Saturday, October 10, 2020

Protestantism vs Catholicism: Destroying the little-church

The way I understand many Protestant churches in the United States is that the "board" of the Church typically does whatever the founding, or lead pastor says. Let's just assume it is an ego-driven church. Everyone knows that it's really the Mini-Pope's church, and all the other board members are just there to support him.

It's really more of a small-business and the CEO is the mini-Pope.

The problem arises when the mini-Pope starts saying stuff that are not Biblical. If you are on the Elder Board and the actions of this mini-Pope are not in accordance to the Biblical qualifications of an Elder, you are in a very tough position.  

I think the word "church" becomes quite confusing. The problem is that the mini-Pope, because of their personality and charisma, is essentially the church. Meaning, if the mini-Pope dies or left, the church would essentially disappear. Liturgy really doesn't exist in Protestant churches. There is no profound history leading thousands of years into the past. Anyone who cares enough about that, already goes to some liturgical church.

But your Protestant church is competing against all the other Protestant churches and out-sized personalities.

So suddenly, when you are attacking or revealing some bad behavior of the mini-Pope that disqualifies anyone from believing or following him, the stakes seem like you are destroying the church.

What is the "little" church compared to the Church? The "little" church is just a meeting of believers. The Church is the Body of Christ. These "churches" in the grand scheme of the Church, are almost like small groups. Small groups will form and disband all the time. Maybe the small group leader is very charismatic and the small group gets really big.

But if the super charismatic small group leader starts disqualifying himself to be an Elder, he should be exposed. He is disqualified. He should be removed.

Especially for Protestants, because everyone operates as though their own mini-Pope is the end-all-be-all, and they confuse their little "church" with the Body of Christ, they tend to be all the more vulnerable when their mini-Pope needs to be jettisoned. They don't want to have to find a new "church."

When I think about Priests, that move around every 5-7 years, I don't see this same kind of dynamic occurring. If a Priest is disqualified as an Elder (if that's how they talk about those things), then reporting them or exposing them for their disqualifications doesn't seem like you're destroying the entire Parish. There are plenty of other Priests who will be able to fill their place. The Parish will go on.

Of course, there are other problems that can occur with cover-ups and moving Priests to different Parishes. But, even for Protestants, this issue can also be the case where you have discredited Pastors who simply move to a different State and start-up a new church and continue their bad behavior there as well.

In any case, I don't see much biblical support for remaining silent about evil in your church leadership primarily for the sake of keeping it from imploding from scandal. For Pastors, that's the cost of them having a family. Suddenly, you're not just attacking their position, you're attacking their ability to feed their children! And they will commit quite a bit of sin to "protect" their income stream and their "church."

I recall a Pastor in College named Pastor Shin Kim. His wife was a pharmacist. He didn't need the money at all and so he could say and do whatever he thought was from God. I see the Power of God being able to work with that kind of fearlessness. I saw his unbridled zeal and the fact that he never had to hold back out of fear that his children would starve.

That's the kind of Pastor I would like, if I ever go back to Protestantism. I would like a Pastor that has no fear that he won't be able to feed his children if he says the wrong thing.

Either that, or I will need to stick with Catholics, Orthodox, and other, more liturgical churches where the Clerical class aren't so prone to being scared of not being able to feed their children. The fear of not having enough money to feed your kids is the entry-point of all kinds of evil.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, right now Catholicism has the problem of corruption deeply embedded at the top of the strong hierarchy. This eventually results in collapse of leadership throughout the organization. I'd happily help deal with that, if anyone had the authority to do so.

    Luckily, the information age means any Catholic can download the information used to teach proper priests. Maybe one day we'll see the Church on Earth purified.