Church · Church of England

Rumours of our extinction….

…have been exaggerated.

According to research presented this week at American Physical Society religion in many nations in likely to be extinct within a generation or two.

This is of course a highly subjective piece of research and is quite a a complex one too, indeed is based on clever mathematical equations taking into account census data and declining respondents to questions on religion.

The problem is that its a piece of research that is just too clever for its own good.  Despite the best efforts of mathematicians to prove other wise we do not live in a  constant universe – yes numbers are a constant – but everything else particularly things involving ‘life’ are actually largely unpredictable and often to surprise us.

In theological college I had a tutor who in the entire 3 years there said only one useful thing to me – but it was also one of the most profound statements I heard uttered during my study.

“The church will never die, it can’t, it is God’s chosen vessel of mission on earth”

Sure we may be seeing a decline in established Christian faith in western nations, yet the church is growing exponentially everywhere else. Even in the UK most of the Churches I have been part of over the years have been in steady growth.  

While our universe may not be a constant, God of course is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His grace and love for all mankind is as true today as it was at the height of Christendom and before.  A look at our own history should tell us that we should never write-off the Church; a few centuries ago one might have predicted a similar death of the faith and yet great movements of the Spirit swept through nations bringing revival of faith and re-engaging lost people with their loving God.

The Church will never die, because it is not a construct of mankind. It is a spirit-led movement of God. Sure my own preferred brand of Church may cease to be or may simply evolve into something else but ‘the Church’ will always be.

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