And we will...
#Emptythepews has been trending on social media. Apparently, it originated from the evangelical camp in the wake of Charlottesville. Some were like, “If my pastor doesn’t say something to denounce racism, white supremacy, white nationalism, and/or Nazism this Sunday, I’m gonna get up and leave.”
‘Course, it didn’t take long for bored post-modern mainline protestant and Catholic posters to co-opt the hashtag to express their general apathy and suspicion of Church. #Empthythepews scratches that anti-institutional itch. For any who are growing weary of religion – count me among them – #Emptythepews is a way of saying, “We’re tired of the out-of-touch, irrelevant church.”
I chalk up this weariness to an over-emphasis in religion to get people “right with God,” or to have a personal (hear, “private”) relationship with Jesus.
I have to be honest, when I read #Emptythepews for the first time, my line of thought went to the tail end of worship (cuz..I'm a liturgical geek). One person proclaims, “Go in peace, Serve the Lord,” and the church responds, “Thanks be to God!” Texan church tags on, “And weeeee WILL!” Folks then empty the pews to respond to the Good News they sang about, prayed for, heard, and ingested…we HOPE.
Here’s a modest proposal for all who long for a faith with consequences: WHEN we plant our butts in the pews (a weekly practice I highly recommend if the church has any hope of being transformed), we do so expecting to be SENT:
Sent to engage God’s word with our hands.
Sent to spread God’s Love in thought word, and deed.
We say “Weeeee Will.” May God make it so. Let’s really “empty the pews.”
And what better opportunity than “God’s Work: Our Hands” Sunday – THIS SUNDAY…Ideas?
Let's talk about them tonight: 6PM @ 2100 San Antonio (See "Tex Mex Dinner")