We have attended “high” churches where the same impression of falseness was left by liturgical choreography and precisionism, low churches where programmed spontaneity is the accepted measure of piety, and others in which small but no less shocking things show the same disease -- such as musicians using the prayers (addresses to God Almighty, as reputed to be “present among us”) as an opportunity to re-arrange themselves for the next “piece.”
Were I a serious non-Christian, visiting -- visiting not because I required a religion that would “speak to me where I am,” which is a particularly recalcitrant form of atheism, but because I was seeking God -- I would find it easy to conclude that these people did not believe in God at all (or at least in any God worth believing in) but were turned in upon themselves, serving some sort of need for religion they felt, a need that could be adequately served with ceremonies, effusions, and entertainments. If I wished to find the God of whose eternal power and God-ness I already knew in my heart, it would be better to look among people who showed signs of actually believing in him by doing him the honor of taking him seriously. Perhaps among the Muslims who kill people for blasphemy and are themselves willing to die for their faith, or among Jews who fear even to speak his name.
I am in entire sympathy with those who, meeting these forms of “Christianity,” turn elsewhere in disgust, and while I believe there is no way to God except through Christ his Son, neither do I believe the Lord will abandon those seekers of truth who reject, for truth’s sake, much what has presented to them as Christianity. They will find Christ. God has promised they will.
S. M. Hutchens