[Previously on The Sad State Of The Greek Orthodox Church: It’s the damndest thing! Where else does one go to be part of a ceremony which they don’t really understand? How on earth have people settled for it?]
I ask people who attend service, some of them educated, intelligent individuals, and they nod their heads, saying it’s normal. You go to church to be part of the atmosphere, to be imbued with the sensation of the divine and be lifted in the presence of others by the sheer weight of the event. Sure, you don’t understand everything that’s being said, but you don’t need to. Attendance alone is good enough, they claim.
It’s a sad response indicative of the ridiculous state of affairs pertaining to the modern church, or, to be more exact, to the church in modern and postmodern times. The droll depths to which it has sunk, its attendees not expecting to understand what is being said, content with the contact high they get. As if that’s enough, the rest mere details. Sing along during the hit sermons, the ones everyone knows, be silent and clueless during the rest, go home feeling blessed, happy that you were able to attend, and deem the process normal and worthy.
Sounds an awful lot like a music concert to me. Think about it; a bunch of people attending an event with the contents of which they’re not necessarily familiar, and which they can’t pick up on, not on the spot. They improvise their way through the setlist, playing along as best as they can. They do it once a year, getting their fix. They love it. What’s not to love? They know some of the hits, singing along to the chorus, getting all excited when they sing all together, feeling amazing when they know an extra verse or two, which they sing out loud so they can let others know they know, and go home feeling content. The verses they weren’t aware of, the songs they’d never heard before? Who cares, it’s the overall experience that matters.
When did going to church become like attending a music concert?
Part 3 to follow