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The Christendom mindset…

February 18, 2009

Incredibly helpful analysis provided by Stuart Murray (200-202).

He says, The Christendom mindset includes:

  • Orientation towards maintaining (but perhaps tweaking) the status quo rather than advocating radical and disturbing change.
  • Wanting to control history and bring in God’s kingdom (even coercively) rather than trusting the future to God.
  • Over-emphasizing church and internal ecclesial issues at the expense of God’s mission and kingdom.
  • A ‘moral majority’ stance on ethical issues, assuming the right of the churches to instruct the behavior of those beyond the church
  • A punitive rather than restorative approach to issues of justice and support for capital punishment as ‘biblical’.
  • Disgruntlement that Christian festivals (particularly Christmas and Easter) are no longer accorded the spiritual significance they once enjoyed.
  • Confusion about the relationship between patriotism and ultimate loyalty to God’s kingdom and the transnational Christian community.
  • Partiality for respectability, top-down mission and hierarchical church government.
  • Predilection for large congregations that support ‘professional’ standard of ministry and exercise influence on local power structures.
  • Thinking the Christian story is still known, understood and widely believed within society.
  • Celebrating survey evidence that seventy per cent of the population claim to be Christian, as if such notional Christianity is significant.
  • Assuming that churchgoing is a normal social activity and that most people feel comfortable in church buildings and services.
  • Attitudes towards church buildings that imply these are focal points of God’s presence.
  • Orientation towards maintenance rather than mission in ministerial training, congregational focus and financial priorities.
  • Preferring authoritative pronouncements, preaching and monologue over dialogue, conversation and consensus.
  • Pontificating and lecturing, often in a sanctimonious tone that understandably irritates others.
  • Despite decades of decline and marginalization, triumphalist theology and language.
  • Attitudes to other faith communities that vary from opposition to tolerance but assume Christianity should be accorded centrality and privileges.
  • Expectations that imminent revival will restore the fortunes and influence of the churches in society.
One Comment leave one →
  1. February 18, 2009 9:47 pm


    and to think we often insinuate that being or becoming “post-Christendom” is like a bad omen . . . hmmm . . . maybe that shows how colonial-minded we still are . . .

    thanks for the post!

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