When I was in my college days, I had issues with organized religion. Then I got over it. Now I’m in yet another phase, that may pass, which is primarily against organized church. Maybe reading Leithart had something to do with that, but I think it had more to do with acquaintances I’ve made through the Ekklesia Project. People who are members of cell churches, house churches, new monastic groups all make me wonder how things might be different.
And then I read Wendell Berry, and he gives the passage below which sums up a lot of things I have been thinking for a while.
(from Wendell Berry, What are People For? God and Country.)
The organized church comes immediately under a compulsion to think of itself, and identify itself to the world, not as an institution synonymous with its truth and its membership, but as a hodgepodge of funds, properties, projects, and offices, all urgently requiring economic support. The organized church makes peace with a destructive economy and divorces itself from economic issues because it is economically compelled to do so. like any other public institution so organized, the organized church is dependent on “the economy”; it cannot survive apart from those economic practices that its truth forbids and that its vocation is to correct. If it comes to a choice between the extermination of the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field and the extermination of a building fund, the organized church will elect — indeed, has already elected — to save the building fund.