A word from Will D. Campbell

I sound pretty calm compared to Preacher Will! 

As most of you know my institutional flings didn’t work out. None of them. There is not time here to list them nor explain their demise. To do so would serve no purpose. Doubtless part of my failure within the structures had to do with my own intractable genes. Whatever. I was a pastor, a university chaplain, an employee of the allegedly most free religious institution in the world. I didn’t keep any job for long. But through it all I discovered one thing. All institutions, every last single one of them, are evil; self-serving, self-preserving, self-loving; and very early in the life of any institution it will exist for its own self. So beware out here this week. True soul freedom cannot be found in any institution. That is the guts of my testimony to you today. True soul freedom can never be found in any institution. If they will pay you, let them. I did it too. But never trust them. Never bow the knee to them. They are all after your soul. Your ultimate, absolute, uncompromising allegiance. Your soul. ALL OF THEM. Jesus was a RADICAL! And His Grace abounds.

As the sands of time run out on me I do not consider that I have had a ministry at all, except in the sense that all believers are priests. I have had a life. As to how well I have conducted it I am willing to leave to the One so mysterious, so elusive and evasive, so hidden as to say to Moses from a burning bush, I AM WHO I AM, to be the sole judge. I can only exult that grace abounds.  (from “A Personal Struggle for Soul Freedom,” Christian Ethics Today, December 1995)


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