Archive

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The church is an organized religion with a political agenda


I thought I'd follow on from my review of They Like Jesus but not the Church by blogging on the six issues that Dan K identified following his conversations with those who LJBNTC and evaluate a bit further whether these apply in the same way here in the UK.

Certainly here in the UK as a society this current generation has an issue with membership. Join a trade union? No thanks. How about a politcal party? Nope. Ok, the church then? Please...The only thing this generation joins are slimming classes and gyms. Last week on our Alpha course (we have seven seekers aged from 17-late forties in our group) we discussed the issue 'what about the church?' and we covered the 'I can be a Christian without joining the church' issue but it wasn't a huge issue. Getting up on a Sunday morning seemed to be the bigger challenge. 

Dan's second assertion that they see "the church being about hierarchy, power and control with a political agenda" just didn't come up. I can't remember ever having that conversation with someone who isn't a Christian and it's not that I don't know anyone outside the church. Because the church in the UK is relatively small we no linger have much influence politically and there hasn't been a drive to recover it - but instead to influence the agenda on campaigns like global debt and global warming.

The third reason was that "the church is made of leaders who function like CEOs and desire power and control." Again that is largely a non-issue here, perhaps because in the UK we have hardly any mega-churches (2000+), about a dozen perhaps so leadership remains pretty pastoral, accessible and relational. The church as corporation hasn't emerged here yet, thankfully. Again in our discussion of the church that didn't come up at all.

So while we have our own-issues the big one is the privatisation of the spiritual as a consequence of our high individualism is the biggest. What do you think? Am I on target or off beam?  
 

2 comments:

Dan on 18 July 2007 at 18:24 said...

hello!

i talked to a canadian pastor and they said the same thing - that the political agenda part of things was not part of canadian culture. the canadaian did say that the other things were the same though.

i lived in England for a year and i didn't see the megachurch business approach in the christian church psyche like it is here with all the conferences and well known pastors all being from megachurches for the most part.

i really love reading your observations!

Dan

Phil on 18 July 2007 at 18:38 said...

Thanks for the comment Dan! What does concern me though is that actually I think we're pretty envious of the megachurches in the US and elsewhere. That's different from aspiring to see the church grow. We want the big church, the massive systems, I'm sure we have leaders who want to be the CEO of St Jude PLC.

I don't want to knock big church, I'd like mine to be much bigger than it is, but not at the expense of community or relationship. Know what I mean?

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