Driving a Wedge
Since I posted last time, a friend of mine has gotten “fired” from the church. Supposedly, it’s nothing more than a business decision … finances being what they are, and all.
But how can an organization that claims to follow the God that owns “the cattle on a thousand hills” ever claim financial problems as a reason for letting go someone that two years ago would move “the structure” forward in the ways of God … or the ways of God as perceived by the leadership?
The truth of the matter is that this guy was pushing for integrity in the leadership. He was asking tough questions, and after a while, started to infringe on what the current leadership was “comfortable” with dealing with. Under fear and self-preservation (because you know, people who question rock the boat and might get the people around them a little wet), I believe the “powers that be” came up with a convenient way of dealing with their “problem.”
So those of us “on the outside,” who appreciated the stuff this guy was championing, are reeling again. But see, we “at the church” are use to living with this kind of bullshit. People come and go in this profession as the hierarchy determines who will best meet their current needs. People are fodder, to make the machine go. And while we dress it up all nicely, each time something like this happens, it proves to me that “the structure” really isn’t very interested in the God they say they serve at all.
Now, all my friend who are atheists reading this are smiling, saying, “Yep. We’re right about God and the church and all things spiritual.” And sad to say, you are dead-on about the structure commonly known as “the church”. But I want to put a disclaimer in here: We as humans have barely a clue as to what God intended for us here. That is an on-going journey of discovery … something very personal and meant to be reflected in the way we live our lives, treat those in need, share our possessions, etc. I can’t imagine living life without being a spiritual person. Personally, I will not let anything wrapped in the stupidity of man raise doubts in me about God.
However, here’s how I see “organized” religion (an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one!) The structure took a few vague feelings, some well-written stories, sprinkled a healthy dose of control and power over it all, tossed it in a bowl called money, and said, “Ta-da! Here’s the church.” And for years, good people have blindly given themselves over to it. Some, with the hopes of doing good for their fellow man. Hoping somehow this institution would do what it said. Silly us.
Some have given themselves over because that’s all they know. Or looking for relief from this thing we call life. Or because that’s what their family did. Or … a million other reasons. But somewhere along the line, many give up their God-given ability to think for themselves.
My Christian friends out there are saying, “Oh, poor dear. She’s reacting to the hurt caused by this situation to her friend and his family and she’s just venting angrily.” No, you’re wrong. See, I’ve seen this scenario way too many times for it just to be a personal, knee-jerk reaction. Yeah, there’s hurt. But think about your own lives; your own situations. Isn’t it time we stop talking and begin doing something? I know there are exceptions — I see it right here, in the structure I am chained to. But overall, you gotta admit that most things that happen in “church” are self-propagating, and about maintaining the way things are done. Because if we convince ourselves long enough that “we” are right and “they” are wrong, if we yell it loud enough and long enough, we have a vested interest in making sure “they” damn well become convinced, too.
This thing that happened yesterday really isn’t a surprise for me. But it definitely has driven a wedge deeper into my heart and the “thing” called church. I begged my husband (who is a part of this organization) to show me I was wrong. To give me hope.
I’m still waiting.