Sunday, September 6, 2009

Can Institutions glorify God?

Institutions are generally the product of a large number of people working together for some sort of common goal. However they often take on pseudo-lives of their own, with their own rules, mores, structures and goals, that may or may not have been the original purpose of the institution's founders. The Wire is a great cop-show set in Baltimore on the north-eastern coast of America. It's gritty with long story arcs and interesting characters. One of the background themes of The Wire is the role and purpose of the institution. For most of us our lives are dominated by institutions, we either work in them or have to interact with them. Then there is the historical church which has for most of its life-span been an institution. The historical kingdom of Israel and Judah was also an institution along with the Temple. Theologically we could agree that institutions are a part of this world but that the prophets are a reminder from God, that He also seeks to reform and redeem them.

1 comment:

ish said...

The 19th century Brethren experiment by Darby, Mueller et al was an attempt to deinstitutionalize the church. There would be other groups that would see themselves the same way. We know the inevitable.