Monday, June 8, 2015

Reexamining Religion

I am sure that this little blog will anger some people. New ideas always do. I have been thinking about how people in America have fallen away from religion in recent years. In my youth, you went to church on Sunday morning. Services were held hourly from eight o'clock until eleven o'clock. If you were Roman Catholic, you might have gone to midnight mass, so you could sleep in on Sunday.

Back in those glory days of yesteryear, things were less organized than they are today. Kids went out and played when parents didn't have anything else for them to do. Not so today. Kids are herded and protected as never before because evil walks among us, as it never has before. Today the activities of the young ones control the family schedule. Little league, junior hockey, and innumerable soccer leagues crowd the family calendar.

These sports are good and healthy for the young ones. But ice time, field time, gym time, whatever is needed is limited. Families adjust to what is available for their kid's teams. Is this more important than church? No. But it has helped to alter family schedules and one does not preclude the other. 

Sports teach kids a lot of life's most important lessons. Sportsmanship, fair play, honesty, and success through personal effort and through team effort are not the least of these. In the competitive arena these lessons are taught in an atmosphere that the young easily understand. It's fun and it's not preachy.

Here's the problem. Most organized churches expect people to adapt to them. They tend to be rigid in their mindset.  Are families going to give up their family's sports for church? As a general rule, that doesn't seem to be happening. 

In my youth, many many years ago, the church I belonged to had a youth fellowship organization. It was very important in my life and the lessons I learned support me to this day. One thing that I learned is that faith does not require a large congregation, a choir, and a massive pipe organ. Also it doesn't have to occur at ten o'clock on Sunday morning.

I am just thinking that going onward, perhaps religion should go retail. Go for the small group but do it more often.  The wholesale concept doesn't seem to be working all that well today. People need religion. A person never understands the importance of their faith until it is tested. If you have none you will, most assuredly, fail that test.

1 comment:

  1. Prior to the suburban flight in the 60's churches were communities centered in neighborhoods, mostly.

    Today, people that go to the same church don't likely live very close to each other and their religious life is this neat little compartment of their real life that they do on Sundays and special holidays. Used to your church would help nurse you back to health if got real sick, or helped you build your barn and were your fishing buddies, etc.

    Churches need to learn to use the internet to recenter their members lives around the church by providing job leads, a financial safety net, comradery, social events, whole sale providers, etc and a real sense of community.

    Till then church is going to be that traditional superstitious thing people do one day each week for a couple of more than that.