In the sixties, churches started veering away from angry preaching where people came every week to get their spiritual spanking. Preachers started going back to school to learn counseling and social work skills. We started emphasizing how churches should meet the needs of others.
But in the eighties, I saw a shift in the attitude of lots of church people. Grown up mature Christians stopped saying to the world, “How can we meet your needs?”. They shifted to a more consumer oriented stance (selfishness) and asked “How can the church meet MY needs?”
The church has deteriorated over the years to where we have a great number of thumbsucking, overindulged, lazy people who want somebody to pay for a professional to take care of the religious work.
You know, I have become friends with a few atheists recently, and I much prefer them to many of the “elect.” They often have a real passion for truth that I find lacking in many church members. They are often quite idealistic (even if they won't admit it). I think Jesus probably prefers them, too—although don't tell my new friends that because it will start a debate for sure.
If you ask me, the real atheists are often sitting in the pews. They don’t believe. They just want. They’re not racked with guilt; they’re soft with spoiled living. And they whine if things get too uncomfortable.