Free Church Tradition: Active Opposition to Evil, May 20, 2010

   There is anecdotal evidence that conventions of religious  bodies still do some good. However, what good these groups may still do appear to be mostly incidental (some would say accidental, but that is too harsh). The clearer truth is this; fund gathering bodies like religious conventions do good less often than they do well and the good they do is tantalizingly ephemeral. 

   Why? The incidental good religious conventions may do is condemnatory quite because whatever good they do is self-lauded to the extreme. The persons who incarnate the conventions express, by their testimony, their knowledge of what their mission demands and their constituents desire. Religious conventions today, however, are not formed to do good nor operated to accomplish it.

   Examine any regularly scheduled meeting of your association or convention. The pairing of the clientele with its salaried representatives is the meeting of polar opposites. The field workers are extreme personalities, men who would be gunmen on one side of the law or other in the Old West. The paid representatives are clerks. The frustration of both sides comes at that place where a warrior question meets a clerk answer. This could happen at a microphone in a convention hall, where the clerks give the corporate response at a place and time wherein they have complete power. At this moment, the warrior decides he will not fight in the arena where an effete clerk can rule the day.

   The normal frustration of such an encounter is exacerbated by two moments, each unique and, perverse, each repeated. One is the instant in which the warrior suddenly, finally realizes he cannot beat a clerk at store keeping. The protections are too dense. The second is that second when the warrior decides he will not fight to defend the clerk, who only fights to defend his place.

   Evil is the unbridled warrior. Evil is the unaccountable clerk. The clerks promise transparency, but it eventuates that the line of vision they allow is that of the illusionist, who must make you look one place while he changes circumstances to create his illusion. In the case of the religious clerk, he shows you incidental good to take your eyes away from actual costs. This is the evil men do that lives after them.

Opinions expressed here are mine alone and do not reflect the opinions of the church I serve, or of any organization or person.




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