Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Can" but Won't

A recent HuffPo piece by Mark Sandlin is pretty interesting. I agree with him on most of the "10 Things Church Can Learn From Geeks." It might make the title slightly more accurate to replace "can" with "should." Though it is technically true that Christianity* can learn any or even all of these 10 things but the odds are against it. Most of his points relate, to some degree, to tolerance, change, and self-evaluation/criticism. Very few churches have proven to be particularly good at any of these. Even the more liberal versions of Christianity tend to fail. They may pay lip-service to such ideals as tolerance but in the end they tend to resist putting them into action. This is not limited to Christianity. Religion as an institution tends toward both authoritarianism and divisiveness. It is exceedingly rare that a church, synagogue, temple, etc. gives the average believer a say in either leadership or doctrine. When changes do occur it tends to be very slowly and with great reluctance. They also tend to think that their way is the best way, if not the only true one.

It would be nice if religion as a whole could adopt even half of these. I might actually reconsider showing some respect for the institution. I'd also love to ride a Pegasus but that's not going to happen, either.

*He does not expressly limit this to Christianity but does imply that is the religion he is aiming this piece at. He is himself Christian and he makes references to Jesus. Church is also generally a Christian term.

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