Mr. Bean is Alive and Well

Bean 02

I was out for a Sunday evening walk here in London, and had the opportunity to pass by and experience three separate churches that were meeting for Sunday evening gatherings. They were across the ecclesiological spectrum …Anglican, to Baptist, to Free Church.

And what I saw was stunning! The hilarious video, “Mr. Bean Goes to Church” is alive and well.

In one cavernous building, fifteen somber, stuffy peopled huddled in silence, while a out-of-tune electronic organ played music that would have made most mortuaries seem like amusement parks. I was dumbfounded why anyone, of any age, would be attracted to such a moribund remnant. It was pathetic, so much so, I couldn’t stand it and snuck out during one of the prayers. It was suffocating.

Such venues are certainly not unique to the UK.  That’s just where I am at the moment.  I’ve seen the same in countless settings all over the world in a mosaic of different cultures including my own.  The tragedy in this context is that these islands of lifeless Christianity are surrounded by a vibrant, pulsating city that is hungry for spiritual reality. What is equally sad is the resources, real estate and assets tied up by these dying religious institutions. I cannot begin to imagine how such waste and deadness must grieve the God whose name they claim.

2 Responses to “Mr. Bean is Alive and Well”

  1. Mark H Says:

    Welcome to the UK :-(

    While, from what I can gather, SOME churches in the US seem to be stuck in a spiritually dead entertainment culture, our equivalent here in the UK is a spiritually dead piety culture that equally makes you want to wretch (more so, actually).

    Praise God that the Spirit still brings life to any who will receive Him!

  2. Sam Says:

    I could not agree more. Most knowledgable observers put the statistics at 60-70% of American congregations that fall into the plateaued category and it is a percentage that is sadly growing. Add to that another 10-20% which are in ecclesiological “intensive care” where they will—or should—fold, unless there is intentional intervention and a definitively fresh touch of God’s Spirit.

    Mark, I like your categories of “spritually dead entertainment culture” and the “spiritually dead piety culture.” Very accurate. Very sad.

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