The Rev. Jason Cox, on The Diocese of Washington’s blog, reacts to the many “Church is dying” stories (including Episcopal Cafe covered posts “The Church must die so Christianity can live.” and “What needs to die in the Church”) with an attempt to clarify:
I don’t think the church is dying, but it is changing. Or at least, the culture around us has changed, and we are–slowly, painfully–changing too. The question is, are these changes a cause for despair? Or hope?
We no longer enjoy the cultural hegemony that Christendom afforded–those many centuries when culture, political power, and the church were tightly intertwined. But I think this is actually a blessing. “Christendom” was never the Kingdom of God–it was just the church stepping into the role of the Empire, the same Empire that Jesus opposed and that put him to death. Christendom is dying, and we need to let it die.