Uncanny, quiet and still

Uncanny, quiet and still

Ingo Bruggenjurgen © Ide Lodige (DR)

Uncanny, quiet and still

Church resignations on the rise © dpa

The whole world is talking about Brexit – the daily church exit, on the other hand, is happening very quietly.our site editor-in-chief Ingo Bruggenjurgen says: Don't leave, rather roll up your sleeves. Conversion and new beginnings have been part of the Christian program since the beginning.

Now, when all the world is talking about Brexit, it may be allowed to take a teeny-tiny moment to look at the day-to-day church exit – even if much is quite different here. There is no cut-off date for choosing when to leave Christianity family behind. Consequently, there is no "Black Friday", when the Vatican and church administrations in this country rub their eyes in amazement because the majority of God's people refuse to obey him. But at some point, many Christians simply have had enough.

Sometimes it is the church taxes that are perceived as an unnecessary burden, sometimes it is the anger about the local priest who does not want to bury his own mother, who nevertheless always went to church, on Saturday. Sometimes the unworldliness of the church is emphasized, sometimes people get upset about the bishop's bathtub, or all priests are seen as child molesters. It doesn't matter – you want to leave this association behind you as quickly as possible.

Church exits, in contrast to the British bluster, are usually done quietly. Even if you don't make the break officially on paper – you simply don't go there anymore: "No one needs the church's offerings anymore," they say. And: "The church, church institutions and associations simply no longer fit the times – they are neither horny nor sexy". It doesn't matter whether you have officially decided to exit the church or whether you remain a passive church member out of convenience – the morning after, the world keeps on turning. And, unlike with Brexit, no one wants to vote again afterwards or even return to the Christian community as quickly as possible. The common place of worship remains empty. At best, a dead museum building that, like the old castle, fits in quite well with the beautiful cityscape…

Monasteries become conference centers

Perhaps sad – but unfortunately true. All church statistics and every empty pew on Sunday document this church exit. The exodus from the churches in Germany is not new and it will not stop. At the same time, churches have more money gushing into their coffers than ever before, helping church decision-makers to soothe their aching wounds. Why not transform a church into a modern communication center? A monastery no longer in use into an attractive conference center?

The alternative? If I don't like Europe, I'll retreat to my island and live under the delusion that everything will be as beautiful as it was before. And if I no longer like the church? Then, unfortunately, no resignation helps as from any other association. The church and one's own life will only get better if each individual rolls up his or her sleeves and gets down to business. Here and now! Always grumbling and withdrawing in a huff never helped anyone. "Oh my God, this is not what we wanted?!" Really not? And why did you British and you church-leavers then decide so? The beauty of the church exit is the possibility to simply turn around again. Because here Christians have a large advantage: Conversion and new beginning belong since the beginning to the Christian program.

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Christina Cherry
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