I was at an event at Grace Cathedral not long ago, and there was someone who was talking about the current situation and future of the church. The person was showing a PowerPoint thing, and in one of them was the statement above. I thought about it for a quick second and realized that the statement was so true.
As I look around, not only at the Episcopal church, but at other denominations and religions, I am amazed at how many of them seem to get the words confused, and it also seems that not many of them talk about modern day Prophets and how one should aim at becoming one. Yes it is important that religious organizations need money in order to help spread the Good News, but has the goal of money really taken over religion? Think about it.
I will admit that I am one who has been really concerned about the number of people in the seat of the pews, but after reading that statement and thinking about it, it made me realize even more how important the work that Deacons do, and the importance of places like Sacred Space are to the world. Deacons do something that many of us don’t do, and that is they go out into the world and bringing Christ to the people that are not only the down trodden, but are also with many material things. Deacons and others are also doing such things as Sacred Space & Open Cathedral not only in Oakland and San Francisco, but in many other cities around the world.
Yes it takes money to keep the churches open and the offices of churches & dioceses running, but it seems as though some have forgotten to put the Holy Trinity at the center of everything. I see a number of churches that have concerts and other things, but rarely do I see them doing any of these events for free.
We seem to of forgotten that the Holy Trinity does not work only through the clergy, but through each and every one of us. Just because one has been ordained a Priest, Deacon or Bishop does not make one more special to the Holy Trinity than the homeless drug addict that we see. If that homeless person is out proclaiming the Good News to people along with acting in a Christian way towards ALL that belongs to the Holy Trinity, does that make them less in the eyes of the Holy Trinity compared the the Clergy person who is treating their congregation in a wrong way and not really getting them to live in Christ?
To me, the true Prophets of the world come in ALL shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds. At times people will wonder why I will spend time talking with kids, and not chatting with them in a “downward” way. What kids have to say about different things are incredible. By listening to the things that they have to say you will learn and here things that will really make you think.
But at times it seems as though the people of the church and Christianity are not willing to Listen to not only the words of the children, but the words of each other unless it is going to be something that the person wants to hear and already know that they will want to agree with. I often sit in meetings and notice how etiquette seems to of gone away. I’m not talking about hard things, but the simple thing of raising ones hand in order to speak. People seem to feel that it is more important to speak and say what they have to say before giving those who haven’t spoken, but have risen their hand, a chance to speak. If these people would simply give others a chance to speak, they might even get the chance to hear a prophet speak. Having degrees and knowledge doesn’t make one a Prophet, it mainly means that you have a piece of paper that says that you studied a field and have some knowledge about it, but in truth that doesn’t make one a Prophet, but someone with knowledge.
Churches seem to worry about money all of the time, which in other words can be they seem to worry much about the Profits, and they seem to forget that the most important thing is the Prophet. Sometimes I wonder if Money is their real God? Hopefully some of them will stop worrying about the Profits and concentrate more on the Prophets, as I think that the Profits they need to run will then truly come in.