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Saturday, February 12, 2011

It Wasn't Always This Way

I'm not sayin' a word about the rest of the post from which this line comes--I gots my 'pinions, y'know, but I ain't gonna take the time ta lay 'em out tonight--but this line kind of caught my attention:
...a church system that exists primarily to pay professional ministers and to build and maintain buildings.



Y'know, it's kinda hard to dispute.

I don't have a problem with paying ministers. The Bible does actually say, you know, that preachers are entitled to get their living from preaching the Gospel, and I don't begrudge that one little bit. But is that the reason that the "church system" exists? To pay ministers?

To build and maintain buildings?

Well, I know those aren't supposed to be the reasons, but looking at what actually goes on in a lot of churches and para-church organizations might make you wonder.

Look at the Southern Baptist Convention. You know the reason it was formed, and what it was formed from? It was formed from a lot of Baptist churches--independent, every one of 'em--that wanted to have a means to cooperatively support missionaries and seminary education for preachers.

Looking at the SBC today, churches don't seem quite as independent as they used to be--or at least, as I've read they used to be. I really, strongly get the sense that the organization that was meant to be a tool for accomplishing the goals of the churches now sees the churches as tools for accomplishing the goals of the organization.

But maybe that's just me. And truth be known, the solution is always available: the people in the pews can always educate themselves and get involved. If they don't--

--well, they've no one to blame but themselves.

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