Tuesday, July 30, 2013
A Response to Rachel Held Evans Article, “Why millennials are leaving the church”.
Written by Thomas W. Bigham
The following is in response to an article written by Rachel Held Evans titled, “Why millennials are leaving the church”, published in CNN’s “Belief Blog” on July 27th, 2013. As the author has offered her valued insight both honestly and directly, such deserves the same in addressing her points of issue.
The following excerpts from her article and this writer’s accompanying responses will attempt to briefly address those concerns as they have been raised. I respond as a lay person and practicing Catholic. My responses are not to be construed as an official response of the Roman Catholic Church or any affiliation thereof, but specifically as one who had been separated for many years from all organized religion. It was only after the realization of my own errors and the pursuit of a deeper knowledge and understanding of Christianity that I had returned through the guidance of scripture to the Catholic faith.
Rachel Held Evans, Excerpt #1:
“Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions – Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. – precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.”
Response: I would only comment here that a number of changes over the last few centuries and even more so over the last few decades have caused many sincere Christians from various denominations to voice their concerns questioning the guidance of the faith they had followed. Jesus Christ did not adapt His teachings or His presentation to be more accommodating or acceptable to more people. He did not accept the opinions of others in determining the “best approach” for the biggest return, and he certainly did not conform to society’s popular opinions - and neither should His Church if it truly presents His teachings faithfully. Likewise, the Catholic Church has retained the consistency of His teachings for 2000 years even in the darkest of times, regardless of any particular era’s fluctuating social or moral standards. In fact, just as today, there were times throughout history the Catholic Church struggled in direct opposition to popular opinion. As was said, the Church can not care about what is “cool” or popular, especially when popularity infringes upon the truth and guidance provided to the faithful.