The real trouble is not in fact that the Church is too rich, but that it has become heavily institutionalized, with a crushing investment in maintenance. It has the characteristics of the dinosaur and the battleship. It is saddled with a plant and programme beyond its means, so that it is absorbed in problems of supply and preoccupied with survival. The inertia of the machine is such that the financial allocations, the legalities, the channels of organization, the attitudes of mind, are all set in the direction of continuing the enhancing of the status quo. If one wants to pursue a course which cuts across these channels, then most of one's energies are exhausted before one ever reaches the enemy lines.Well said. I now know why there was often a churning of my stomach when I was part of weakly (sic) "staff meetings" in a former paradigm and had to step outside for some solar energy and a few snorts of fresh oxygen.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This is a quotation at the beginning of Chapter 13 of Frank Viola's book "Finding Organic Church" (DC Cook 2009). It's by the late John A.T. Robinson, former Anglican bishop. Although, I do not agree with most of his theology (he was a universalist), he did a great job of illuminating the overall preoccupation and distraction of the Institutional Church.