The Essence of What I Love and the Essence of What I Hate… About Church

Recent posts by James and Richard have really got me thinking – for a couple of minutes! 🙂

What I love about church (and I’m talking about what I think of as church, which isn’t necessarily what I turn up to on a Sunday) are the intimate relationships and the dream of intimate relationships. The idea of having honesty, love, concern, responsibility in a set of relationships. Thinking about these things makes me believe that life as a disciple is possible.

What I hate about church (and I do mean hate!) are the formal shortcuts that lead to relationships that lack the above qualities. I believe that the presence of organisation tempts us to formalise our relationships and encourages us to think that we can treat each other with less grace, it tempts us to think that we don’t have failings, tempts us to look for specks in eyes when we have logs in our own. Formalisation makes us forget our humanity and the centrality of close relationships. We look at the world and see how it operates and we think that we can run the business of church like that, instead of recognising that church isn’t a business, it is people, people who need love, people who need to give love. It’s not what we do, it’s the way that we do it – sometimes we think that the ends justifies the means, that the business is more important than the love.

2 thoughts on “The Essence of What I Love and the Essence of What I Hate… About Church

  1. I totally agree with what Mark has said here, about church being the people, in it, the people who need to love, and be loved and so on, but is there a debate that needs to be had about what people are atracted too. Peter Briely has just published some research which suggests tha tthose under 30 are atracted to churches which are larger, seem as though they are going somewhere, lots to offer, lots to be involved in. But how does this work with the relationship side of things. this is part of the ongoing conflict hat I seem to be constantly going on about, between the things that big churches offe, and who they atract, and what they actually doa offer, if they are so big is it possible for that relaitonship to happen. There was a church I attended in Cheltemah, which was big, probably did lots, and stil does, but yet, there wwere sundays when I cold and noone would talk to me, there might have even been a great message, but what dos the fact tha tnoone said anything to me say abotu the church and the poeple in it.
    Relationships are important, with eachother and with god, but do we compremise at all with what peole seem to be atracted too/ don’t know, don’t have answers yet.

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