Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Know Any Churches Like This?

-Author Unknown.

Once upon a time, when the village had thatched roofs and no fire
prevention system, a fire broke out on one of the roofs.

The people saw the fire and immediately formed a bucket brigade
stretching from the central well to the fire.  Through quick and
concerted effort the fire was put out and the whole village saved.
People in the town were immensely grateful, and as a result some
founded the Bucket Brigade Society which took to practicing
faithfully every week.

Soon the Brigade developed a hierarchy.  The chief bucketeer
became very influential, in many ways more important than the
mayor.  All the best people belonged to the Brigade and to be a
member meant to gain status in the community.

The society wrote songs to be sung during their practices, and
created elaborate and beautiful methods of passing the buckets.
Even after the village had been covered over and a fire department
formed, the Brigade continued.

Then one day, a young recruit happened to look down into the
bucket she was passing: But there´s no water in the bucket, she
observed with surprise.

After that, the young began drifting away, no longer especially
interested in the Brigade at all.

That is the trouble with ego religion.

It retains the tradition but loses the substance.

And the substance is faith in the heavenly mystery.

Ego religion has it´s rewards.

It elevates you above your neighbors,

assures you that you are right and virtuous,

and makes you happy that you are not "one of those."

Now if you don't think these exist I suggest taking time to visit a few churches in your  community.  Look close, it may be your own.


Faultline USA said...

Yes there are quite a few churches as you described. I've often read that ritual remains long after the theology has changed. This would explian many Mainline denominations. Thanks for another great article!

Anonymous said...

I could tell you some things about churches I've attended, that would curl your hair. But I won't. You might not like it!!

Z said...

This is very much like why I had to leave the LUtheran church, though not all Lutheran churches have the problems my church did.
The leadership in the So.California area is really dreadfully dishonest and vindictive and ineffective; it hurts to see it.

THankfully, my church now does have water in the bucket, plenty of it...and it's presented as a gift from CHrist, not the pastor!

I always feel badly for people who can't figure out how religions and churches so often don't represent the BIble but the people make conjectures about Christianity nevertheless.

sue hanes said...

Ticker - This post makes good sense.

And you are right in suggesting that we might be surprised - after close examination - which churches are operating on an 'empty bucket.'

Thanks - Ticker.

Also - of course - this 'empty bucket' theory can be applied to indivduals and their faith - too.

We might be surprised to find that one of us is passing on an empty bucket.

sue hanes said...

Ticker - I miss your Sunday Faith
video music.

I hope all is well with you.