Something startling is happening in American religion: We are witnessing the end of church or, at the very least, the end of conventional church. The United States is fast-becoming a society where Christianity is being reorganized after religion.
The end of conventional church isn't necessarily a bad thing. Christianity after religion, a faith renewed by the experience of God's spirit, is closer to what Jesus hoped for his followers than the scandalous division, politics, and enmity we have now. Will there still be Christianity after the end of institutional religion? Yes, there will be. But it is going to be different than what Americans have known, a faith responsive to the longings of those who are expecting more spiritual depth and greater ethical integrity rather than more conventional church. Indeed, I suspect that the end of church is only the beginning of a new Great Awakening.
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This phenomenon is something that most Urantia Book reader/students have seen coming for years. So many of us came to The Urantia Book as a result of our own dissatisfaction with the religions of authority of our upbringings...and in The Urantia Book, we find out some of the reasons that the institutionalized churches are standing at such a crossroad. Consider the following quote from "Weakness of Institutional Religion"
99:2.1 Institutional religion cannot afford inspiration and provide leadership in this impending world-wide social reconstruction and economic reorganization because it has unfortunately become more or less of an organic part of the social order and the economic system which is destined to undergo reconstruction. Only the real religion of personal spiritual experience can function helpfully and creatively in the present crisis of civilization.