Originally Posted by u-dog
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.