Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Buying and selling church positions

I find this one hard to imagine. I know men are driven to get into positions of power, but would a church go so far as to allow people a position of power based on financial contributions...

Hmm... on second thought, I wouldn't be surprised if this happens in many church's today. How many poor people hold positions of leadership and power in your church? It is probably common that the ones who give the most financially find themselves in positions of leadership and power in most church congregations today.... I'm not saying this is necessarily bad, but it may be helpful to consider this as we consider this topic.

The leaders of the protestant reformation took issue with the practice of buying and selling church positions. In the middle ages church leadership not only gave someone power within the church, but also political power in their community. The church leaders were often the most educated, and they had great influence over the uneducated masses, so it made sense that the political leaders wanted to keep close ties with the church leaders.

If you had money, and wanted more money, you would obviously want to gain some political power, and the buying and selling of church positions was the way to achieve that.

Pope Gregory VII of the catholic church actually fought the buying and selling of church positions 400 years before the reformers. So the reformers can not take all the credit for recognizing this as a problem. But it was a serious problem during the 1500's.  

This is sad part of the history of Christ's church, however if the reformers were alive today, I don't think they would see the catholic church having this problem - at least no larger an issue with it than other church denominations today.


1 comment:

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

It was not just Simony - like buying and selling Church Positions. It was also Nepotism giving them to relatives. St Charles Borrmeo got his position through nepotism and used it to fight it.

Actually Protestant Reformation did very little about it. In Geneva, the richest merchants would be in for positions in Church government, obviously. In Sweden Church positions were given by the King.