Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Holy Institution

Is the church, that we see today, God’s holy institution? I’m talking about the buildings, the services, and the hierarchical leadership, with a pastor/elder at the helm.

Some people think that I am either absolutely disgusting or out of my mind for writing the way I do, about this holy institution.

These same people are well aware of people within the institution that have done all kinds of damage.

It seems odd to me, that they would rather see the inadequacies within the people in the institution, rather than saying, it is the system, itself, that perpetuates the problems. People seem to bow down to this idea: we know people are flawed but we take comfort in knowing, without a doubt, that the system itself is a beautiful gift from the throne of God.

Is this unwavering allegiance and demand for this wineskin any different than those who demanded a king 3,000 years ago? Don't forget, that even though there were times of peace under a king, it was never God's will for the nation of Israel to have a king.

1Sam 8:6 (NKJV) But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 8 "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day--with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods--so they are doing to you also.

Mark 10:42 (NKJV) But Jesus called them to [Himself] and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 "And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.

How do we interpret Jesus’ words? From the vantage point of what we see today or would His words be better understood through historical realities that are clear within the Bible itself?


Jamie A. Grant said...

Yeah, I find it confusing that people are much more willing to blame the church members and attack them rather than question the religious system. Where's the balance in that?

Ashleigh said...

First of all, there is no balance in that. It's just human nature, I think, to go down the easiest road...It's MUCH easier to blame the church members, rather than take all the time and effort necessary to examine the entire system as a whole.

Besides, if we did look at the system and admit it needs changing, we would have to admit that, on some level, we have deviated FAR from what Christ intended the church to be...and since that would be likely to leave a permanent bad taste in people's mouths, it's better just to blame people.

Bottom line I think is this: It's all band-aid solutions. You blame some members for a problem or two, they either leave or are replaced as a result which fixes things temporarily...but eventually that bamd-aid will get wet and fall off, leaving nothing more than an open wound of a church system.

I rambled a bit, so I hope that made sense...

David Grant said...

I totally agree with your band-aid analogy. The idea that it is easier to blame people makes us look spiritually lazy.

In a sense it isn't the system that is to blame. It us for trusting the system instead of seeking Jesus and each other with open arms.