Two very different takes on just how Christianity is “doing” in different parts of the world show our tendency toward tribalism.
In the Middle East there are dire warnings of Christianity becoming extinct in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, Manhattan seems to be on the verge of a new revival!
So, which is it?
As Anthony Bradley points out on the Manhattan side (and not really anyone has pointed out on the Middle East side), it is probably a little bit of both. But nothing drastic in either direction. For evangelicals, we get so caught up in what God is doing, especially since WE got there! Bradley points out, and rightfully so, that there were Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc., who have been there. For someone to say they actually knew every born again believer in Manhattan in 1993 is beyond the phrase “quite a stretch.”
But to the other side… Is the Church in danger of becoming extinct in the Middle East? Well, if you are Orthodox, you probably think so!
This goes to the point of demonstrating our tribalism. God didn’t show up until WE showed up… or God is leaving because OUR BRAND of Christianity is leaving…
Neither extreme is true.
The faithful witness of Christ abides. And it’s not just in our tribe.