Fundamental Concerns about Christianity; RELIGION: Magazine Bemoans the 'Confusion and Weakness That Exists in Evangelicalism'

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 15, 2001 | Go to article overview

Fundamental Concerns about Christianity; RELIGION: Magazine Bemoans the 'Confusion and Weakness That Exists in Evangelicalism'


TRADITIONAL Christianity may not survive because it is being attacked on all fronts, an influential religious magazine has warned.

The Evangelical Magazine of Wales highlights at least 10 fundamental concerns, which pose a threat to the religion saying the only consolation is a rise in some congregation numbers.

Its leading article, by editorial board member Keith Vine, comes less than two months after a senior London Catholic figure bemoaned religion's loss of moral authority in society.

Mr Vine said there must be great sorrow and even heartbreak for those still caring about God and the state of the church.

"Any discerning observer of the current evangelical scene, even one with his head only half screwed on, must surely be asking where we are at and where we are going.

"Even a brief look at some of the problems gives an indication of the confusion and weakness that exist in evangelicalism as a whole."

The dispiriting list of problems begins with confirmation that many church congregations are either declining or are static.

Mr Vine also said doctrine is often played down in favour of experience while worship is being more "mancentred" often under the guise of modernisation.

Declining moral standards among church members are also seen as a cause for concern.

Mr Vine said entertainment and relationships considered as out-ofbounds a few decades ago now hardly raise an eyebrow.

"Instead of fleeing temptation and trembling at the very approach of evil, the present approach is frequently 'let us get as near as we can to sin without actually sinning', " he said.

Other concerns were:

The ungodly are largely unreached;

Sunday is no longer special to Christians, let alone to unbelievers;

Many people are in the church only for what they can get out of it for themselves;

The world at large is becoming increasingly hostile to true Christianity.

Mr Vine said, "There must be a question mark over whether or not we presently have the strength to stand in the face of such hardening opposition. …

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