â€œâ€¦ in the contemporary churches, pietism, in any of its forms, represents a profound anxiety for success, for results, for reputation, for tribute to the conduct, practices or beliefs of churchgoersâ€ (William Stringfellow, Count It All Joy, p. 92).
I like William Stringfellow because of his insightful and pointed critique of the contemporary church. Iâ€™m sorry heâ€™s gone. I love everything he wrote. The above quote was published in 1967. Here we are, almost 40 years later, and things are worse! I too am certain that our modern day piety, which is â€œdevotion to a deity or deities and observance of religious principles in everyday lifeâ€, reveals a panicky need for success, results, fame, and reward. The terrible truth is that the church tends to encourage, nurture, and sustain this kind of piety.
Do we have the courage to die to this kind of piety, personally and corporately?