Here’s a little brainteaser for you:
“In the next 20 years, what do you think will be the greatest challenge faced by the Coptic Orthodox Church?”
To be forewarned is to be fore-armed. Although our Lord Jesus commanded us not to worry about tomorrow, He did also command us to prepare, as a king prepares for battle before he sets out to join it. The difference of course lies between preparing and worrying: you can prepare without worrying if there is peace and faith in God in your heart.
So, that’s the exercise I’m asking the readers to try. Don’t worry; just think about it.
In recent years, the Christian Church in general and the Coptic Church in particular has faced many challenges. Here are just a few:
The invasion of worldly ideals and values and beliefs into the faith and worldview of the Church.
The obsession with money and possessions, power, popularity and success leaving people with no time or no room in their hearts for God and Church.
COOLING OF LOVE:
People growing further apart, caring for each other less, caring for themselves more.
The loss of traditional Christian values in the area of sexuality, marriage and divorce.
The supposed threat to faith coming from the trend towards depending on science rather than belief.
The disappointment of members of the Church with the perceived behaviour of the rest of the Church community.
Will we insist on linking faith to a particular culture, or will we allow the culture to change? Will the faith change with the culture? How important is it to maintain the uniquely Coptic identity in Australia? At what price?
Will technology help or hinder our life of faith?
What effects will global warming and overpopulation have on our lives, and will this impact on our spiritual lives?
LACK OF INTEREST:
Will future generations simply not care?
So can you predict whether any of these will be THE major challenge to face us in the next 20 years? Or perhaps it will be something totally new?
And WHY? Why do you choose that particular issue above all the others? What makes it special, or especially dangerous? Some issues may be mildly dangerous but widespread enough to infect the whole Church, whereas others may be quite serious but limited to only a small section of the Church. Which is worst?
I won’t give my own thoughts just yet – I would like you to think about it – so I’ll hold off from commenting for a little while. Think about your own experiences, good and bad, within the Church community and in the light of the society within which the Church exists. Think of your own generation, the generation of your parents and that of your children.
What dangers threaten the Orthodox Christian faith and way of life?
And what do we need to do about them?
Please throw in your two cents’ worth on the related poll: