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Fooled - Part 4 - The Church

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

It is easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects—education, building, missions, holding services. Just as it is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects—military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden—that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time. In the same way the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time.”

- C.S. Lewis

In 2018, in Fall River, Massachusetts, Adam J. Levesque, 42 used a hammer to kill Lance Corriea. Correia died of blunt-force head trauma. After the Oct. 9, attack, Correia was rushed to a Hospital, where his family eventually took him off life support. He died a month later at a nursing facility.

This kind of crime is difficult to hear about... it brings a visceral reaction as we think about the injustice of it as well as the loss of human life. One might ask the question... and rightly so... why would I bring up a gruesome crime to start a discussion about the church? That is a good question... and hopefully before we reach the end of this post today it becomes part of a larger painting that inspires us to search for deeper truths.

First of all... when I think about this crime... I don't think about the hammer... which is entirely powerless without someone or something taking control of it. Instead, I begin to focus on the person who perpetrated the senseless act... I think of their complete lack of empathy, kindness and compassion as they took this tool which was designed to build things and rather used it to destroy a fellow human... how did they get to the place where they thought it was okay to do what they did?

The hammer, while it was used in this heinous crime was just a tool misused as a weapon by a broken man! The hammer... left alone, would have had no power on its own and would have simply sat there if ignored.

Conversely if it were picked up and used by a skilled and kind person it could build a beautiful home, or a shelter for the homeless, or a hospital for the sick. The hammer requires a human interface to have any force of either good or evil... regardless if it was designed for good the impact of the hammer depends largely on the heart condition of the person wielding it.

The physical representation of the Church as we know it today has influenced many great things in 2000 plus years... playing a lead role in establishing hospitals, schools, homeless shelters... it has inspired great inventors... it has driven scientific breakthroughs and... it has been at the center of some of the most awful moments in modern human history!

Several years ago it was exposed that one of the most gifted Christian apologists of the last 30 years... Ravi Zacharias was not the person he appeared to be... it shook the North American Church... this man was quoted extensively and revered for his ability to debate even the most skilled atheist teacher. What happened to Ravi? How did he get to the place where he thought it was okay to use the Church organization he founded as a weapon to destroy those who he abused and were threatening to expose him? Many people left the faith as Ravi's organization unravelled the web of lies Ravi had built. The hidden massage parlours, the dozens of victims of sexual abuse, the many well meaning people around him that did his bidding in "protecting" the "ministry" at all costs. The abusers cries rose to a chorus after Ravi's death and eventually a four month investigation by the ministry exposed the truth.... Ravi was a narcissistic sociopathic abuser wrapped up in his own self importance.

We cannot ignore that there is evil that the organization of the Church, under oppressive self-important narcissistic leaders has done. The Middle Ages were replete with abusive Church leaders who used the full force of the organization of the Church as a weapon to quell any thinking that opposed their tainted version of Gods agenda... unable to see their narcissism they used almost any form of coercion to keep people in ignorance. They were absolutely convinced of their importance and their mission no matter who or what had to be destroyed in the pursuit of that mission. We can see many examples of this through history. It is easy to focus on these dark events and times… especially when we have had a traumatic experience with the Church as a religious organization.

In fact, many people who reject Christianity and walk away from it will point to these examples and say that the Church is evil because of these pieces of undeniable history. These dark spots are the proof, the vindication of their bias that arose from emotional trauma from their past Church experience.

The Church has been both the hero of the last 2000 years and also the villain as well… but before we throw it all away let’s dig a layer deeper here…

Let's walk over and look at the physical structure of Healthcare. The people who have worked within the medical profession have used the physical structure of Healthcare throughout history to build large buildings and expensive infrastructures to advance many positive and amazing changes for the benefit of the human race… but also the same structure has been used to harm mankind in the most despicable and horrendous ways. The mission... the heart of medicine is to heal... and yet some of the most heinous abuses imaginable have come from the organization of medicine.

Using "healthcare" as a weapon... some Abusive and Narcissistic healthcare professionals have… forced mothers to be sterilized, done live experiments on real humans. Today healthcare in North America is in a shambles as it has acted in an increasingly self protective measure… heavily influenced by profiteers…

How can something created for good have such a history of atrocities? There are within the organizational structure of medicine - doctors, nurses, pharmacists, researchers, teachers and more who are in essence a part of the “spirit” of healthcare. These are people work tirelessly within a broken system to positively impact humanity INDIVIDUALLY without getting pulled into a cesspool of greed, self righteousness and false piety that has soaked much of modern healthcare… the truth is we need hospitals, we need drug companies, we need healthcare overall...

What shall we do?

There is an old saying "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!". This old English proverb is referring to the idea that we should not discard something valuable along with something undesirable... but what about these abuses?

Hard questions...

The human race is so very broken... so prone to error and sin. Even the most righteous individuals have "red in our ledger". How do we begin to recognize the flaws in the Church... the brokenness of men... and still stand as a lighthouse to a broken world?

When leadership in the Church understands individual care, allows the freedom to ask questions, avoids getting hyper focused on financial structures, swept away by greed, and personal, political or corporate agendas the Church becomes a tool for good….

Conversely when these same leaders are consumed by their own infallibility, by greed, special interest or "mission" over individual care they can shift into using the organization meant for building a better world into a tool that destroys individuals for the "corporate good".

In a nutshell... If we follow Christ…. We must follow His example, His teachings, His morality, His truths…

“a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory;” - Matthew / Isaiah

Of course there is also Jesus story of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to find the one... I suppose there is no greater example of what a Church should look like than this... a heart for the individual.... a passion for the one sheep that got lost to find its way back to a place of shelter and safety. Jesus passionately showed the way to lead HIS Church with kindness to those who are seeking truth and yet still stand strong against injustice!

As our world descends into narcissism and the God of self worship grows in power… as we see organizations and structures meant for good being used as tools of oppression… the brokenness of the human race is increasingly exposed.

The TRUE Church may stumble but it will passionately seek truth over all else. The TRUE Church is not afraid of questions, is not afraid of doubts... it will lift the broken-hearted... and it will stand against injustice with unshakable faith!

Join me to dig deeper… like follow and subscribe!

Stay strong and be the change!

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