It is easy, I have found, to get angry at the somewhat amorphous entity known as “the Church.” The Church is responsible for a lot, it is true, but just as “the government” all of us malign at some point, and accuse of this or that evil deed, the body we are attacking actually includes us. We have met the enemy, as they say, and it is us.
But how, specifically does the Church become the enemy? I have some ideas about it, but I want to ask the readers of this blog for their insights. Specifically, I’d like to look at it from the perspective of the Church somehow hindering people’s access to and relationship with God. I was recently reading the comments related to this post over at The Internet Monk, and one stuck out at me. The commenter, posting under the name of Edmund Pevensie, was relating how he had found his experiences within the Assemblies of God and the Episcopal Church to be alike in that each had:
“too many man-made systems imposed between man and God, restricting access for both.”
This is a serious charge. About the only time in scripture that we can see Jesus become overtly angry is when he cleanses the Temple (Mark 11:15-19), and that was largely motivated by the fact that those folks were getting between the people and God. So, I’m curious as to how you see the Church coming between people and God rather than doing what we ought to be doing…