Why Organized Religion?
I grew up in the Midwest. The high school I graduated from had over 2,000 students and to be honest, I did not know more than one other Protestant Christian. Most of my classmates were lapsed Roman-Catholics or completely unreligious. Once I moved to Texas, I got a completely different experience… while many people belonged to a church, most people I met were from a camp I would call “Self-Designated Christians.” These were Texans who had made a decision for Christ at some point in their life, often had limited or no ties to an organized church but still called themselves Christians.
I would suggest that both those groups I described above are missing out on the treasure of the church in our world. In other words, they are not privy to the blessing of organized religion.
Your favorite restaurant is organized. If it wasn’t, you would never get your food.
Surely, your gym is organized. How else do the treadmills get maintained?
When you go to vote in the fall, that process is organized. How could we elect new leaders every year without organization?
I believe what people are rejecting when they say that they don’t like organized religion is religious people who say they speak for God yet wound them repeatedly. God is a sensitive subject… it’s personally felt by anyone who talks about Him. I know this and do my best to be patient, tender and loving when I talk about God. It’s the least I can do, honestly and it’s embedded in my role as a Christian priest. I’ve seen people time and time again accept hard things from God when they are experienced gently, alongside the love of God. When this does not happen, people get hurt.
So why organize our Christian religion? At Trinity Church, we are part of an organized group of Anglicans because we care about people. I am not going to live forever and I am not going to be perfect. But God, in His love, has sent you thousands of clergy around the world who are praying for you, who love you and want to see you be part of what God is doing through the Gospel. Why would we not want to be a part of that?
I suppose it would be easier to disconnect yourself from the church and guarantee that no one will ever disappoint you. But you also guarantee that you will never be moved or inspired in a church or around church people. And as someone who has made Christian friends from all over the world, I can promise you that you are missing out on some of the best relationships you will ever know.
If this interests you, I want to hear from you. Please send me a message and I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee to talk about it. May God bless you in your journey.