One of the things that struck me with renewed force from appearing on Vatican Radio and a couple of other 'Christian radio stations' about the 'poppy affair' [see below] yesterday is that it simply never occurs to many people of faith that the "Jesus justice and peacemaking stuff" (as someone put it to me) should ever impinge upon their understanding of religion, let alone the way they think and act generally. It's all about holding an abstract doctrine and/or upholding an institution that provides comfort or dogma, apparently. Plus God-and-national remembrance elide naturally together. So they quite literally had no clue what Ekklesia was "banging on about" (as someone else expressed it, in another media context).
This is a good reason for many people not to not bother with church, for reasons unconnected with either apathy or hostility. Indeed, an interesting sociological phenomenon in Western countries at the moment is the number of people - especially younger people - who consider themselves followers of Christ (rather than just nominally Christian) but don't go to church at all. Because they see the two things as having little to do with each other. It's not hard to see why. This is an interesting feature of what we are calling post-Christendom.
The other day someone wrote to me saying, "Ekklesia seems to want to bring the official church to its knees." I wrote back and said, inter alia, "er, yes, isn't that the point". Prayer being about how we might view the world as gift, rather than an occasion for control.
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