Can you trust the church to catch you?

"Go Ahead & Jump!" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Go Ahead & Jump!” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Short answer: No!

Sometimes the church can catch you, and sometimes it will.

But it sometimes can’t catch you, and sometimes won’t.

You can’t just assume it always won’t or always will. Don’t trust an institution.

My suspicion is that as more and more people are self-aware and vocal about their negative church experiences, more people will learn not to trust the church implicitly.

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2 Responses

  1. Jordan says:

    Past experience does echo this – but too many assume that the DIVINE will catch you rather than them.

    A rabbi was once asked why G!d created atheists. He answered that G!d created the mitzvot/laws/good deeds but it was on us to do them. A religious person, he said, would say that G!d would give the hungry food and the naked clothing and trust G!d to do so, but the atheist acts not out of divine command but to help another person.

    Unfortunately many religious institutions and leaders fail in their roles because they forget that these institutions were designed to help others, not to delegate it back to G!d or to the Church metaphor itself.

  2. Jordan says:

    I should say in a clarification that this mindset of G!d Will Provide is very often said as a sort of waiving responsibility to act. People tend to think “Oh, G!d will help them out” without doing jack all. Can the Church catch Christians? It depends, but the individual is still commanded to help others.

    Biblical literalists in the audience would do well to look through Leviticus 19 and to notice the language of acting justly – that they are REQUIRED to do good, to help others avoid misfortune. To quote another set of commentaries (Pirkei Avot, chapter 2), “Rabbi Tarfon would say … “You are not obligated to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

    Sure, Jewish teaching, but Christians and the Church as an institution would do well to learn from this. If you can catch someone as they fall, DO. If you cannot, at least help with the recovery and the healing.