Faithwire | By Tré Goins-Phillips, Editor | May 15, 2020
While concerns about religious liberty violations are filling up the headlines, theologian N.T. Wright is concerned about the “danger with e-worship,” as it pertains to the importance of the church having a public presence in society.
In his forthcoming book, “God and the Pandemic,” Wright addresses the societal shift toward believing religion — Christianity — is a “private” movement that “should have no place in public life.”
“Thus I can still go shopping in the crowded little [liquor store] on the corner; but I cannot go and sit in the ancient, prayer-soaked chapel across the street,” he writes. “Worship becomes invisible. Shutting churches will appear to collude with this. By saying that we will temporarily abolish corporate worship and join with others only on live-streamed services from the vicar’s living room, we may seem to be agreeing that really we are just a group of like-minded individuals pursuing our rather arcane private hobby.”
Over time, Wright explains, there is “danger” in virtual church gatherings, because it gives the false impression that church is a private club only for the like-minded and cordons it off from the rest of society.