Blind optimism

The close of World War II saw a radical change in the religious mood, especially on the part of the masses. It was a complete reversal. Religion came into its own. Faith became once more intellectually respectable and people stopped being ashamed to admit that they believed in God. Evangelicalism and the world wept briefly on each other?s shoulders, kissed, shook hands and became friends. The church discovered that she could use a good many of the world?s ideas and the world found that religion was a useful technique for achieving desired ends. The ox and the ass, as well as the lion and the lamb, romped together as they had not done since Luther nailed his theses on the door of the church at Wittenberg and launched the Reformation.
Over the last few years the world has gone on to woo the Church (about like water woos a duck!) and has won her heart and hand in what seems to be a case of true love. The honeymoon is still on and the church is now the pampered bride of the world. And what a dowry she has brought to her sensuous and drooling lover! An impenitent and unregenerate populace buys religious books by the millions, to the delight of the profit-hungry publishers. Movie stars now write our hymns; the holy name of Christ sounds out from the gaudy jukebox at the corner pool hall, and in all-night stomp sessions hysterical young people rock and roll to the glory of the Lord.

Today dark-browed Pessimism has gone out of vogue and her happy and responsible sister Optimism has come in to take her place. Christianity is now conceived as fun and the only cross is the one on which Jesus died several hundred years ago. Christ?s yoke is not only easy, it is downright thrilling. His burden is not only light, it is jaunty. The church goes along with everything and stands against nothing–until she is convinced that it is the safe and popular thing to do; then she passes her courageous resolutions and issues her world-shaking manifestoes–all in accord with the world?s newest social venture, whatever it may be.

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