Are Churches Losing Relevancy?
A letter to the editor that appeared in our local paper asked whether or not churches are relevant in today's social/political landscape. You can read the letter here and I offer my response below:
By Marlon Bartram
I'm sure religion and church still play very important roles in lives of many people on an individual level, but as a force in society I would have to say it has indeed lost relevance. A perfect example can be found in their non-response to the issue of abortion.
There’s a story that has become known as “Sing a Little Louder” in which pro life activist Penny Lea tells of what an old man tearfully told her after a pro life presentation she gave some years ago. The man lived in Germany during the Nazi Holocaust and attended a small church situated near a set of railroad tracks.
After the extermination of the Jews began, the tracks behind the church were used to transport loads of moaning, screaming Jewish people to their horrific destiny. Church members, disturbed by the sounds coming from the train but unsure of how to react, learned that if they just sang a little louder the disturbing cries would be drowned out, and their consciences eased.
Today, church leaders avoid speaking about abortion so that no one sitting in the pews donating dollars is disturbed or offended. Their bands play loud praise and worship music and much singing and clapping ensues.
Meanwhile just a few blocks away, tiny unborn babies and the deceived women who carry them meet their own horrific destiny. In a few brief moments of suction-powered violence, babies are dismembered to death and women are sentenced to live forever with the fact that their own child has been lost.
Only a small handful of our 99 churches dare to get involved and speak out against the taking of innocent human life in our community. The rest turn a blind eye, refusing to acknowledge the tragedy in our midst. It seems they would rather just sing a little louder.