Is This Pandemic Permanently Changing Organized Religion?

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“Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of ¬†institutions and the test of time.”

Richard Dawkins

Organized Religion has been a part of society for thousands of years. Organized Religion predates Christianity. It has given people hope in hopeless times. But, it has also been scoffed at, criticized, and fought against.

Organized Religion is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as…

“A belief system that has large numbers of followers and a set of rules that must be followed.”

Now that we are forced to temporarily abandon our normal practice of organized religion, what will be the aftermath of this experience?

I have been a pastor for over 25 years. In that time I have conducted countless weddings, funerals, installations, Communion celebrations, etc. I have trained ministers, talked to people about various struggles and challenges, and listened to amazing testimonies. I have encouraged people to focus on their own spiritual development. The greater part of these ministry encounters has taken place in person. But now, we cannot interact in the same way.

Social distancing will end at some point. We will get back to normal (whatever that will mean). The real question is, “What will the Church look like after this? Will people still want to “come together” and worship? Or, will they simply opt to watch and engage online? Perhaps even worse, will they have completely checked out?

Jesus said (Matthew 16:18 KJV)…

“…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

I suppose the question we all must ask is, “What is the difference between Organized Religion and the Church?” To some, they are the same. To others, they are very different.

So what do you think? Will your expressions of faith and religion be the same or different after this? Will you still attend live services? Or, will you seek more and more  digital connections?

I believe this Pandemic will significantly change the spiritual landscape. Perhaps there will be a renewed interest in spirituality. Just maybe, what was meant to hurt us…will ultimately be used for our good. I’m choosing to be on the cutting edge of what the future holds for Organized Religion.

 

Bishop

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