I was just reading NakedPastor’s blog (someone I admire) and he is relaying his thoughts on being a Pastor – a tough role to say the least. Can’t be vulnerable apparently – which led me to write a blog – if for no other reason but to relate problems in the church as I see them these days.
The structure is the sole problem and that’s it. Church structure exists as it’s own public relations rep and that’s the skinny of it. If you dare go against it – you will find yourself a social outcast at best – at worst ‘de-listed’ (see Kevin Annett’s story for more on this).
I have looked into the problems with this structure for years now – and this whole thing smells like a god-damn business (non-profit) to me. The structure is genuinely more concerned about its ‘image’ than it is concerned with your well being. Ever take a step back to regurgitate what they are feeding you for teachings? Ever read the doctrinal statements they make these poor officers of the church believe in order to be your leaders? That’s right – if you ‘believe correctly’ you are part of the faith and if not ‘you are a non-believer going to hell’. So fall in line – the line where people follow more hoax than reality.
Ever notice they ‘pass the hat’ during music? Check the psychology on that – you’d be very interested. Pastors play dad to a congregation that is afraid to deal with ‘real life’. Worship is some warped form of musicianry that lends itself better to the ‘pied piper’ than what worship really is. All the while they keep in strict doctrinal codes of ethics so as to not lose ‘one of you’ – meanwhile they are losing their mind trying to swallow the same pill they feed you. And none of this leads to better value systems then when you walked in the door – most of it comes from personal study if your being honest.
No pastor makes you a better person. No form of music makes you a worse person. No amount of money given builds some stairway to heaven. No amount of nice words makes the pain go away. No amount of faked stardom will lift you up. No cold structure that takes a saint’s prestige will give you a name either. It just ain’t thurr.
Good things happen because you chose that. Lives get repaired because you choose that. Repentance only gets ‘spice’ because you are person enough to approach your wrongs and deal with them – no matter how dirty it gets. Truth only has a meaning because you live it out – not because you can repeat it. These things happen because YOU got involved and meant what you were doing – and that’s the recipe.
Where’s God in all this? Not in some ‘image’ being portrayed as God’s bride – that image fails you more than you want to believe. But if you want the Asherah pole – have at er – but my Jesus walked a hard road to a cross – and meant every last tear he cried. No faking it here – no self-righteousness here – no ‘names to be made’ here – no twisting of the teachings for gain. There is nothing here – just a road someone travelled a long time ago who wanted to see true human success – and died for it. And maybe that is success – losing it all to gain perspective (goodbye structure and your beautiful caresses).
Have I said something I wasn’t supposed to? If you feel this way – then think about who’s feet your washing here for a minute? I don’t mind being a servant – to YOU – but not to something that cannot even speak. Bring me your feet.
“I think God has left the Museum for good’ (Scared – The Tragically Hip)