The church in Sweden has a trust problem — one that the furniture giant, IKEA, does not share. According to a poll taken by the business weekly Dagens Industri, 80 percent of Swedes said they had “much or very much trust” in the world’s largest furniture store chain. Only 46 percent of the 800 people surveyed said they trusted the Swedish church, which counts 80 percent of those living in Sweden as members.
Also considered more trustworthy than the church were Volvo, Ericsson, Saab, pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca, Sweden’s public television station, its universities, small business, the central bank and the daily paper Dagens Nyheter. In fact, the Swedish church came in 14th, only faring better than the prime minister’s conservative party and foreign companies like Coca-Cola.
Much of their problem lies with the church being a state-sponsored, state-run church. This should be a warning to Conservative Evangelicals to not get trapped in either of the two extremes.
We should not be isolationists, avoiding the government and policy decisions completely. However, neither should we be campaigning for a “Christian government.” That never works out for either side. Usually, the Church is the biggest loser as principles and commitments are compromised for power and control.