Friday, May 29, 2009
Wonderful Quote on Institutionalized Christianity by Anglican Bishop Mark Dyer
“About every 500 years the empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity, whatever they may be at that time, become an intolerable carapace, or hard shell, that must be shattered in order that renewal and new growth may occur. When that mighty upheaval happens, history shows us, there are always at least three consistent results or corollary events. First, a new, more vital Christianity does indeed emerge. Second, the organized expression of Christianity that up until then had been the dominant one is reconstituted into a more pure and less ossified expression of its former self. As a result of this unusually energetic but rarely benign process, the church actually ends up with two new creatures where there had once been only one. That is, in the course of birthing a brand-new expression of its faith and praxis, the church also gains a grand refurbishment of the older one. The third result is of equal, if not greater, significance. Every time the incrustations of an overly established Christianity have been broken open, the faith has spread – and been spread – dramatically into new geographic and demographic areas, thereby increasing exponentially the range and depth of Christianity’s reach as a result of its time of unease and distress.” Virginia Theological Seminary professor of theology and retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.