Oh for heavens, sake.  We attended Episcopal churches for fifteen years until it became plain that the likes of us were no longer welcome, have now been in the same Evangelical church for more than twenty, and are mentally fortifying ourselves for a possible move in the next few years with a changing of its pastoral guard.  Does this make us church-hoppers, or indicate in any way that we are seeking a flawless church?  How simple do you think I am?

We are in a historical situation where there is great turmoil, where churches make major changes in teaching and practice constantly–and this includes the Roman Catholic Church, which  in my experience is usually a liberal Protestant church anyway.  When I was a boy being raised in a large Baptist church, things were pretty stable.  The church had existed in its then-current form for more than a hundred years.  Our manner of worship was traditional Protestant of the Reformed variety–very close to that of conservative Presbyterians or Congregationalists.  That particular church no longer exists, except as a campus of a multi-unit megachurch whose “traditional” service of worship (which we attended a few years back) was a garish show of hard-pounding religious rock presided over by a perpetually grinning master of ceremonies who was apparently the pastor, although we couldn’t tell for sure.  It probably didn’t matter, the medium being the message and all.  The word “Jesus” was used a lot, but as the alleged referent of everything that was going on there, it lacked more than a little in evangelical credibility.  If this offering was the “traditional” service, I would hate to imagine the “contemporary” one.

We are less like church-hoppers than people fairly steady in faith and practice who are continually having to flee burning ecclesial villages as the barbarians advance.  I make no apologies for it, for we are in an age where hard decisions must be made in the context of that situation.  The culture is in decline, and with it the churches that pander to it, into the stultification which those raised on better fare find intolerable, and not just for matters of taste–even though (and I will say it) our taste is superior to that of the barbarians, for it is forged in the wisdom of the ages and the music of the spheres rather than splanchnic whimsies which the continual invocation of somebody called Jesus does little to improve.  For the sake of myself and my family, you will find me “hopping” as often as I need to.