Saturday, July 31, 2010

Upon this rock?

The church's strengths may also be its weaknesses: diversity tolerance, compromise, practicality, and niceness. Truth gets written by committee, mystery gets lost in translation, decency gets translated into dullness, and the spirit gets hamstrung by bureaucracy.

Some critics call us, "The Church of Christ, Sociologist." The church has an ability to avoid doing that which will screw up the works; it may not do the best thing, but it can be counted on not to do the worst. This may be reassuring to some, but does not strike me as a rock upon which to build a church.

Ron Graham, God's Dominion


  1. You have just described many of the feelings I have about my own church now. In fact, I'm going to forward this to our pastor search committee, of which I am a member. Thank you for the words of inspiriation today. This is just want I needed.

  2. Graham rightly laments the absence of a spirit of courage and risk in congregations. Some of the most famous scenes of courage in the history of Christianity -- Jesus throwing money-changers out of the Temple, Emperor Henry IV doing penance in the snow before Pope Gregory VII at Canossa in 1077, Joan of Arc, the heroine of France who was martyred in 1431 for hearing God's voice and acting on it, Martin Luther taking his stand in 1521 at the Imperial Diet of Worms, the Protestant martyrs who died under the bloody English Queen Mary in the 1550s, John Witherspoon risking life, limb and career as the only clergyman to sign the declaration of American independence -- all these and more exemplified a temper of mind and heart that is rare in contemporary Christianity. In the words of the Te Deum, where today are the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets, the noble army of martyrs?