Generally speaking, the reformation is considered to be the time when the protestant church was born.Â I say generally, because it was a complex time.Â Â Many things were changing.Â
Today, times are complex as well.Â There is one thing that appears indisputable.Â People are leaving the organized church in large numbers.
I’ve been reading someÂ solutions onÂ Christian websites for turning around this trend.Â They include rather silly suggestions like setting goals and sticking to them, sprucing upÂ of churches, finding the right leadership and so on.Â
To me, there appear to be some parallels to the refomation period.Â Leading up to the reformation, the Catholic Church was criticized for selling indulgences, licensing of brothels, teaching false doctrines and of having institutional rigidity.
Today, churches do not license brothels, but they are plagued by sexual abuse.Â Some churches teach doctrines that the majority of the publicÂ thinkÂ are false,Â such asÂ the condemation of homosexuality. And, institutional rigidtiy, it’s there in spades.
I would admit there are many differences betweenÂ today’s events and those of theÂ original reformation period.Â But what seems true is that the Catholic Church of the 1500’s did not respond to the changing times.Â Â Today’s conservative churches are not respondingÂ muchÂ either.Â
The “leave-the-church” train has left the station.Â Â Churches can either run and catch up or bend the track to bring it back toÂ them.
Track bendingÂ did not work in the 1500’s.Â It won’t work today.