Sep 20, 2009

Where Do We Worship?

When God's people (the Church) gather together to worship -- heaven is a place on earth! -- REALLY! We are REALLY in the presence of the Almighty and His heavenly host!

If this is true, how should this effect the way we approach worship?

Sep 17, 2009

I'm Right, You're Wrong

Everyone likes to be right. I like it when I'm right. Makes me feel good about myself. And I sure like to tell others when I'm right. How about you? But when I'm wrong I do my best not to make too much of it.

Within the Church, every denomination from RC to EO and Protestants are more than happy to tell you how right they are. They are more than happy to tell each other (and themselves) how right they are about every theological topic under the sun.

When the topic of unity or ecumenism is broached within the Church the discussions will always deteriorate to the default position of ...... "but I'm right on this or that". Which is another way of pointing out how the other person/denomination/Church is wrong.

One thing I've noticed about conflicts is that the surest way to keep the conflict going is to keep pointing out to the other person how right you are. I've especially learned this within the sanctity of marriage. If I want to really tick my wife off, all I have to do is point out how obvious it should be to her that I am right.

Maybe this insight could be carried over to the problem of disunity within the Body of Christ (The Church). Instead of every person/Church/denomination focusing on all the areas where we are right, maybe we should first focus on all of the areas where we are clearly wrong.

If you think I'm crazy, just try this the next time you're in an argument with your wife, brother, sister, friend, co-worker or whoever. Stop trying to prove you're right and admit to the other person first where you have been wrong. Ask them to forgive you and leave it at that. See how fast they respond to you. See how fast you are reconciled to that person.

Is this the answer to disunity in the Church? It sounds so crazy that it just might work.

Lord, forgive us of the sin of dividing your body and give us the humility to admit that we are wrong.

Sep 5, 2009

Irenaeus on Faith and The Church

"The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations132 of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father "to gather all things in one,"133 and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, "every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess"134 to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all;...."

"As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth."

From Irenaeus' Against Heresies, Chapter 10

Is this what the Church looks like today?