Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is this what Jesus had in mind?

I've never actually met fellow Anglican priest-blogger Tim Chesterton in the flesh, although we did speak on the phone once. Our respective Anglicanisms have been shaped by different journeys and, while bearing a more than cursory resemblance, often look a trifle different. We disagree on some things - both current hot button issues and more esoteric matters. And he has more than once asked me a challenging question without being the least bit belligerent. But his blogposts are frequently insightful and thought provoking. I look forward to meeting him for real some day.

Oh, and he's a big fan of the Bard of Barking, so he must be a good sort deep down.

He's written a blogpost today which begins with a reflection on the Bruce Cockburn song Pacing the Cage (see below). The whole thing is worth a read, but here was the part that grabbed me:
So I find myself asking, how did a movement which began with volunteer missionaries joyfully going around the Mediterranean world at their own expense, planting churches with little structure and no buildings, end up as a huge organization that frequently needs multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns to sustain the sort of mission it believes in? How did a movement which foreswore violence end up blessing battleships and praying for success against the enemy? How did a movement which warned of the dangers of clericalism (see Matthew 23:1-12) become so totally dependent on professional ministers, (in many cases dressing them up as gorgeously as wannabe Roman bureaucrats)? 
Is this the kind of church Jesus had in mind? More to the point, am I the kind of Christian Jesus had in mind?
What say you, dear reader?

Oh, and here's the YouTube of Pacing the Cage.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Malcolm! You sure chose a pretty clerical photo of me - pics like that are few and far between!

Tim C.

Malcolm+ said...

I thought you looked quite distinguished.