Friday, September 03, 2010

A greenbeltish reflection

There seems to be a very large group of people for whom faith is a real and central part of their lives, but for whom the institutional church is a spirituality-killer - and for whom Greenbelt is their 'church'.

Thought one: you can't be a Christian on your own.
Thought two: you don't need an insitution to be a Christian.
Thought three: how long before Greenbelt itself becomes an institution that 'believers' need to break away from in order to be authentic to themselves.

There is more here to be discerned...


  1. I love thought three.

    How many times I've witnessed "free" churches becoming quite religious about their non-religiousness...

  2. "Thought one: you can't be a Christian on your own."

    So people keep saying.
    But they're usually the ones who define what church is and who's in and who's out.
    Maybe it depends on how you define "on your own"?

  3. Erika - I'm thinking of 'the eye can't say to the hand "I have no need of you"'

  4. In the sense that you're talking I would say that an organization becomes an institution once it becomes an authority. I think that's what bothers me most about church, and that's why I stay away from it.

  5. Sam, I don't think many people say that. They say "the institutionalised church is not nourishing us spiritually, we follow a different path, although we know that we all are part of the body of Christ".

    I think the main mistake we keep making is that we believe that who is a Christian and who isn't has something to do with how we group ourselves "down here" on earth, so we don't recognise those who appear to be alone. We are far too self-referential in this.

    In reality, it has something to do with how God draws us and groups us. We are Christians because we are drawn to him, not because we gather together in a huddle. And so the most alone and single one of us is still part of the whole picture.

  6. As a former member of the now free-wheeling Anglican Communion, and now a loyal subject of Christ through His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI,gloriously reigning, I don't understand how one can understand Christianity apart from the Body which Christ left us. St. Paul clearly uses incarnational language for more than merely analogical effect.

    At the same time, could you let me in on "Greenbelt"? I haven't the faintest idea what it is.


  7. Chris,
    just curious, what do you mean when you say, "I don't understand how one can understand Christianity apart from the Body which Christ left us."

  8. Erika - I think I'm going to respond in a fuller blogpost, watch this space!


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