Christianity v Churchianity

Richard Rohr Rohr distinguishes between "Christianity" and "Churchianity", where the first constituted a challenge to the status quo, and the second supported the status quo.

Richard Rohr
Richard Rohr OFM
In his interview with Stephen Crittenden, Richard Rohr  talked of his vision of the Christ-event as originally a reform message for all religious people which had become corrupted once the message became a distinct religious movement.

After Constantine, Christianity bought into the imperial model of ecclesial polity and lost its original radical critique of that very model.
Written at a time when the Jesus movement was anything but part of the status quo, Mark's Gospel was culturally subversive.
Claire over at A Seat At the Table has a lovely post on how the early church members shared their possessions and were united in one heart and mind. How very far we are  from that today ??!!

Meanwhle over at People for Others, an excellent site I regularly follow, Paul Campbell  SJ has started this week an interesting dual blogalogue with More Meredith Gould where they each pose a question and answer it and invite comments. They too are talkng about their own unease at the state of the institutional church they clearly both love.

The problem that confronted the Markan Christians, as it does us today, is to steer a middle course between the twin tensions of conformity to cultural expectations and the vocation to be counter cultural in working for a better world.
 My own comments :
So many of us Catholics and other Christians increasingly find ourselves caught in this point of tension between  loyalty to the church we love and wanting to break free from its constraints and at times its seemingly extreme corruption but then as Thomas said  Where would we go Lord?  You have the message of eternal life.


claire said...

Yes, many of us can feel that tension within our body and our mind.

It may be because we are trying to juggle parts that cannot fit together. Or maybe like a Chinese puzzle, we need to find the space to move every bit around so that they all fit.

Such a suggestion, but much better said, is presented on Straight-Friendly. It may not be the exact answer many of us want and need. But it could be a beginning of exploration of territories from which we often shy away.

Phil, are you going to attend some of Richard Rohr's lectures while he is in England this summer?

I saw he is going to give a retreat on Iona, but it's already full. Not that I could go :-)))

Fran said...

Thank you for this post - it is brilliant Phil.

I love Rohr. I have had the good fortune to meet him and hear him speak three times.

Philomena Ewing said...

Thanks Claire,
I like your analogy of the puzzle pieces and will check out the link you recommend - thanks. I won't be able to see Richard Rohr, I knew he was in London later this year and I heard he is appearing at one of the big music festivals in the summer but I didn't know about Iona but the cost is prohibitive to go . Cornwall is not an easy place to travel to and from in the UK.
Hi Fran,
Thanks -
I am so glad you came by !! I know you are a Richard Rohr fan - me too, but wow you are mega lucky to have seen him speak and 3 times is fantastic !!