It is in our church that we seek divinity
hope to find our way to a life beyond our tawdry frame,
unearth from its ancient veils the reality of eternity,
uncover the depths of creation's purpose.

Yet the Church has abandoned its formative heritage,
surrendered to human concerns for power and position.
It has built ecclesiastical castles of medieval might,
become the very beast that Jesus challenged.

The Church today, in almost every present instance,
has been conquered by fundamentalist theology,
which bars progress and original thought;
has reverted to medieval perceptions
and priestly domination.

The history of the Church is one of conflict and division,
from the very start the leaders were divided
over doctrine and authority;
over power.

Our present Church arose from the Reformation
which challenged and divided the European Churches
but merely exchanged one power-block for an equivalent;
replacing subservience to papal and priestly dictates
by primacy of the Scriptures, as interpreted by
those self-appointed to the leadership.

In doing so it has established fixed practices, liturgies,
ways of doing things that stifle initiative, originality;
turn spontenaity of worship into a routine;
presented with a minimum of risk
and clerical effort.
.
. Whilst the church established and built up its authorised position,
The Enlightenment challenged and undermined its credentials.
The new ideas of free thought were rejected by the church
with its entrenched dogma and considerations.
In response came a new fundamentalism,
a bounded righteousness.

. We might wonder whether God's purposes
are being worked out despite our religious practices,
and the self-centred nature of evangelical theology.
Today we may even wonder whether the church
is still a viable institution.


We have strayed far from the path of Jesus
and lost both truth and adherents on the way,
but, even so, we may find that a Christ-like church
is something to which we can look forward.