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26 January 2012

Church Government: Training Ground for Secular Government?

A good friend sent me a copy of a blog post by Director of Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming (and newspaper columnist) Paul Flesher in Wyoming. Flesher's blog and column are both called "Religion Today".

The post he sent me was entitled "The Best Training Ground for Democracy: A Business or a Church?" Unfortunately, Flesher hits the nail squarely on the head when he describes why church leaders are generally well-prepared for the nuts and bolts of a secular government.

One of the statements in the post made me retch, yet I doubt many American Christians see very much wrong with this arrangement, because they readily engage in it:

"A church's management challenge is to provide what the congregation as customers want, for the cost that the congregation as investors are willing to pay through their tithes and donations. If the management fails in this balance, they can be removed." (emphases mine)

Ugh. Management? Customers? Investors? "Willing to pay"? Absolutely sickening to me. But those things describe many churches perfectly. These are the kinds of things that eventually convinced me that the system most Americans know as "church" is not actually based on the Bible, but is based upon a system of human invention.

This could apply to the government all day long and I have no problem with it. But a church? The Church?

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who has heartburn over this.

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