Empowerment Conundrum

The thing I like about faith is the same thing I hate about it: empowerment.

Christianity can help people build a foundation for their lives, develop new goals and pathways for living, and pretty much cheer up a blah existence. It works, seen it happen.

On the flip side, it also destroys with the same empowerment. It empowers an institution, and leaders, to have control of your life and pry into it’s many details…somewhat trapping the person in a constant cycle of obedience via fear & paranoia.

Fear & paranoia = guilt; must obey those leaders or you let God down as well (since the leaders represent Christ’s bride – the church)

But is it healthy to have that fear, paranoia, and guilt? Is this what good faith should look like? Is this the foundation you started with? Why do church people choose to build on these inferior emotions?

It’s really a tad strange when you think about it. Something with such promising beginnings (faith and hope and love) becomes something worth forgetting (guilt and fear and superstition). What happened and where did it happen?

Church blames the people, they doubted, they lacked faith, they fell into satan’s trap, etc. But when you examine it, the institution is the one that don’t change and demands you to. The institution don’t grow, yet you do (emotionally, mentally, and spiritually). Is it possible we can outgrow the church?

6 thoughts on “Empowerment Conundrum

  1. Thanks for the kind note on my blog. I appreciate it. I don’t know about that empowerment word. Does God want religious leaders to be lording with empowerment or to be guiding and serving? How can there be empowerment and be a servant leader?

  2. “Does God want religious leaders to be lording with empowerment or to be guiding and serving? How can there be empowerment and be a servant leader?” (Julie)

    I don’t think church should empower leaders too much – they need to have some power to lead – but too much and they allow the system to kind of ‘self-corrupt’. It’s a real balance issue for someone that is a pastor or leader of some sort – to not make the church into their image.

    I think all leaders in the church should be servant leaders – community leaders – people that seek the best for the people they serve and should be working alongside.

    i see the church as a great institution and social force, just more recently we are seeing some of the tricks the church has been using to ‘control’ people.

  3. I just saw your response, sorry. I agree with you completely about servant leaders and working together. I saw your comment about women empowerment. I just published a new post about Patriarchy in homeschooling movement that I’ve seen where women’s faith is under the authority of her husband. It is going to be busted on my blog. I’m done with this nonsense.

  4. I agree with this post. it is one of those strange dynamics in churches and probably lots of religious groups. I think the scary part i see is when the positive empowerment of early faith and life turns into institutionalism in the latter phase of life. We need to ramp up the good empowerment and keeping chopping away at the institutionalism.

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