As the season of Lent enters its second week, millions of Christians around the world are renewing their vows to obey the commandments of God by fasting and other acts of devotion. Others just want to get in and get out quickly, squeezing church into their busy schedules. Donald Sensing called attention to a Pastor Billings, whose Easter ad campaign made an ironic point that was just a little too subtle for some people to grasp: "Jesus died for your mortgage." I suppose once the folks who were drawn to the message of easy grace realize they have been made fun of, they probably won't come back. More broadly, this illustrates the futility of trying to enlarge congregations by feel-good marketing campaigns. (An allusion to Rev. Joel Osteen, perhaps?) It is hard to be a good Christian and be "comfortable" at the same time.
Sensing also called attention to the uproar over the recent gaffe by Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, who suggested earlier this month that Britain adopt elements of Islamic Sharia law for the sake of social peace. One might reasonably conclude that these two trends -- deprecation of the tenets of one's own faith in favor of convenience, on one hand, and eagerness to pay heed to the tenets of an alien faith, on the other -- are related to each other.