The Institutional Church

Here is a quote by Philip Gulley who is a Quaker minister and author.  I couldn’t have said it any better

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that while the institutional church is important to us, Jesus appeared to give it little thought. Though the church eventually became the means by which the story and witness of Jesus spread, neither its genesis nor continuance seemed a priority to him. Time after time, meeting human needs took center stage in his life and ministry. Indeed, when Jesus did speak of institutional religion, he was often scathing, saying at one point that those who were religiously pure on the outside were inwardly deceitful and rapacious.This serves as a caution to those of us who’ve convinced ourselves that the goal of the church is institutional purity. To be a follower of Jesus is to choose, at every ethical crossroads, to serve people above structures.

I have come to thoroughly agree that the institutional church is indeed secondary to the teachings and practices of Jesus Christ.  Given that there are now over 35,000 versions of institutional church today I have little doubt that Jesus’ scathing words of the religious bureaucracy in his time  would likely be repeated today.  This is one of the major reasons why my feelings for today’s religious institutions have significantly diminished in recent years.  If only the church were Christian.