Critiquing the One You're In Bed With
I'm finding it very difficult lately to be two things at one time: a critic of the system I'm a part of. As you might have guessed by now, I'm both a critic of official Christianity and institutional church as well as being a full-time professional pastor. I find it really challenging to remain in the system. I experience why so many people abandon the church and religion. One of the main reasons, I must confess, is because of the backlash from the system itself and those within it when you express unrest with it. If you criticize an institution it is assumed that you have no moral right to be a part of it. You're said to bite the hand that feeds you. And we often conclude that to criticize something is to hate it rather than suspect that the criticism is borne out of an intense passion for the thing. Jacques Ellul, the French sociologist and theologian, wrote:
the churches are so debilitated and apostate that a Christian can hardly bear to remain in a church, and yet, on the other hand, no Christian can leave a church lest he fail to confess his own part of the responsibility for the very conditions in a church which provoke protestThis ought to be, in my opinion, the dilemma of every church-going or church-skipping Christian in the world. I believe, like Ellul, that the church is horribly apostate and debilitated and borders on complete collusion with its fallen state among the principalities and the powers. I realize and accept my participation in its present condition. It's time for transformation. The fine art photograph is the creation of my friend Jorgen Klausen. I imagine this is Samson pushing against the pillars that brought down the temple and all within it, including himself. I guess there were no other options than to bring it all down.