Dark Brightness

Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

We cannot just be social services.

One of the fashions in the English speaking world is to get charities to provide services for the poor and needy — contracted to the government. This means that they become professionalized… and, as they are employing social workers, nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists rather than clergy, become weak, insipid, and lose sight of their original mission.

This comment, which related to a lousy homily, applies to more than Catholics.

There is no staying power in that sort of religion. It quickly collapses under its own weight. Men stop going, then most women stop going. Collections dry up. You’re left with a bunch of spinsters in crew cuts. The only staying power of leftist religion is… well… leftism. And while that is no doubt a powerful force, there are just so many options out there. I mean why compromise with the leftist-wannabe Catholic church, when you could go down the street to the UUs or Episcopalians or the UCCs or PC-USA or (for that matter) the American Baptists? They are just so much purer, unfettered incarnations of leftism.

Well, this Reformed person mutters “been there, done that, got the T-shirt”. Among Protestant churches (and the PCANZ has a fairly loud left and liberal wing) the committees are literally full of spinsters with theology degrees and crewcuts that cannot get ministries because they are simply horrible to be around.  The Godly ones generally do — but they are in the ministry to serve, not to gain power, and these women generally wrok in teams. With men.

(I will not deviate into female teaching elders, but to note that the idea of eldership has been broken in my church, as the liturgy of the Anglicans and Catholics was also broken, around the time of Vatican II, in all churches, and we are still undoing the damage).

The places that grow have a mission, are led by men and women who live that mission, and the gospel is preached and lived within them. People flock to churches like that. The committees are isolating themselves from the faithful.

And the committees will thus die. But the church will survive. For it is not ours, nor the committees, not the eldership, bishopric, or any other title, but Christs. The Church (praise God) is guided by the Spirit of God, and not by us.

Besides, any power and title we have only gains utility if it is used for the service of others. It has no value in and of itself.

5 thoughts on "We cannot just be social services."

  • Will_the_man123 says:

    This gay marriage battle in australian politics is a symptom of the spiritual assault of satan on the church of Australia. The fact that tony abbott’s sister is a lesbian and is promoting gay marriage and getting tony abbott to do the same. The gospel is not gonna be popular with the Aussies as it tells certain truths that Australians do not want to hear. That is, all have fallen short of god and need salvation.

    • Chris says:

      Will not S, yes… but I’m a Kiwi.

      And I have some sympathy for the floridly effeminate in Southern NZ: the cultre is very much based around Rugby, hard work and beer. It is not an easy place to be gay. But… acting on those desires is sinful — just as me acting on my desires with a single woman would be fornication.

      (Note to the secular: fornication is a sin. Not a prelude to wedded bliss).

  • Will_the_man123 says:

    Hey chris how come I can’t see your comment?

    • chrisgale says:

       I am not sure. Can you read this.

      My comment was along the line that we have the same issues in NZ, but we also have a convention that what people do outsdie of the chamber generally does not matter. This goes back to Bill Rowling, who had a child suicide:  there is a convention that you will not attack on personal lives.

      Mainly because both the left and the right have a LOT of dirt on each other. If one side starts playing the scandal card, they will be taken down.

      On gay marraige, the civil union thing has taken the steam out of it here. We have more problems with the liberals wanting gay bishops, and then wondering why people cross either the Tiber or enter Geneva.

      • Will_the_man123 says:

         Yeah and ignorant of the fact that even personal sins radiate out into the entire community.

        Take for example achan’s sin of keeping things under the “ban” for himself from Jericho. Because of his sin his entire household is spiritually contaminated and his entire family and all his possessions were destroyed.

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