View Full Version : "There All Different Names for the Same Thing"
12-05-2007, 09:54 PM
Not that that Death Cab for Cutie Song actually was about this, but why the heck are there so many denominations of Christianity. I am sickened right now. (Warning this is somewhat of a rant)
I hate the Church right now. The stupid bride that keeps tearing herself apart, that keeps sending out all of the parts of herself that she most needs. We have surely forgotten God's desire for Unity and Wholeness within his bride. MAAAAAHHHH!!!
It is just so annoying. Apparently the San Joaquin Diocese of the Episcopalian Church is leaving because of some silly disagreement, and it seems everywhere you look the Church is splitting. It isn't even over important issues. And that's another thing, we shouldn't even divide over some of the allegedly important issues. WE shouldn't really divide. Period. Is it too much to ask?
It gives us a terrible reputation, it ruins our ability to love God, our Neighbour, and even ourselves. I HATE IT! I want the bride to stop freaking killing herself. I want to shake her by the shoulders screaming at her to stop. I want to embrace every part of her. I want all of her members to reunite, embrace, reconcile, forgive, forget, love. Have we let the cancer of hatred spread so much that it's too late? Has Christ abandoned his bride who has now abandoned him so many times before?
I am not a prophet, I'm a lousy poet, a poor writer, a terrible theologian, and a pretty broken person, but I am not blind. I can see the need for healing within the church. I am not completely despairing. I just wish the light were a little bit more visible and nearer.
12-05-2007, 10:28 PM
Ever seen a copy of the Handbook of Denominations? Holy cow! Latest stats I heard is that there are 30,000+. Christians have had this issue from the beginnig... whether to stick to Mosaic Law or no... then it was "orthodox" v. Gnostics, v. Monophysites, v. Arians, Nestorians, etc. Then Roman & Greek churches split, then the Reformation (the reasons for which are understandable) which has given birth to groups that have split off in every which way imaginable and unimaginable. (The different reformers were more or less at each other's throats, by the way. They couldn't agree on much other than they opposed Rome.)
It's crazy and I'm at a loss to explain it.
No doubt one of the main issues splitting Christians today is glbtq rights. The conservatives won't get their heads out of their butts long enough to hear any other point of view. Rational communication is so important, everyone knows that's vital to relationships, and it isn't happening on the scale it should be.
12-05-2007, 10:32 PM
Apparently, I was so impassioned that I said "There" instead of "They're" Woops! See, when you let your passions overtake you, you sometimes lose sight of the small stuff. I was looking at a the Catholic church recently and found out that there are so many different versions of it. It is insane, I weep over it. I just want God to fix it all, and he wants to as well, but I think he wants us to do it.
12-06-2007, 06:30 AM
I think that indeed there is only one Christian church. That "church" is the community of believers who believe in the Word of God and is based on the redemptive work of Jesus. It is made up of the people who have experienced God's love and have the love of God living within them. This "church" comes about by the working of the Holy Spirit. The "church" consists of people from all denominations, beliefs and situations.
The various denominations are not the "church" they are creations of man. They are all flawed and imperfect. An unfortunate result of the Reformation was that it gave people the ability an incentive to create churches that suited themselves. Anyone can create an organization and call it a church. The organized churches may contain many members of the universal "church" of believers, but they are not the "church" itself.
12-06-2007, 07:42 AM
Sheesh, Pablo and u-dog. You guys get up at 'Ye-God' o'clock just like i do. :)
To what you've both posted - a big ole' lusty AMEN!
while recently reading some writing by Brian McLaren i came across a phrase which was new to me: deep ecclesiology. To lift only one of many possible explanations:
A deep ecclesiology seeks to honor the church [catholic] in all its forms, from highest (most sizable, historic, hierarchical, institutional, liturgical, traditional) to lowest (most ephemeral, relational, small, innovative, grass-roots, organic, disorganized).
Kind of sounds like what you guys are talking about. It's an idea that keeps percolating around in my head, along with Matthew 18:20
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them".
The fracturing & squabbling of the human-created institutions we are used to calling churches saddens and often angers me as well. Jesus never said "establish churches in my name which use your own ideas to define dogma/doctrine and then subsequently squabble about who has the better claim of ownership of their piece of God". That realization and the experience of seeing individual people of faith, like those here at SF, regardless of the tradition they follow, coming together and creating 'church' brings joy to my heart. :cool:
12-06-2007, 08:11 AM
Pablo has something right (ignorant papist!) The Unity of the Body of Christ is not an institutional reality but it is an organic spiritual reality. I'm Presbyterian and Pablo is Roman Catholic and Antony is a Methodist and dsdrane and Ben are Episcolopians but HERE in THIS place we are all the Body of CHrist together. I could never be a Catholic or a Methodist. Too many things missing that I need and too many extraneous things going on that I don't get, but I am a BETTER PResbyterian Christian because of my association with Pablo and Antony and David. Their perspectives enrich my experience of God. I can only assume that Pablo's Roman Catholic experience is richer because of his association with my Calvinist heresies
I guess you can call me a Methodist. I was baptized a Methodist as a baby in South Africa. Then my parents joined the Assemblies of God. I went to an Assemblies of God Bible college and a Presbyterian Church in America Seminary. Then I came out and it did not matter what denomination I belonged too. I could not find sacramental justice in any of them. Since that time I have spend substantial time in the Methodist, MCC and Episcopal churches. It looks like I'm heading back to the Methodists though. And Pablo...I even occasionally attend the Catholic Mass for LGBT people here in Chicago.
I have a couple of thoughts about this thread. The many varieties of denominations in the Christian faith is not necessarily a bad thing. When I am at a Presbyterian congregation I find that the preaching will lift your soul to heaven. When I am with the Episcopalians, I find that the Book of Common Prayer leaves me speechless and I love taking the Eucharist every time I go to church. The Methodists really care about social justice and are socially aware (although they are sputtering along in LGBT issues). The Assemblies of God know how to experience the presence of God and just like the Sufis who dance before Allah, they are willing to roll down the isle in ecstasy. Trust me on this, you will not find the Episcopalians doing this even at their most happy clappy church. I just wish everyone could have the opportunity to see the rich variety in the body of Christ.
The other side of this is the contention and division you are speaking about. This is not new when it comes to social issues. Slavery split the Presbyterian Church. As others on this thread have said, the church is made up of sinful human beings. As Mother Linda used to tell us at the Episcopal Church in Bloomington, IN: "The church is capable of tremendous good and tremendous evil. Never forget that". We can never escape the problems of the human race in the church. We need to be transformed by God into loving, open, caring people as much as anyone else. To think otherwise is naive.
And this is not unique to Christianity. There are many Muslim sects. There are many Buddhist groups. The infighting among these religious groups are very bit as colorful as in the Christian church.
Tis' a human problem my friend.
12-06-2007, 07:40 PM
Not that that Death Cab for Cutie Song actually was about this
Well, I never even thought that Death Cab was about Christianity. I thought the songs on the album were about love and relationships. Huh, I never thought about the religion thing at all!:confused:
12-07-2007, 05:54 AM
Is that supposed to be a bad thing? :confused:
I can only assume that Pablo's Roman Catholic experience is richer because of his association with my Calvinist heresies.
God uses our differences to strengthen the TRUE SPIRITUAL CHURCH for his/her purposes. The spiritual unity of the True Church is a reality-- it is the wheat that God is cultivating. All the political crap that is frustrating you right now is just normal human bullshit. It's the chaff that the wind of the Spirit will blow away in the fullness of time.
It is against my principles to say anything good about Calvinists and their protestant heresies. But here I go... Indeed my spirituality has been very much enriched by the people here on the forums. (even the Calvinists with their protestant heresies. :eek: Dave, do you have some direct connection with the Holy Spirit. I really hate to admit it, but you are an inspiriation.)
In my early year I was very dogmatic. I thought that I could figure God out. The doctrines of the Lutheran Church were the only correct way to understand the workings of God. But as I have associated with others, I have come to understand that God is much greater than any set of human written doctrines; we can understand God only in part. I believe that he works through many different ways through many different people. (Even Calvinists and Catholics!)
Sheesh, Pablo and u-dog. You guys get up at 'Ye-God' o'clock just like i do. :)
I don't know what you mean, Scott. I get up during the prime of the day.
Jesus never said "establish churches in my name which use your own ideas to define dogma/doctrine and then subsequently squabble about who has the better claim of ownership of their piece of God". That realization and the experience of seeing individual people of faith, like those here at SF, regardless of the tradition they follow, coming together and creating 'church' brings joy to my heart. :cool:
If God can be described and defined by a set of doctrines, he is a small God indeed. We are saved by the grace of God, not by what we know. No one is saved by "being right".
12-07-2007, 10:34 AM
There are nearly 34,000 different denominations. Most of them are split-offs from the main branch generally over minor stuff. The Reformation was needed because of the abuses in the Catholic Church at that time. Many of the reformers had different ideas but what I come away with is that we are justified by faith and we can know God and study the bible for ourselves. This was Martin Luther's main point.
Unfortunately some things did not change. The status of women changed little. There was slavery, poverty, and the ineffectiveness of the church of which many secular writers like Stephen Crane, Jack London, and Voltaire were correct in their analysis. What they were saying was that the church should have been the first place to challenge these indiscretions. The church mercifully changed its position on slavery here in America. LGBT rights puts the church in the same position again of needing to take a stand.
Yes, I'm sure it grieves God's heart about all the denominations but the bible transcends denominations. We are told to live according the bible, not our denominaton. I will discuss this further in another blog because there's lot of history and information about this.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.