January 20, 2020

Sickness unto Death

Parts of the church are experiencing a kind of autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself. Such conditions are always painful, and sometimes fatal.

This — among other things — is leading more and more people to realize that one does not need to be a “churchgoer'' or listed on a parish roll in order to be a Christian; it leads many into the company of those who see themselves as “spiritual but not religious.”

More and more people, for various reasons, are coming to see that institutional aspects of the faith have little or nothing to do with its core values. While it is true that one cannot be "a solitary Christian" there is no need to identify the locus of the community of faith with a parish — especially when that parish, and its leadership, adopt policies or practice behaviors so inimical to Christ and his teachings.

Christendom is not yet dead — but it is sick; and much of its sickness is self-inflicted, the product of its embrace of empire and institution at the expense of the Gospel.


Molly Wolf said...

For years, I have found my best Christian community online, and even though individual cyber communities have failed, these links keep me in touch with the company of pilgrims. My “real life” church is moribund because it serves the past, not the Gospel. The god of Tradition and Propriety is not the God of Love. Moreover, the theology I encounter in church fails to do its work of wrestling with angels; too much of it suffers from either disengagement or Bibliolatry. I do pray that church can undergo a cleansing crisis, but it may need to hit bottom first.

Anonymous said...

I was born into the Episcopal Church and active for more than 50 years, but after being told in writing by +Susan Goff that the diocese of Virginia will not address my former priest’s perjury against me unless he faces criminal charges, I am done.

It is so very sad to have left the church behind, but I truly believe that Churchianity truly is experiencing a fatal illness when it cannot even address clergy misconduct.

Apologies in advance, BTW, if I sound bitter.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

A belated “thank you,” Molly. I suspect the current COVID-19 crisis may well teach the church a thing or two... at least I hope so.

And to the anonymous poster, I don't normally pass along anonymous comments, but did so in this case as a way of sharing your dismay. The inability of the church to discipline misbehavior among its leaders is one of its greatest failings. I understand any bitterness you may feel and hope that time and new prospects may bring you to healing of that feeling of betrayal. God bless you.