Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey recently issued a dire warning about Christianity in Britain, claiming that the faith is just one “generation away from extinction” unless believers find a way to reach young people.
Carey, 78, made these comments while speaking at a Christian conference over the weekend. The former Church of England leader said Christians are doing good work, but that there are some major barriers the faith faces in the region, the Telegraph reported.
From fewer people in the pews to boredom among the masses, he believes these problems pose major threats to the future of Christianity.
“In many parts of Britain churches are struggling, some priests are diffident and lack confidence; a feeling of defeat is around,” he said. “The burden seems heavy and joy in ministry has been replaced by a feeling of heaviness.”
Carey also said that the general public is less interested in the message churches are preaching.
“The viewpoint could be expressed in a variety of non-verbal ways — the shrug of indifference, the rolled eyes of embarrassment, the yawn of boredom,” Carey added. “So many people do not see the average church as a place where great things happen. ”
But rather than lay all of the blame on the public, Carey spoke about the need for churches to take action, focusing specifically on courting young people. He did, however, encourage believers not to resort to gimmicks in their effort to gain youths’ attention.
“We ought to be ashamed of ourselves,” he said, warning that the youth gap is essential to fill. “So many churches have no ministry to young people and that means they have no interest in the future.”
A failure to do this and a stay on the current trajectory could mean that the Christian faith is just “one generation away from extinction,” Carey warned.
The message wasn’t entirely negative as the Christian leader did say that he believes the church can, must and should grow — however it’s clear he believes that major changes need to be made in order for this to happen.
“There is so much violence, too many divided families, too little job security, too many young people with nothing to aim for,” Carey said, adding that people are still looking for spiritual fulfillment.
These warnings were issued at the Shropshire Light Conference at Holy Trinity Church in Shrewsbury, England, an event that focused, in part, on the state of the Christian faith.
Carey’s message about faith in England comes after numerous pastors in the U.S. have also made similar declarations about the state of faith and culture. Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., is just one individual who recently spoke with TheBlaze about these issues.
Driscoll’s new book ”A Call to Resurgence“ contends that “we are living in a post-Christian culture — a culture fundamentally at odds with faith in Jesus.” Read what Driscoll had to say about the problems facing churches and the direction American culture has taken.
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