why should we need protection from the church?

why should we need protection from the church? June 6, 2013
protection from the church cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
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Why should we need protection from the church? Why should we need advocates against it? Why do we so often have to self-advocate against it? Why is abuse within the church a daily news item?

Because it is a human institution. Barth said that religion is like a crater that the initial impact of a profound event left behind. Add to that the continuing changes of the crater. Add to that the tourist attractions. Add to that the need to protect it, enshrine it, and enforce it and you have the sacrifice of human freedoms.

The illusion, the fantasy, that the church is a safe place perpetuates its entitlement to abuse.

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  • Chester McMackin

    It is the old story which many people do not get ! The so called “church ” had established in its name a brainwash of being holy over the centuries, when in reality, it is an institution which had been seen as Omnipotent by the unfortunate fear of the majority of those under such a thumbs down practice by the rulers.That is, until recently, when attendance and total obedience to the rulers has fallen into rightful question.Surely GOD gave us a brain and the freedom to use it in applying common sense.

    Regrettably, like any good thing in the beginning ( Creation ), we humans have been prone to excessive use of good things which lead to extreme overkill, thereby creating our continuing Garden of Eden experience. If someone has the ANSWER to the mess we continue to create, I would like to know ! Honest……..I am open !

  • Adam Julians

    Yeah and like other human institutions – corporate, familty, etc abuse happens as noone is without sin.

    I’ve learnt to keep my heart more guardedi in church and am better for it.

    The problem with church, unlike other institutions, is that it’s purpose ultimately is in the loving of god and fellow humanity. I found that I let my guard down with that. Where, the reality sadly is that it is no less likely to cuase problems as other institutions. If we bear that in mind and do likewise with other human institutiona and not expect more of it then we are in a healthy place.

  • Adam Julians

    Did what i shared help in any way with an answer for you?

  • That’s why we ought stay away from “churches” that are human centered instead of Christ centered. They will put you on all sorts of religious projects and be your judge and become prideful.

    But where the external Word of promise is the focus for REAL sinners…including the pastor, then true freedom can exist.

  • Jerry Lynch

    David, you should have had a seat next to me during my parochial education in the Fifties and Sixties; you might have saved me some of the tortuous routes to healing I took. Unlike Adam Julians below who had the wherewithall to protect himself, I was in an era and of a temperament that guarding my heart did not even appear as an option.

    It is the abusive authoritarian over authoritative, as you know. People like myself who are shy and introverted are crushed and eventually come to prefer that state, seeing themselves as bad and unworthy, and the abuse as loving discipline to correct us. I think it was Freud who noted this as “Idealization of the father.” Today you can call it the Stockholm Syndrome.

    I feel that religion is a natural breeding ground for such abuse and only concerted and persistent effort can possibly help to contain it.

  • Al Cruise

    The “human centered” churches as Steve puts its, have the upper hand right now. They have the bully pulpit so to speak. In terms of sheer numbers, they have the most adherents.Hence they control the conversation about all things spiritual. That’s why the extremists like Westboro can operate the way they do, because they know how to play the game of hate, and still make it look like they are part of this mainstream.

  • klhayes

    Agreed….the same people who want to tear down anything the represents govt will not question religious institution. Now matter what the focus is SUPPOSED to be, there will always be problems and challenges because humans run the church.

  • I don’t believe in Christ-centered churches. I think they are a myth. They do not exist.

  • That’s your right.

    I happen to belong to one.

    The freedom there is awesome!

    Too bad you started out in that legalistic/self-centered Vineyard denomination. You didn’t stand a chance there.

  • I can honestly say that in 16 years at my church, the pastor has never told us once, not once, what we have to do, say, think, or believe.

    But we have heard a whole lot about what Christ has done, is doing, and will yet do for real sinners…like us.

  • Steve: I don’t know how many times I’ve told you that this fantasy doesn’t belong to any denomination but the church as a whole. Read my “about” page: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nakedpastor/about/ and you will see, as i’ve told you a hundred times before, that i’ve been through many denominations. i didn’t start in the vineyard, but ended there. Your sense of superiority stinks. you are obviously living in a fantasy. but that’s your right. keep living the dream.

  • Gun Nordström

    Two days ago I happened to find a site that might have “the ANSWER to the mess we continue to create” not only in churches but in all systems we are living in.
    “On December 25, 2013, three public trustees disclosed groundbraking legal documents filed on behalf of THE ONE PEOPLE. From this moment a grassroots movement was born as the documents swept across the globe like wildfire. Since these filings hundred of thousands of people across the world have been inspired to act on a common goal: Freedom from the old enslavement system and a choice to live their lives according to their own free will and free choice.” Read more about The One People’s Public Trust (OPPT)

  • Chester McMackin

    What you have said is in my general agreement, based on experience of many years in observation and participation in church corporations along with commercial corporations. The small bit I can offer is to endeavor to do the RIGHT thing in circumstances involving sisters and brothers of all beliefs. If one has more than they NEED, for example, sharing some of it is the RIGHT thing to do. Not sharing all of one’s current excess of NEED, as a base should be retained for future sharing.

    This perhaps is an old fashioned and simple “answer” if everyone would apply it instead of talk about it. PRACTICE as a significant supplement to PROFESSING is considered by me to be the initial step.

    Thank you, JULIAN, for taking the time.

  • Sense of superiority? Huh?

    I’m just saying that you have NEVER been in a church that is Christ centered. We are. And there are others.

    You may think you know that none exist. But how can you know if you haven’t been a part of any? Unless you have some superior knowledge of every church without having visited them.

    I’m in a Christ centered church, right now. I know they exist.

  • Adam Julians

    Hey man, my pleasure,

    Thanks for affirming what I had said about being guarded as we would be with other human institutions being a healthy way to go. Also fo sharing your ideas about if one has more than they need, sharing it. I’m hearing the words of Jesus as we speak with the heart being preacious and to guard it and if one has two shirts, to give one away.

    Yes and just taling about it is like being a clanging gong or a clashing symbol. The love part is the putting it onto action faith and works. As someone once said, “theology is useless, uless it is applied theology” – yeah doing the right thing. If we alll did that then we would be in a good place 🙂

  • Adam Julians

    Hey Jerry, Just so you know, its through a lot of tough lessons that I have learnt to protect myself. i grew up in the 60’s ans 70’s. My expereince was not dissimilar to the one you describe for yourself.

    And i needed help to get me to where i am now with 6 one hour sessions of compassion therapy. i wonder if taking a look at this is something you would find helpful in understanding? http://www.compassionatemind.co.uk/resources/Formulation$281$29.pdf

  • Adam Julians

    Hey David,

    Can I ask what you mean by no church being Christ – centred and a fantasy? I’m curious as I wonder why it is that we as humans can have similar expereinces and come to different conclusions? I am now connected to a church where a few months ago I was done and the last thing i wanted to do was ever cross the threshold of a church. I’ve learnt to guard my heart more and be wise about what I commit to and who I connect with and it’s working for me.

    I understand you leaving the ministry after years of frustration and struggle in 2010, taking up the position of teaching English and launching TLS.

    I guess for me too – i see myself as being more “out there” in communty outside of the “church”. But I also at the church too.

    Maybe it’s a case of not one being the right option and and another being the wrong for everyone but different strokes for different folks as part of the diversity in the body of Christ?

  • I’m not saying that none exist because of the church’s failure. I’m saying that no such thing exists in possibility either. Your claim Steve that your church is Christ-centered is matched by Hillsboro Baptist believing theirs is as well.

  • Gary

    This is such an odd statement from you Steve. Odd because you have a very long history of telling all of us what we must “do, say, think,” and “believe”. You are constantly parroting your beloved pastor and it is impossible to believe he does not do exactly the same thing.

    David is right…you do live in a fantasy.

  • Gary,

    I have NEVER told anyone on David’s blog “what to do” as far as their being a Christian is concerned.

    I have said that people are self-focused and that there is no need to be. I have said that Christ is the way. That He will be their judge. I have said many Christ centered things. But telling people what they should and should not do in regard to their being a Christian…no.

    They do that at Vineyard. In the Roman Church. At Calvinist churches and Baptist/non-denominational churches. And yes…in many Lutheran churches. But NOT in all churches. Some do have a proper understanding of the freedom of the Christian.

  • Gary

    You really don’t get it do you. Telling us that “God will be our judge” in the context of stating your beliefs as absolute fact is the worst kind of manipulative control. Either we agree with YOU…or we face your god enforcer.

    Yup…that is the great fantasy!

  • Nick Gotts

    Barth said that religion is like a crater that the initial impact of a profound event left behind.

    But is there any reason to think he was right? When we look at modern religions (Mormonism, Scientology, Raelism etc.) the “profound event” appears to have been either a scam, or a delusion. What grounds are there for the assumption that older religions – aside from those like Hinduism that seem to have “just growed” – are any different?

  • You are right Nick. He was specifically speaking about Christianity I believe.

  • Nick Gotts

    Where presumably, the “profound event” is supposed to be the resurrection. But that looks like a delusion or a scam to the non-Christian.