Shekinah Glory

Occupy Church Manifesto #5
November 3, 2011, 11:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

You see, there is no revival apart from repentance. Pat Robertson

Last night we had an All Souls Service at The Palisades Community Church and as often happens after small services our group got into an engaging conversation. There was a Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian and Baptist talking about hymns, church and the Armenian Genocide. I know this might sound like a strange combination, but it is how things go at my church. As my Italian Catholic friend railed against Turkey for its inability to admit the atrocities it afflicted upon a people I began to think.

Finally I said, “When did the Church repent for its participation in slavery?”

Everyone was silent, but I noticed they were all shamefully nodding their heads in ascent.

Many years ago I had a conversation with one of Bill Clinton’s close advisors. It was in the midst of one of the many sexual scandals of a politician here in the D.C. region. I asked him what was the best thing that a politician could do for damage control in the midst of such a scandal. His answer somewhat surprised me. He said that they must immediately admit fault and ask for forgiveness to have any chance at survival.

How often in the church are we complicit to the societal sins either out of ignorance or overtly in our historical timelines? Support of unjust wars, homophobia, sexism, Americanization of Native Americans, anti-immigration, opening markets to capitalism through missionary endeavors, slavery, racism, destroying indigenous cultures through evangelism, setting up our churches on market based principles, elitism, agism, nationalistic jingoism and currying favor with political powers are just a few that I can think of. I am sure that we could conjure up many more if we tried.

We have become a church that rails against the sins of the world, calls individuals to repentance and then asks them to be a part of a body that far too often does not repent of its own internal sins. How can this be? Repentance, discipline and self examination are central tenants of most of our denominations and central to our holy texts. It is time for the church to not only look outside itself for sin “in society” but to take a long, hard and painfully look inside itself. This will give us the opportunity to not only turn away from sin, but to turn toward the creative power of salvation that God means for us to exhibit in the world. Thanks be to God.


1 Comment so far
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Only one word . . . powerful!

Keep speaking truth,


Comment by Lisa Lani Easterling

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