Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. – C.S. Lewis
I am ever so tired of nominal Christianity. By nominal Christianity I do not mean a church full of sinners. Every church is full of sinners every Sunday. No, rather, the church full of sinners has more hope in it than the nominal church.
Rather, I speak of the church in which all takes place quietly, in which all new members are carefully selected for their compatibility with the existing populace, the church in which no extraordinary event ever happens. There is no greater danger to Christianity than the church in which there are neither Pharisees nor Publicans. Either Pharisee or Publican has the potential to become a great saint. But a nominal church will never lift its collective head high enough to know that it is on the path to ruin and perdition.
It is the humdrum church that troubles me. It is the church in which there is never any danger of outcry or outburst of the Spirit of God. It is the church in which people can speak of their great-grandparents who attended the church without being able to give any particular reason why they are attending the church. It is the church which spends long hours of debate over the budget for building maintenance while giving short shrift to any missionary or social outreach. Those are the churches that tire me.
Give me a good pagan or atheist any day. At least they have views. At least they argue vehemently for their beliefs. At least there is hope of change and conversion because they are willing to try to change and convert you. And, when one tries to convert you, they open themselves up to being changed and converted. Thus there is more hope for them than for the nominal Christian.
“It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” — C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters