Capon on the Church

kinnon —  June 7, 2008 — 2 Comments

[via TommyMertonHead at the BHT]

“The church, in short, has a role to play only here and now; so if it wants a role model for its operations, it should imitate the kingdom’s present, nonjudgmental way of doing business, not its final one. It definitely should not attempt, in this world, to do the kind of sorting out that the kingdom so plainly refuses to do until the next. But alas, beginning right in apostolic time – indeed, beginning even in Scripture itself – excommunication has been one of the church’s favorite indoor sports. Second in popularity only to jumping to conclusions about who should be given the heave-ho first, the practice of tossing out rotten types while the net is still in the water has been almost everybody’s idea of a terrific way to further the kingdom. Everybody’s, that is, except Jesus’—the one who put the church in the business of being fishers of men to begin with. The net result, to use an apt phrase for such ineptness, has been an operation that looks as if it is being run more by his competitors than by his partners” (The Parables Book, 128).

Too good not to repeat it here.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

2 responses to Capon on the Church

  1. Well said.
    It maybe too gentle to say that the church has always had an identity crisis. We don’t know who we are because we are always trying to be someone we are not supposed to be.
    I am finding that as I get older there is only one question for me to answer. How is my relationship to this or that person a reflection of Christ’s love to me and through me. I find that it isn’t my prerogative to make those major decisions. I guess that is why, as a young person, I felt that God was dragging me kicking and screaming into the church.

  2. dan macdonald June 8, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I don’t get it. Capon admits that excommunication was used by Jesus’ apostles, and the early church, and is in Scripture itself. Yet he uneqivocally repudiates it. So, Capon knows better than Jesus’ earliest apostles, who lived with Jesus, memorized his teachings, and were especially empowered by God to start the early church.
    Such hubris is breathtaking.


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