Sunday, May 18, 2014
Death by Bureaucracy
Studying in Rome about 42 years ago, I asked Ireland's Father Fachtna McCarthy, "When will the RCC move beyond some of its traditions into this century?"
He said, "Some cardinals will have to die."
The same is true for too many denominations, churches, clubs, organizations, and the like that long for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.
The same holds true for the problems with our VA, health care, public education, continuing segregations, and...
It's the problem of wineskins.
Dolts who idolize past "processes" as if life doesn't evolve from #2 pencils to computers for the glory of God and advancement of civilization like to rearrange the deck chairs of the Titanic while it's sinking.
Art Pace was one of the most authentic preachers/pastors that I've ever known.
Fresh out of seminary, he was called to a small church in central New Jersey that epitomized the worst of the preceding section; longing for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.
Also troubled by the increasing apostasies from Jesus by the book in his franchise, he left the church and became a career chaplain for the US Army.
When I connected with him some years ago at one of our big denominational meetings, he said he could talk more about Jesus in the Army than in that small church in central New Jersey and his franchise.
Take that MMOwazzyourname!
I don't know if Art wrote "The Meeting" but he gave it to me about 35 years ago and I think it still has something to do with death by bureaucracy.
P - I now call to order this meeting of the Brandex Presbyterian Church. Is everyone here?
1 - I guess so.
2 - More or less.
3 - I think so.
P - Good! Let's look at the first order of the day. As you know, we're losing lots of members.
1 - Right.
2 - We used to have 54.
3 - But we lost 51.
P- Remember, wherever God is, there's a majority.
1 - Being a majority is lonely.
P - Anyway, I believe we need to attract new members. Any ideas?
1 - How about saying you'll cut off your beard if we invite people to church? Or how about a sermon without quoting dead German guys?
2 - No, I like the sermons as they are.
3 - Yeah, I've really liked our pastor's year-long series on the new book from Cokesbury about The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank.
P - Thank you! Erma Bombeck was always my favorite theologian. But, ya know, I think we do need more of a sharing or evangelistic approach.
1 - Movie night! We can show movies and blanket the town with ads.
2 - No, that costs money. Let's spend money on billboards and ads with catchy sayings.
3 - TV spots!
P - Good! Keep going!
1 - We could hire a sky-writer to puff our name across the sky. It would be very symbolic.
2 - How about a dozen elephants? We could march them through town with our church name draped on them!
P - Yes! Yes!
3 - Excuse me, friends.
P - Yes?
1 - Yes?
2 - Yes?
3 - Don't you think the best way to attract people is to talk about who our church is really named for? Don't you think it would be best to just invite people to meet us and meet Him and...
P - Out of order!
1 - I'm no Jehovah's Witness!
2 - You must have fundy fever!
P- Let's vote! All in favor of the elephants say aye.
1 - Aye!
2 - Aye!
3 - Nay!
P- The ayes have it. Onward Christian soldiers!
Blessings and Love!