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Now that I am not on the payroll of a church, I have no voice. I am "just a layman". I don't have any authority to critique the church. This is not just the opinion of some, but an inner conflict I've wrestled with for years.
Strange! When I had authority in the church, as a pastor, I wasn't allowed to critique it because that was disloyal. I was biting the hand that feeds me. It was disrespectful and hypocritical.
Now that I am no longer a pastor I'm not allowed because I'm no longer a part of the club and I'm just bashing. I'm considered bitter or resentful. I have no right to critique something I'm not a part of.
Conclusion: there is an incredible agenda to protect the machine that gives some power and silences all other voices. I've been on both sides many times now and it just becomes more clear to me.
I love the church, believe in its right to be, and am passionate about people gathering in healthy ways. I'm critiquing only that which is wrong with the institution, that which doesn't belong, and that which would and does pollute and compromise her.