In an article for FaithWorld, Tom Heneghan writes, “In the Netherlands, where faith has faded more dramatically than in many other parts of Europe, two churches close down on average every week. The sacred art left over is piling up in cellars and storerooms around the country.”
--http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2012/05/03/as-dutch-churches-shut-their-sacred-art-finds-new-uses-abroad/ Illustration by Jim L. Wilson
The article focuses on what happens to the art that these churches once displayed. For art lovers everywhere, this is an important issue and deserves attention. However, the real tragedy in the story is not that there is some religious art without a home, but that two churches a week are closing in the Netherlands and are not being replaced by new ones.
Every church is one generation away from closing. We must reach out to others, or face the consequences of not doing so. The real danger, however, is not that our church could follow the fate of the churches in the Netherlands, but that those we should be reaching, will never hear the gospel and misses their chance at finding hope.
Matthew 28:18–20 (HCSB) Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”