The following is from Dr Dale Meyer, the President of Concordia Seminary, he was the president while I was a student there, I took a couple of his classes and I think the world of Dr Meyer. I am posting his blog from today to undergird some of my comments afterwards. In no way has Dr Meyer endorsed or not endorsed, I don’t really know the background on “Charlie Hebdo” and so he is providing some of that and also some thoughts as a Pastor and leader in my church hierarchy. (And yes feel free to check out the link to First St John’s while you’re at it.)
First Saint John’s, York, Pa. shared Dale Meyer‘s status.
“Compliments to the French police for their quick identification and pursuit of the three evil men who gunned down the 12 people in Paris. Amidst many thoughts, I’m also thinking about this as a sincere church-goer…
First, Charlie Hebdo satirizes the Christian religion (understand Roman Catholic) even more than Islam. I googled and found cartoons that were very offensive to me as a follower of Jesus.
Second, last Saturday the Wall Street Journal ran a front page feature on empty churches in Europe. A little over 11% of the French attend services every week. Germany is the same. While there are still true believers in Europe, Christendom is dead.
Secularized society…mockery of religion…it’s not unlike the situation early Christians found themselves in. A minority in a pluralistic society where everything was relative, many early Christians were mocked, shunned, and here-and-there the victims of violence.
That’s Europe; what about America? American Christians aren’t living in a Charlie Hebdo Europe…yet. It could come, we see signs, but it doesn’t have to. One key to the future will be the energy that you and I put into the institutional church, and that comes down to the congregations where we worship. St. Paul said he was a “helper of joy” to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 1:24). The decline of institutional religion in America is a fact. Doing our part to make vibrant, welcoming churches, and lots and lots of them, could be one way God will bless America in the future.”