(When I left the UMC ministry – my district superintendent told me that he (along with over half of his colleagues) was on anti-depressants and that he suspected that when he retired he wouldn’t need them anymore.)
Understand – I’m not against anti-depressant medication – it can literally be a lifesaver for folks suffering from clinical depression – but he was telling me that his job environment was so toxic that he needed to drug himself to cope (and frankly saw no irony in that fact). This is just symbolic of the denial that so many in leadership in these denominations live in. Our annual conferences were multi-day exercises in self congratulation and furrowed brow deliberation over countless resolutions that accomplished nothing other than solidify the entrenched political power of the denominational apparatchiks. Clueless old-school church politicians fighting over the remaining scraps of organizational power deluding themselves into thinking all is well.
and Dreher extends that to organizations in general.
1. obliviousness to the growing disaffection of constituents2. primacy of self-aggrandizement3. illusion of invulnerable status
Pretty sobering stuff. The Fall is real, folks. No, I don't mean in a simplistic fashion, but that our humanity--intrinsically good and imbued with dignity and freedom by and from God--now can't help shoot itself in the foot. Repeatedly. And at the darnedest times. We see this in our personal lives and relationships, and yes, Virginia, you can see it in the lives of nations. We are capable of such good--and occasionally we come close to achieving it. And at other times we seem capably only of screwing up things further, even as we claim to be helping. Worth considering on this the 497th anniversary of the beginning of Protestantism. No, we can't save ourselves. Only God can do that--and Trent agreed. God also gave us the Church and, despite the obvious problems as dictated above, that is the avenue through which we experience the justification God alone gives.
Read it all here.