The Church

Philip continued his workshop, taking the theme of the Church.  He pointed out that the function of the Church is to help us live the vision of Jesus. Sadly, he said, the Church no longer fulfils this function, and has often become an obstacle to living this vision. Scandals and preoccupation with rubrics and laws have robbed the Church of its integrity.   Jesus, the man, showed that there was another way of being in the world, challenging the orthodoxy of his time. We are called to go to the heart of what the Church was meant to me.

So many people have moved away from the Church because they no longer find in the Church the Good News. People need to understand that salvation is not about the next world, but about this world, about the current reality.

Jesus was attempting to help the people to think differently, and we are also invited to think differently.  We have lost our bearings with the meaning of life, and we need to rediscover the message of Jesus.

Philip went on to stress that Jesus was not interested in a new religion or in a new priesthood.  He was in constant conflict with the Jewish priesthood and certainly did not want to create a new priesthood.

The establishment of the Church was a later expression, and was set up to keep alive the dangerous memory of Jesus.  Unfortunately, the Church forgot to focus on the poor and to continue to threaten the worldview of the Roman empire.  Instead, it began to identify with the ruling classes.  The Gospel is good news when seen through the eyes of the poor and it is bad news when seen through the eyes of the rich.

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