The Rhetoric of Crisis
“The church is immersed, in short, in a rhetoric of crisis…. At first I joined fully in the rhetoric of crisis. I found that it gave me entree to audiences…I began to get uneasy about my zealous viewpoint for three resons…. For one thing I found myself part of a cadre of interpreters who were touring the denomination saying things that seemed to procure more and more invitations to say more and more potent and decisive things.I do believe that when we run around like ecclesiastical version of Chicken Licken proclaiming that the Church Is Falling, the institution suffers. But when we look less to the needs of the church and more to the real needs of the lost and hurting around us—physical needs, emotional needs and mostly the need for a real and meaningful relationship with God through a community of faith—then we are being about what the institution is for rather than worrying about the institution of the church for its own sake.
I began to realize that the rhetoric of crisis is a rhetoric of power. It gives power to the speaker…the rhetoric of crisis takes power away from the laity and pastors by diminishing the significance of their work…. Second...the rhetoric of crisis profoundly serves U.S. culture’s idol of success.… Worse, the rhetoric of crisis distracts the church from the gospel it has been entrusted with proclaiming. It focuses on the institution instead of the message the institution represents to the world.”
Polity, Practice, and the Mission of the United Methodist Church, 2006 Edition, Thomas Edward Frank
That's my take. What do you think?
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor