Church of the Last Days
by S. M. Hutchens
Liberal churches are dominated and defined by religiously inclined unbelievers, often perplexed at why their numbers are declining despite all their joyful noises, friendly smiles, inclusivity, and welcoming. Some have thought that imitating what they can only perceive as the Jesus-method of more successful churches will help revive their numbers. The cluelessness would be amusing if it weren't so pitiful. They remind one of the R & D Department of Screwtape's hell, which could only regard heaven's successes as some sort of trick, the secret to which it did not yet possess but was working on.
I surmise that the liberal churches, if managed so as to exploit their various religious market niches, need not decline to extinction. In the Congregationalist pastorate, for example, I came to the conclusion that there will always be a taste for the Pilgrim Faith of True Congregationalism, which can be nicely practiced quite apart from Christianity. The Episcopalians, liberal Catholics, and Orthodox have Pride of Place, Ceremony, and plenty of art to sell. The Evangelicals and Charismatics have lots of noise and enthusiasm about "Jesus." None of these, however, in their corrupted manifestations, is obedient to the Real One. They will carry on to merge happily and productively with the Church of Antichrist, that great, happy, inclusive, welcoming, and for once competently led ecumenical project of the Last Days.
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
more on culture from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Purchase Print &
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
GIVE Print &
Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives