hard time with conflicting religious truth-claims – especially when it comes to celebrations like the birth and death of Christ (among other things).

    Most religious people I know / communicate with seem to acknowledge that they know Jesus was not born in the middle of winter (based on context clues from reading the bible), so it begs the question: why December 25th?

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    • Thank you so much Thomas, for this reflection. I personally don’t know why December 25, but I do know the importance of what we’re celebrating. 🙂 I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Big hugs xox

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  18. It is not easy to keep believing in this violent world full of so many bright ideas too that may confuse us. BUT as long as we imitate Christ by helping others, being kind, loving our families and spreading the good news of eternal life with God, we may do some good. I am hoping for more growth because people are missing out on the joy of a relationship with God. It all hangs on more time for prayer, That builds more faith and guts to witness about our love for others in this world. I can’t do it without Jesus and the Holy Spirit in me,and lots of judgemental people don’t do much at all about giving our Trinitarian God time.You can only be “in Christ” if you spend time “with Him.” If they did this, they would not be judgemental at all.
    Bless you ( Romans15:13)

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  19. I am encouraged to hear of your struggles in your daily walk with God. As you know, without that tension of faith and reason, and doubt, there is no true personal growth in Christ. As you eloquently stated, the Church is us – we are the reflection of God’s love for our world. To move from a quiet, personal faith in God to being open, active, and genuine as a follower of Christ is what our respective societies desperately yearn for. Gen X and the Millennials crave for the genuine, and search eagerly for new answers to age old problems. Nothing new under the sun, just a different way of doing Church. Run with it!

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  20. Pingback: A letter to a young Catholic friend… – EclecticChoices

  21. This is a really good piece. There is much to discuss here. I will simply pass on an interesting anecdote from a friend of mine who is a Catholic speaker and writer. He was talking to a men’s group relating a conversation he had with a non-believer. The non-believer said, “Your God is too boring.” My friend, Jon Leonetti, responded in a completely unexpected way: “That’s my fault.” He went on to talk about how he hadn’t done enough to express his joy to others on the timeless beauty and eternal Truth of his Catholic faith. To make up for it, he wrote a book with the title, “Your Good is too boring” which you can buy on Amazon. It’s a good read. I don’t think we need to club people over the head with our faith, but to simply live it, and be open to sharing it when the Spirit tells us to. Thanks again for this wonderful essay.

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  22. Great post! I think we as Christians are starting to redefine “Church” using social media instead of expensive buildings. The Biblical definition of Church is the congregation not a building. So keep spreading the gospel of Christ sister! Because We are The Church! God bless you!

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  23. Thank you for sharing your insight and being willing to be vulnerable by sharing your own struggles in this area of faith. It will be helpful for many who also share in “our” struggle with being more bold in our faith.
    I was recently given a book by George Barna, “America At The Crossroads”, (to be released in Sept. this year) After reading your post I believe you would find value in reading it as it talks about exactly what you are saying.
    I believe God is calling Christians to wake up, show up, and speak up. He is calling us to be the church He intended for us to be. It thrills my heart to read posts like yours and gives me hope. It is not to late! God can still revive the church.
    Christianity is not dead!
    Nothing is impossible with God!

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  24. “… so I keep my faith private. Let that be a personal part of my life that is between me and God.”

    And in public, by living a life that God would be proud of you for living!

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  25. If the church is a building, Christianity is in trouble. Some church buildings are too small, needing to have 2 services on Saturday evening, and 3 Sunday morning. But, most are wanting for half the pews to be filled for the 10:30 service. One of our local pastors put up on the sign, “We are open between Christmas and Easter”. However, I believe that Paul and Peter wrote letters to the people, the congregations, of the church, not the building. I happen to love the traditions of the gothic church buildings, with Evensong services, pipe organs, etc. But, I find plenty of Christianity on the internet, when I do not happen to be in England, France, or Italy to enjoy those vast buildings. My brother, who happens to be a pastor, mentioned that at a meeting, he shook up the staff by suggesting that they should not assume that what they are doing now will be relevant in 5 years. A building become stagnant, needing upkeep and repair. The people grow.
    Oscar

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  26. Beautifully written! Yes, you are right, it is important for us to declare our faith to others for Christianity to continue to be heard. The best way that I can, personally, do this is to tell of my experiences where God has acted in my life. I relate stories of answers to prayers, protection that has been sent to me in times of need, the magnificent creations of God, and what Christ stood for while He was here.

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  27. Thanks for liking my Puritan Quotes for Today, one of which stated “True godliness is that which breeds a quarrel between God’s children and the wicked. – John Dod” The problem is as you noted many take that to mean they should ” prance around all hoity-toity and look down on “non-church people” and scoff at their “heathen ways.””.

    Of course nothing should be further from the truth. I am a reformed Baptist often accused of such practices and worse just because of folks ignorance. To the contrary I (we) believe strongly in the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) and that it must be coupled with Paul’s teachings of Love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

    Those who do not follow this pattern are as John says 1 John 4:8, He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love..

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    • God is love! Amen to that. Thanks so much for this thoughtful reflection. You’re right, it’s a fine line to stand for god’s principles without being standoffish. It is our great challenge. But one that I know we can succeed at! 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

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  28. Hello. All the best for 2017! I can’t believe I have not visited your blog since this post. I have rectified it now and I will get the email notification when you have a new post. I removed that functionality when I was getting too many emails. Anyways…

    On this post – obviously, our faith has not died. Christianity is alive. I don’t go to church though. I used to. The whole family used to hear mass in our Catholic church, including my hubby who belongs to the NG Kerk (in English, New Dutch Reformed Church; I won’t even try to write the whole word but it will be on my next travel post as I saw the most beautiful NG Kerk on our way to our holiday destination).. Oh boy, I keep digressing.

    Why have we stopped going to church? I’m not sure. People have various reasons. It doesn’t mean we stopped believing. My daughter’s godmother isn’t happy about the church asking us to commit to a month donation, for example so she is put off. For me, other churchgoers discourage me.

    We were away in the Western Cape but being with my religious parents, we had to go to church for Christmas Day. We went to Christmas Eve in Johannesburg the previous year (and the church was packed). George is a small town and the Catholic church must have been small because they moved the mass to the hall. It was still packed. The priest actually said it was a record. Of course, there were visitors like us. Beside me is one of the more conservatives and she was whispering to her husband about some women who came to church with a backless outfit. I hope she wasn’t talking about me as I had a halterneck and only 1/3 top of my back wasn’t covered and my long hair was down so it covered my back anyway. I did try to hide my little cross tattoo. Lol! That was off-putting. I understand that the 2 women (a couple of rows in front of us) could have dressed more appropriately but I still didn’t think that this older woman beside me had the right to judge. I sat there remembering Jesus saying he came here for the sinners and tax collectors… I can’t quote, sorry. Point is, Jesus came to save us. Who needs to be saved? Sinners. I rest my case.

    BUT then again, I shouldn’t allow others who are not good representation of the church to discourage me and keep me away from the Temple of God. So yes, we have work to do – starting from us.

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    • Hi again Anne! Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. That’s awesome that it was packed!! I’m so sorry to hear that, yeah my favorite quote is .. i’m not sure by, and not 100% sure it’s exactly this, but it’s something like….”The more you judge someone, the less time you have to love them.” Or something like that. it rings true, though. haha looks like we both are like that with quotes 🙂 hehe amen!! Starting from us 🙂 thanks again for all your reading and kind words tonight. So glad you stopped by! big big big hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm, I wonder what happened there… I was responding.. typing.. I turned and my window changed. Lol! Mobiles. Let me use the laptop. 🙂

        It really is a pleasure to read your blog. It has everything – substance, soul, emotions, sense and most of all, God! All the time. Also, your posts are really lovely and wonderful, with images and graphics… and having Ryan Gosling in one recently is a huge bonus. He is yummy! Haha! AND, despite being gorgeous, you don’t focus on your physical beauty, which is refreshing. YET, you make the whole thing even more with your pictures. 🙂 I’m definitely happy I found you last year. I am looking forward to more reading, with lots of stimulation, smiles, laughs… feelings!

        We start making a difference, a little bit at a time – while we do our best to deliver fabulous blogging works. 🙂

        Much love to you, Caralyn, and warmest hugs, too xxx

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  29. Hi BBB, what you describe, the decline of church attendance, the shift from religion to “spirituality”, the sense that open progressive Christians feeling awkward with many fellow believers – this has been happening in UK since the 1950’s. it is not that the USA will slavishly follow the dismal trend of the UK, but there will be similarities.

    Faith in UK is now quite a marginal activity viewed with suspicion by the majority, and even legally this is so (esp’ employment law). Same interestingly applies to Muslims.

    However, this gives us the true opportunity to offer genuine alternatives. And the majority community sometimes recognises this. The food banks are largely run by churches, the Cathedral services are now growing in numbers big time. big news stories of forgiveness are often peopled by Christians.

    Christianity will never die. In UK, I think we’ve hit bottom, and what is happening is more than “a dead cat bounce”.

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  30. Thank you for stopping by my blog to read it.
    Christianity has been maligned and denigrated for eons, but it is still standing tall. It has survived its pall bearers, every time. Voltaire predicted that Christianity would be dead in 100 years. At this moment, the building where he made that utterance houses a vibrant Bible Society.
    It is true that we Christians mess up sometimes by not extending the same grace that God gave us to other people. That is why we need to study carefully the life of our Lord Jesus and learn from Him how to treat other people. Although He did not condone sin, Jesus was approachable to sinners so much that the religious leaders of His day protested against His eating with sinners. We need to emulate the life of Jesus and to “Let this mind be in [us] which was in Him.”
    May the Lord grant us the courage and the grace to do so.

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    • Thanks so much for this thoughtful reflection! That’s so true – Jesus was approachable to all people. We should strive to follow His example in that! Thanks for stopping by and for sharing this powerful perspective! Hugs and love xox

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  31. Right on. We have a part to play and the question is, what are we doing to play a part in the advancement of the kingdom of God? We have become room filled consumer rather than room filled with disciples makers. Thanks for sharing!

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  32. The Christmas Eve service we always attend had lower attendance than usual as well. I believe what you said about being a Christ follower in private but not letting it show so much in our day to day lives is true. A couple weeks ago I went back to work for a friend, a friend who doesn’t wear her faith for the world to see. When I was asked to do something that went against how Jesus called us to behave and I politely but firmly refused it cost me my job. But a co-worker who is unsaved saw what went down and she looked at me and said that I was the real deal. We must wear our faith publicly – after all Christ died for us publicly. We should walk in it, shout it from the roof tops, show it, and share. I loved your post. Stand strong and proclaim Jesus with your every action and breathe, let your life shine with his love. God is not dead and together we can show the world.

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  33. Everyday is an opportunity to share God’s love….. I meet and greet different people everyday… gas stations… workplace… grocery store… and I have the opportunity to share the love of God with them… sometimes I get a tug on my heart to go talk to a person or pray for them… and I’m not always obedient…but God doesn’t condemn us, neither should we feel condemned…Growth comes from the Father….those opportunities to share Him are not meant to bring us down but to fulfill that joy we have in us in knowing Him…. Be encouraged… thanks for sharing this story… it would seem this way “in a lot of places” and yes we are responsible, but we are not alone…. the body of Christ is very much alive, and it’s interactions that we have everyday that we have opportunity to encourage one another.

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  34. This whole exercise in lamintation and mutual support is disturbing on so many levels. You do know that poles show the 77% of the population identity as Christian. Granted that is down from 86% from 1990.

    The fact religions require adherents the beleave the least problem explanation for almost everything may be a contributing cause. The Bible is demonstrably in error about everything regarding the natural world.

    There are no such things as gods, demons, pixies, fairies, trolls, smurfs, angles, ghosts, saints, nor afterlife. There are no such thing as miracles, prophesies, omens, signs, poltergeist or zombies.

    Unless you prey out loud your talking to yourself.

    Everyone is born and everyone dies. Everyone!

    All there is or ever was is the natural world. By any measure all religions have been abject failures in advancing the human condition.

    The belief in the supernatural was mans primitive attempts to understand the natural world and their place in it. Yes, primitive.

    Well here we are. I bet you’re puzzled by my hostile attitude towards Christians.
    Hard to fathom is it. You do understand that atheism is simply the rejection of the existence of anything supernatural. Not met the burden of proof—yada, yada. It’s not a substitute for anything.

    I would like to spend my limited time pondering our natural world without the relentless efforts by the faithful to create a reality based on a fiction that are all holy books. They are all demonstrably in error. Here is the killer diller. Failure to accept what is clearly impossible, morally reprehensible and blatant retelling of myths from older cultures will result in my ghastly torment for eternity.

    The fact that you have no problem with this concept causes me to conclude that your God and every last one of you are ethically challenged and morally bankrupt.

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    • Most atheists I’ve met, are incredibly intelligent. I can never understand, though, the constant animosity and irritable attacks on Christians who just want to experience fellowship and celebrate their faith. As Catholics, we hope to be able to open the door for people who are looking for answers. Be compassionate and empathetic. Answer questions as best we can in accordance with a church teaching that has existed 2 millennia. I could just discuss the theory of contingency, or the wisdom and theology of Aquinas, or other informative ways, but, I would hazard to guess, that, you sound incredibly angry at Christians, which hints at your upbringing or some tortured relationship, but quite certainly a complete misunderstanding of the man Jesus was and his purpose. There are just as many historical markers proving truths as you can say there are not.
      Finally, what I have a real difficult time with is when did we allow the petulant child to rule? Who comes into the room and demands to prove there is a God? I could easily respond, please, enlighten us and prove there is no God, but you entirely miss the point of ‘what is faith’.
      I wish you a happier New Year.

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      • Exactly. You can’t imagine. You my friend, have constructed a world view based on a book from the Iron Age understanding of the natural world that features a God, well really three because they each distinctly unique qualities, contradictory descriptions of the resurrection (J. didn’t really die, a bad weekend for sure, just shrugged it of and then went to heaven to be with himself). No geniuses. No flood. No wondering in the dessert. When you boil it down it’s what you would expect form a primitive culture.
        The anger you sense emanating from me comes from a lifetime of witnessing the harm caused by the belief in the supernatural, least probable, unverifiable and this super hero is on your side. Every argument supporting the existence of god requires faith. For me that’s game set and match. One more thing, I resent that I have to study that horrible piece of fiction in order to deal with the Clingons of the world. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are most welcome! I certainly can imagine a little; my parents are atheists (actually, officially scientific pantheists). Myself, I considered in my youth that I was altheistic – a cafeteria religious: shopping for what I wanted, or thought I needed. It was in studying theology that I learned we don’t HAVE to know why all the time. So I matured into explanations that were peace-filled definitions of hope – something the world is in short supply of. Like you, I chafe at meeting disingenuous, awful, evangelists spewing error and fear with every breath. But only, I gently try to correct them. For it’s not me they have to explain to. I don’t believe I have a superhero, but most important a perfect example of how I am to. E, and to treat others. And when I come up short, which I will, I will beg forgiveness as I try to be better the next day. Surely, there can’t be any harm I trying to be a better person. It’s good for everyone, even all of us hypocrites at Mass. 😉
        I would start the New Year with you, wishing you peace.

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      • Certainly, that is a complicated question and difficult to provide a satisfactory answer a non-believer – but I’ll give it a turn.
        I would ask you to agree that the Jesus Christ we believe is Savior, is certainly a difficult (purportedly) model to emulate, but we try. And that in the act of Confession, we resolve to amend our lives, and even to avoid the near occasions of sin. So the first act of forgiveness is realizing we come up short, and that we didn’t quite avoid everything. So first we have to forgive ourselves; we have to realize error. Protestants believe they just go straight to God. But Catholics think that is too simple. Anyone can say to themselves, in a silent conversation with God, “uh, sorry.” So the Sacrament of Reconciliation was instituted, by Jesus, at the Last Supper, to be given by the apostles: the first priests. Flash forward. So we go to our priest, confess where we came up short of the ideal, to the person ordained by Christ – in persona Christi – and ask forgiveness. And, in contrast to the Protestant, here the centuries old response audibly offer forgiveness. It may sound odd to you, but imagine what a raw, and humbling conversation this is, to go to someone and tell them your failings.
        I’m sure I haven’t done justice to my faith, and gave a long answer to a short and simple question. We ask God for forgiveness, but it doesn’t work unless we try to do better next time.
        Thank you for asking!

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      • No, it’s not complicated at all. No ritual to preform. No, it’s quite simple. Really, really simple. If you find yourself wanting forgiveness you address the aggrieved party and make your request. If you sense a failing in yourself you are the the only one effect change. You may need help but I’m reasonably sure magic ain’t the answer.

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      • Haha, well I’m not THAT bad off, but I understand the skepticism. I always find it is good to speak in confidence to someone willing to listen – something else the world is in short supply of. I wish you the very best. I welcome you back anytime in fellowship.

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  35. I always tell people I’m not religious… I am faithful and faith-filled. That usually draws a confused look. But we are called as Catholics to love our neighbor as ourselves, are we not. And to do it in such a way that is seamless with ourselves.- in order to be “convicted” of being Christian.
    I felt the same way this Christmas. After a decade at our parish, without advanced notice, the powers decided to make the midnight Mass a Spanish Mass. I do not mind the Spanish Mass, except that I do not speak Spanish (I just say the responses iaw the Irish Mass, which really confuses the people near me) – so I just absorb the life and palpable reflection of Christ’s love for us. But all of a sudden, my family was completely disjointed! They would not have it. Before I could suggest another parish, for another rendition at Midnight, I discover that we are going to 8:30 to support the youth choir, at which my youngest daughter was to play cello for. Before I knew it, the fiasco continued to unravel – they did not think she was going to play, didn’t bring the music, yada yada yada. Ugh. My Mathew Kelly-inspired Rhythm of Life was blown apart by an elephant gun.
    So we are in Ordinary Time now, and I realize it is past time to let things go with the tide. But, I need to reflect on the Midnight Mass conundrum that I feel we will be staring down as a nation this next December. I hope I am wrong!

    I.X. Michael

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  36. I think it was Voltaire who said “Religion was born was born when the first scoundrel met the first fool” If not he, I think he at least endorsed it. The first tenet of epistemology is that belief is not knowledge unless it is internally consistent and externally justified. Much more of course but Christianity is based on belief not knowledge. A bizzare doctrine is that of the virgin berth. This reasoning could go out past unbounded infinity. Perhaps Christianity is not dead, it was not really alive based upon knowledge,just hearsay.

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  37. But sir, of course it is hard to believe, otherwise, were it easy, it would be easy to explain – and equally easy to discount! Therein lies the paradox. But faith is not necessarily about proof. It’s about a leap to the next rung… without a net.
    What is infinitely more important is to take the example of who Jesus was, and try to live up to it. Impossible, yes, but even partially makes the world slightly better, don’t you think?

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