The Curse of the Institution

We’ve been working through the Essential 100 Bible Reading Challenge over the past while, and I’ve been posting comments on those passages from time to time through my YouVersion notes. I think I’ll have a look and see if any are worthy of wider bloggage, perhaps with a few tweaks…

This is the most recent, sparked by John 9:28 (the New Living version is below but you might want to read the whole passage to get the context):

Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses!

Most people these days – certainly those in my generation – are anti-institution: it gets blamed for the evils and woes of the world, whether in politics, economics or indeed religion.

Yet often this disdain ignores both the huge amount of good done by those within it, and also the fact that, in less than a generation, the fresh and new will have become institutionalised itself.

However, there is no doubt that here in John 9 and many other places (not least the crucifixion of Christ), the Pharisees do what institutional leaders do best – protect the institution… at all costs.

I am a minister of the Methodist Church in Ireland – a movement of the Spirit that solidified but is nonetheless Spirit-filled. How can we avoid making the mistake of the Pharisees, and not curse the new things Jesus may be doing?

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