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« "Get the people to love you for giving them a pep talk that lifts their spirits--even as you impose policies that dash their hopes." | Main | I believe the bastard's stepped in it now (UPDATED) »

Monday, March 16, 2009

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Mommynator

I'm pretty much in the same boat.

I was raised Greek Orthodox, and while there is much I appreciate and love about it, I cannot reconcile some things with what I read in the Bible which is supposed to be our primary document and standard for what's true. And those things seem pretty important. I could be wrong.

My husband and I are both in limbo. We can't go back to that blind fundamentalism, and we don't fit in the emerging stuff, especially since most of it seems to lead to deluded thought and action on nonessentials.

I also would appreciate some kind of guidance about this.

chuck aka xtnyoda

One thing I think you will need to find is a congregation whose leadership allows for you to have input... I don't think you will be satisfied with being in a situation where you are simply being "fed."

I've been trying to think of what I would chose if I were not in my tradition?

Tough thought. If I come up with more I'll holler.

BroKen

You know I've been urging you to get reconnected ever since we reconnected a couple of years ago. Now, I'm looking out the window at my neighbor's yard sign which says, "Catholics Returning Home: Are you considering returning to the Catholic Church? Call:---"

Perhaps this is Providence. My neighbor is a Catholic priest. You want his number?

Rick

Well... Kentucky's a long way from Virginia so that'd be one helluva Sunday morning commute... but if the dude's got friends in my neighborhood...

BroKen

Mommynator, I doubt this is anything you don't already know, but, there is no perfect church. There probably aren't even very good churches. I suspect that the people where you and your husband land will be far more blessed by your presence than you are blessed by them (but then, blessing others is the real blessing!) If you can stand and speak your mind and heart (while using your hands)regardless of what others, even the leaders think, then you are blessed and a blessing.

I understand the need for "church shopping". I'm just afraid that too often it is an expression of our cultural consumer selfishness. So, go where God calls you, or if you don't feel "called" then just GO SOMEWHERE.... God will make you will bloom where you end up.

BroKen

Actually, Rick, we share a border. It's just you're on the east and I'm toward the west. But hey, this priest commutes from Nigeria, so I'm sure there is a solution. And I'm also sure he does have "friends" in your area.

Rick

Tell ya what... have him come here and engage... I suspect there are many in my shoes...

renee

I will be praying that God will guide you to the church you are seeking. Even within each denomination or as in the church family I am a part of, a non-denomination, the church body is going to be unique and different because of the makeup of people and its environment and how it is called to serve.

You might want to visit the churches in your area and try them on for size, hear what they are teaching and see where they are serving, if it is a fit for what you are seeking or not. It would be a good exercise in trying to reconcile your thoughts about all those divisions we Christians have created and a journey to find yourself a place you can call home. Along the way I know God will be speaking to you.

My roots are from the churches of Christ. I have a great+ uncle named Barton W. Stone. He was one of the reknowned reformationists a few centuries ago. He was seeking what you are, what that author described. He never found it because people didn't want to drop the divisions. His journey taught him much, and in the end he decided along with a few men other men to start over and resigned themselves from all the different denominations and pretty much dropped any names or loyalities, except to the Word of God and called themselves, the churches of Christ.

I'd like to think that we have remained loyal to his yearnings, but alas, we aren't perfect either. I do know there are healthy churches called by our name, I belong to one of them and it is a blessing and I try hard to be a blessing, too. May God bless you richly on your journey.

Relapsed Catholic

"There are elemental doctrines I'm having a problem swallowing and will probably always have a problem swallowing."...

I have the same problem, but I figure the doctrines have all been thought through by minds much greater than mine, so its OK for me go along. What's nice about the RCC, is that doctrines are there, in print, and aren't (supposed to be) made up as you go along. There was lots of thinking that went into the Catechism

"So do I continue to drift? Or do I hitch myself to the flawed rather than wait for the perfect?"

For me, its my faith that's imperfect not so the church.

Robohobo

Here is a brief one for you:

In thought systems you can have one of two things, either complete or consistent.

Complete systems are closed. All the rules are known.

Consistent ones do not know all the rules. They allow for new rules to become known. (Mathematics as a discipline is one of these. New things can be discovered.)

Christianity, contrary to what some think is consistent. The Great Deciever would have it otherwise, that it is complete, but that is the original fallacy. It leaves room for the voyage of discovery. That is what faith is. The voyage.

John Ballard

I'm here as a drop-in visitor from Dr. Bob's place. I've been following his writing and thinking for a long time and consider him one of the smartest people I ever read. I have a problem, however, whenever he (or anyone) advances the argument that there is or should be some common (pick one: philosophy, idea, platform of principles, faith, other) that is normative for all.

I cannot help thinking that a subtext of that post is that education in America (the philosophy and worldview of our current educational system to be clear) is shot through with poison. Corollary to that is a suggestion that we need to clean up the mess and replace it with one more Christian... or something. A cheap shot at Ayers and Obama in the second comment, together with a broad-brush reference to "secular left" and "secular right" makes me want to start an argument. But I've tried that before and it had to end with an agreement to agree to disagree. In the same way that I read and respect the opinions of others with whom I often do not agree (The Anchoress also comes to mind) the best I can hope for in this life is that we not come to blows over how we differ.

Rorty is entitled to his opinions and like many famous people presumes to speak for more than himself. But he does not speak for me, even though I think he has some interesting ideas. In fact, he probably has influenced a lot of people in education in a serious way. But it does not follow that everyone who ever read and discussed his views with an open mind is an offshoot of Fascism or heir to the Nazi youth selected to illustrate the post. (I almost forgot. Check out this link to the Postmodern Generator. That's what I think of whenever I hear the word. Be sure to read the last paragraphs.)

In the writings of the faithful, references to post-Christian, postmodern and Utopian carry an inflammatory quality more apt to excite conflict than reconciliation. My own view of the faith is unashamedly more passive, seeking influence more through persuasion and example than control. My politics is perilously close to anarchy so I have little in the way of academic or historic support. Having said all that I now offer my thoughts about your query.

...So do I continue to drift? Or do I hitch myself to the flawed rather than wait for the perfect?

If it seems I'm trying to talk myself into something here, color me guilty. I think I am too. But the bottom line is that The Doctor is spelling out the reasons why I, and so many in my boat, need to quit drifting.

It is a mistake to allow Dr. Bob or me or anyone else dictate how you must live or think.

Having been reared Southern Baptist I came to the Episcopal Church as a more mature Christian in the aftermath of the civil rights movement. All was well until the schism following the consecration of an openly-homosexual bishop. (The split, incidentally, involved the Anglican Communion worldwide. The Diocese of Nigeria has more communicants than all of North America and in a culture competing with Islam, which has an even harsher view of homosexuality than Christianity, there is no room for discussion.)

Rome continues to be a gold standard, but so too are the Amish. Both at some level accept that Christians must live IN the world but not necessarily OF the world. After years of seeking, a close friend once said to me "If I were Mediterranean or Hispanic I would be a Catholic, but my roots are Anglo-Saxon so I am more comfortable as an Anglican."

Years ago I came across The Catholic Worker, Dorothy Day's splinter group -- or should I say thorn in the side of -- the Mother Church. Until it stopped coming a few years ago I subscribed to their newspaper and it was a touchstone of my faith for many years. I visited one of their houses in New York once to see for myself how they live and there are Catholic Worker houses all across the country. If you have not done so, read about how uncomfortable the Church has been with people like Dorothy Day or Daniel and Philip Berrigan.

For what it's worth you have my permission to settle where ever you are fed. And feel free - no, compelled - to move elsewhere as the Spirit leads. It is a mistake to seek perfection, complete unity or durable consistency in this life. As St. Paul said, there are many parts to this Body.

yingo

Decadence and promiscuity are an unstoppable force..

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