Every other week there is an article posing some version of the question “Why are people leaving the church?” American Christians, mostly White, sometimes even well-intentioned, seem so confused by why people aren’t turning to the church in droves in light of the dire state of our nation and world.
For me, it’s pretty clear:
The church, as a collective, has not acknowledged the historical atrocities it has perpetrated and/or co-signed against the indigenous and marginalized peoples of the world both in the past and currently. The church is not dealing with how it has allowed white supremacy to infiltrate this very non-white, ancient faith tradition. The church is not doing much to repair the awful, generations-long breach that created the residue that exists today as a result of the systemic evils endorsed by it. In fact, in many ways, the church continues to aggravate it with some seriously bad theologies regarding who is and who isn’t deserving of God’s love and salvation.
And until we do that hard, uncomfortable work, until we wrestle and repent from all of it, we will continue to the see the kinds of unhealed, open wounds we see within and outside our walls today. Both “seekers and saved” alike are becoming increasingly exhausted by the unwillingness of many within the church to tell the absolute truth about its failings; to act differently. God has called us to a ministry of love and reconciliation and so far, too many have refused to submit to that work. It’s a problem.
So maybe the falling away is necessary. Maybe the exposure and expulsion of revered leaders is needed. Not as a purging but as the foundation for the creation of a remnant faith movement. Maybe its not a falling away at all but a turning toward the truth of #graceovereverything.