Posted by: watchman | January 12, 2011

Power and the Church

I just had to share this with our readers. Theologian J.R. Daniel Kirk makes a stirring observation about the Church’s response to the Arizona assassination attempt.

Check it out

Violence arises any time we attempt to gain control of a situation through the use of power.

What this means is that it’s not enough for a church to agitate for the U.S. to pursue peace rather than war. We need to start at home

Kirk points even to the way that we discipline our children as an example of ‘violence’ in the church. This leads to a whole culture of violence in what is supposed to be an institution of peace:

Our churches become hotbeds of power-grabbing. For many, this is the place where we are most involved, and perhaps have the most control over the destiny of an organization. And this becomes a place where we practice the tactics of power assertion, politics, and manipulation to work our will.

The church has not created within itself the counter-culture of peace that should serve as a witness against the ultimate futility of violence employed by the world around us.

Be sure to read the entire post here.

What do you think? Are our churches violent? Can violent churches speak against a violent society?

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Responses

  1. Good to hear from you Watchman. Great post. Church violence is so rarely spoken of, yet so prevalent and insidious.

    Here’s an article about Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye), who seems to do a great job of linking his experience of many religious leaders, including his parents, to the problem of an organization becoming “a place where we practice the tactics of power assertion, politics, and manipulation to work our will.”

    http://www.npr.org/2011/01/15/132864466/jim-and-tammy-fayes-son-finds-his-own-grace


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