Admissions of Failure
The Living Church (Episcopal) said last November 23: “Not long ago a survey was published of religious beliefs held in a distinguished parish of our Church. It was appalling to note how little some people actually believed, in spite of the fact that supposedly they stand up and recite the Creeds every Sunday in church. It was correctly pointed out that in most instances this rather depressing weakness of faith was due to lack of definite teaching. Nevertheless . . . a layman who goes through the motions of saying a Creed he does not believe, or, indeed, who joins a Church which professes a Faith he does not believe, is just as blameworthy as a clergyman who fails to teach orthodox Christianity to his flock.”
Further shortcomings of much of today’s religion were shown at the Annual Assembly of the Congregational Union of England and Wales in London’s Westminster Chapel, in May, 1950. There Chairman Lovell Cocks, principal of Bristol’s Western College, sizzled forth: “Can faith as halting as ours outrun the fierce dynamism of the Marxist creed? Can we hope to beat the Communists until Christians know their stuff as well as the Communists know theirs? Till we do the Communists need not be afraid of us.” As to the big ill-attended churches, he said: “These fellowships have come to believe that the cause of the kingdom means keeping these buildings going, and everything else is sacrificed. . . . May it not be that what Christ really wants them to do is to sell out, to get rid of their buildings, and hire a room over a shop—an upper room, and begin all over again in an apostolic way.”
No knowledge, no belief, a halting faith, worship of buildings, the fire of true Christianity gone—that is Christendom. Its dynamism has been extinguished with the poisonous gas of human theories, political and social meddling and false doctrine. It has dulled the senses to real Christian belief and action. You have a choice—the world’s apathy or the firm, dynamic faith of true Christianity. Which will you choose?