The church has become a cultural hermit. While we were staying in Thessalonica, Greece we visited the beautiful monasteries of Meteora. They are simply stunning. I was however stunned by another fact: they were nearly inaccessible to society at large. Take a closer look at the beautiful photograph of one the monasteries below. In the photograph one sees the silhouette of the local village. The monks climbed up 300-550m limestone formations to build the monasteries and stay there, divorced from the community. I assume they were trying to concentrate on worshipping God and giving themselves to seclusion to avoid being tempted by the world. They were avoiding the world when Jesus asked them to engage the world. To them the world was evil and should be shunned.
Meteora is a beautiful but sad metaphor of the Church. It is so difficult to ascend that monastery. It is nearly inaccessible. The monks separated and isolated themselves from the world so that they would not be corrupted by the world. The church is still doing that. We get into our monasteries called the church and avoid any meaningful contact with the world. We have become cultural hermits. Just like the monks retreated from the world and huddled in monasteries, the Church has similarly retreated into its own cultural monastery of Christian schools, villages, hospitals etc.
The salt has been removed from contact with the society that it should salt. Are we not the salt of the earth? Salt requires contact with society to have its effect.
The Church has withdrawn its influence from the culture and society that needs it most. As the Church disengaged the world, it left a vacuum for the devil to fill through secular humanism, Islam, New Age and other vain philosophies authored in Hell. Priestly king I plead with you: Get out of your monastery! Don’t disengage the world and society. Engage them in the name of the Lord and for kingdom purposes!