The numbers are in and there’s no doubt church/temple attendance is dwindling here like it already has in West Europe. And so today’s cool generation, without much memory of America’s old-time religiosity, seems willing to accept this theological fait accompli.
While neither of us is a theologian, I’m willing to guess you’re willing to guess theology has little to do with it. I’m guessing that people stop believing in a personal God especially once they’ve decided they no longer need a personal God. After all, now we have a personal Computer.
Hear me out….because this is not simly slamming technology, it’s granting its galactic new place in our lives. With a personal computer, we can now do virtually everything for which we once needed a personal God. Instant information, solutions and cures; instant access to the sights and sounds and art of the world; instant communication with anyone anywhere anytime. No need for prayers or incense; just click the right part of the keypad and, like the old spiritual, “I’ve got the whole world in my hands.”
Evangelicals will reject this thinking with both fire and brimstone. Frankly, I don’t much like the possibility either. The possibility that millions of years of god-centered worship and prayer and devotion were simply the evolutionary necessity by which our primitive selves had to at last reach our informed selves. I mean, that’s something like losing your wife or husband of the last 50 years, or having your first-born suddenly snatched away from you never to be seen and loved again.
You will feel these losses only if you once possessed them. To the majority of the young computer generation, you can’t lose what you never had; you can’t mourn what you never loved. Behold another of those generational gaps whose troubled waters are unlikely to be bridged. And so it is that we are now destined — or doomed — to forever co-exist with our personal computers bringing us that eternal Cloud of emails from our past, our present, our Wikileaks, and now even “W” in private shower-stall closeups that have been hacked by…well, to complete the narrative properly, I suppose we’d have to say: Hacked by the Fallen Angels [aka, today’s legions of brilliantly agnostic New Agers].
How can I say this? Because for now it’s their world and elders like me only live in it….
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