will christianity die without church?
One response I’ve often gotten to my beliefs is the assertion that without churches and institutions, Christianity would cease to be passed on to future generations, and cease to spread through society. I’m not sure they’re wrong.
Even though Japan boasts an anti-church Christianity that has sometimes been claimed to influence as much as 30% of the population, and much of China’s Christianity is purportedly non-church, and there were no established churches for the first 300 years of Christianity… it is likely that the Western church would fall apart without a strong structural presence.
But that is exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing. For the foreseeable future, the church in America and in many parts of the world will be losing more and more members every year. And because most of them have been taught that Christianity = Church, many of them will leave the faith as well. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are many reasons people leave church, many of which emerge from deep structural and philosophical problems. And most of them have little to do with Christianity.
At this juncture in history, the way to save Christianity is to establish it outside the camp of traditional christendom. If we are there, we will grow and flourish for a thousand years. If we are not, vast numbers of people will leave forever.