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5 Responses to “Putting Our House In Order”

  1. Bob Snelling says:

    Rod Dreher advocates for a similar ordering of the overarching Christian community, beyond denomination, in his book “The Benedict Option” he says Christians, individually and corporately within the Church, cannot influence bigger things until we regain confidence that what we believe is the answer to the current “disordering” of our culture (he uses different words but I get it). We cannot, without that confidence, impact other individuals or institutions no matter how large or small. And, through quite a few of his chapters he offers ideas about how to relearn and then live confidently what we Christians believe. Dreher, too, suggests ideas about how we might first reorder then confidently be agents of changing the world.

  2. Brad McDonald says:

    Entropy is always taking its toll, exacting an energy tax on every process, things naturally move from order to disorder, randomness is always increasing. I frequently ask myself, “Is what I’m doing now just increasing the Entropy of the universe? And if so, why am I doing it?” It takes effort…and energy, upon which entropy will exact its relentless toll…on my part, our part, to put order into a system. Yes, it is time to put our house in order, no place like home to start that process. Left to its own devices, any system, any nation, any government, any church, any institution will let entropy do its thing and turn order into disorder.
    Thanks for the reminder that some of our revered and hallowed institutions are rapidly increasing in entropy and disorder right in front of my lazy eyes. And the realization that though my efforts to increase the order (decrease the entropy) of the systems and institutions around me will ultimately increase the entropy of the universe, only I can put my own house in order.

  3. Casey says:

    Mike. Thanks for this.

    Institutions are important. Got it. Agree.

    Evangelicals, being denomination free, by definition don’t embrace or have the same institutional authority. Got it.

    Catholics do have their house in order, if defined by being an institution. As do some other denominations. But here is the pain point. For many, including myself, that was the part (the big religious order house), that caused such skepticism.

    You mentioned sexual predators and the catholic church. With 300 priests (probably a small %) being brought up on charges, I would say that the abuse happened partly because these evil doers hid within the large order of the institution.

    Chesterton nailed it in how we imagine institutions. You say “The faith community ought to understand” that institutions keep renewal on track. It all sounds good. But I think simply pointing out the problem (over and over) doesn’t help.

    So, what is the solution?

  4. Mike Metzger says:


    The solution is in my column. Join a religious order, or what can be called a complete roundtable. This is what Rod Dreher is doing. This is what I’m helping companies and churches do.

    All religious orders operate like King Arthur’s Round Table. All healthy orders (and I agree that many orders are not healthy) include the four offices of Jesus (priest, prophet, redeemer, king). These four match the four offices of King Arthur’s Round Table (Merlin the wise sage, Dagonet the court jester or devil’s advocate, the noble knights (only noble because Merlin and Dagonet held their feet to the fire), and King Arthur. A healthy order doesn’t have to be Roman Catholic.

    Know any businesses with these roundtables? I know you’re familiar with the tragic end of the Arthurian legend. The king and knights eventually tire of Merlin and Dagonet pointing out unseen problems. The knights are blind – but don’t know it. Merin and Dagonet leave. Arthur’s kingdom collapses.

    My solution is as old as Genesis. Join, or form, a healthy religious order.

  5. Mike Metzger says:

    btw, I never said Roman Catholics have their house in order just because they think institutionally. They don’t have their house in order, as Pope Francis keeps pointing out. Thinking institutionally doesn’t guarantee you’ll create healthy institutions. On August 20, 1640, the Virginia colonists established their second institution – slavery (The House of Burgess was the first, established 10 years earlier). Slavery was called a “peculiar institution,” justifying its existence. We’d call it sin.

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