LETTER OF THE DAY - The Church should present a united front
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The 2011 census report had interesting revelations in more ways than one. The religious sphere featured a fair share of interesting developments, noticeably, more than two million persons were spread across a little under two dozen religious denominations.
When we disaggregate the cumulative number of persons identifying with religious denominations relative to the total population, the data gets even more interesting. A significant mass attrition of the traditional religious adherents to the gains of non-traditional groupings, and over half a million persons refusing to be identified with any of the religious groupings.
Already some of the non-traditionalists are voicing their exponential success. They attribute their significant gain to variances in liturgical offerings and innovative strategies. My question is this: is the Church, in accordance to biblical teachings, a single entity or a multiple one?
The New Testament is quite replete with teachings on the Church as a single entity; indivisible in essence and purpose. Why then is the Church projecting otherwise? One would have thought that the findings would have had the Church reflecting seriously, or celebrating as a single entity, (if there is an occasion for celebration) and even more important, being far more mindful of the over half a million non-adherents and the need to reach them.
One wonders what the next decade will be like if the Lord tarries.
While as a nation we faced Hurricane Sandy, and in the coming days assess, reflect and express gratitude for being spared, the Church will additionally have to brace for its own storm. As we reflect on the findings of the STATIN report, it is a fitting time to be reminded of the high priestly prayer found in St John's gospel chapter 17: 21, "I pray that all of them (speaking of the Church) may be one". The old maxim is a reflection of that maxim, "United we stand, divided we fall".