I have been paying attention to the moods and pretensions of the church lately and I believe I see a pattern. I have seen it in churches and I have seen it in church universities. It parallels what is happening in our culture.
Since 1991 I have lived in Idaho, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky. I have noticed that hospitals, universities and other businesses are engaged in massive building programs. Every hospital I have seen has been expanded and remodeled (even though the patient load is showing a downward trend). At the same time these same institutions have NOT raised the standard pay of their employees and have actually cut employees and raised the workload of the one left behind. And they have the gall to whine about how hard it is to keep good employees. I am picking on hospitals and universities since their mandate is to HELP people.
I suppose I first noticed it a Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, IL. In 1993 when they changed their Patient Care department to Customer Service. I happen to believe there is a huge difference between a "customer" and a "patient." A few pedantic nominalists will say I am engaged in arguing about words. The next thing I noticed was a shift from patient care to construction. Every hospital in the surrounding areas was remodeled and expanded while the level of health care went down the toilet. "Do no harm" was replaced by "Bill your patients in as many ways as possible and for as many services as possible and make the bill incomprehensible." Getting health care was secondary to getting health insurance.
I then began to notice that universities were dong the same thing. Even though the number of students was declining (and still is) every college spent and is continuing to spend millions of dollars becoming a university and building more elaborate buildings so that the level of education could actually DECLINE.
Now this bothers me since most of the money is tax money (that means it is my money being misspent by bureaucrats) and it will only benefit the egos of people whose egos are already big enough. It is also what happens in a fallen world; PEOPLE who need care and money are ignored while concrete and corporations are expanded beyond reason.
Lately the churches have gotten into the act. Missions are on life support, ministers are STILL victims of a unspoken VOW of POVERTY, education in the church is a mysterious process. But buildings are going up at a record rate. I wonder what the Lord would think of this turn of events?