Sunday, May 15, 2005

demoninational differences

no, it is not a spelling error. i do mean demoninations! i'm glad this is a little out of the way blog and that few people read it because i have some things i need to say. it is not out of offense, although through this medium, it could be taken this way easily, so let me get that out of the way. it is out of grief. sheer, deep, grief.

my dear friend, martha2, who is a precious sister in the Lord, posted a comment about denominational differences. her question was ... does it make a difference? since we attend two different churches with quite vastly different doctrinal beliefs, i can understand her question. these differences cause such great division in the body of Christ. these differences cause such sadness to my heart.

would we have become friends if we were limited to our demoninations? hers believes that i am not saved ... some in mine believe she is not saved. both suggest that either are not "in the fullness of Christ". ack what's with this? "how this must grieve Daddy" as my friend anne says so often.

it sure grieves the Spirit of Daddy in me.

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I
in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou
hast sent me.

Psalm 133:1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of

i have failed so much at this. a comment was made today that truly cut me to the quick and i responded in a manner i should not have ...

i read it three times ... on the original poster's blog, on pennis, and on another's.

I just cringe when denominational lines are blurred and we act as if
the Eucharist is the same every where. Its not, and I feel like we turn Jesus's
sacrifice into a Triscuit.

if i understand the writer correctly, and from other posts she made i believe i have ... the context was that 'other denominations' (read into this, non Catholic) reduce the work of Jesus on the cross into a triscuit in Communion because 'they' (remember that faceless 'they' of my earlier post?) refuse to believe that the elements become the body and blood of Christ.

pardon me while i step outside to have a small, short rant. arghghghhghg, sob ... sorry, the flesh got in there.

how can this be? how can an experience of "do this in remembrance of me" be reduced to a triscuit when the 'doer' is truly thanking the Lord Jesus for His work on the Cross and loving Him with all of their lives and their hearts? why such fighting?

someone in one of the other threads made a point during her response to the ensuing discussion (to call it a discussion would be polite) of stating she has a Masters in Theology. she was trying to point out that she has studied the Bible and if she has a Masters, she has ... of that i fully understand. but, we all study the Bible from our own theology and that of our demonination ...

Well, i have her beat ... i have a doctorate and am working on a second Ph.D. in theology/psychology. i have visions of Paul outlining his credentials and how useless they are in the work of Christ. (Philippians 3 always makes me giggle at our pride) does that make me better than her, more educated, more understanding in the mystery of Christ, the Church? Nope, but what it says about both of us is that we have devoted our lives, energy, strength, love, heart and soul to His work. and with maturity - another excellent point i think she made, the division will not be the guiding factor in any relationship, but the fact that Christ died for the other person and none of us have it all down. (I apologize, i cannot remember her name at this moment and i'm so challenged in this blogging stuff yet)

i guess the point is ... i wish we could all play nicely and love each other as Christ called us to love each other. i've got so many spots and wrinkles (hence my blog name) that i need to have pressed and bleached out of me ... it is not my job to try to iron them out of others. that's Holy Spirit's job! and He does a far better job of that than i ever could.

and even though i am a college professor, my purpose is to teach those who come to me, not chase them down and bonk them over the head with what i believe is 'their' faulty doctrine/theology.


all of this from a woman who has the nerve to be ordained. (that's me) and that's another ost that would cause a real 'discussion' if i were to open that one up. maybe that's the root of my grief and sadness. my heart aches at the lines and boundaries and division people place around the work of God. He's so much bigger than gender, race, history, pharisees.

world, LET HIM OUT OF HIS BOX, you cannot box Him into your piddly little idea of what He should be or what we should be following Him. or how we should follow Him. He made the rules.

ok, i am now off the pulpit - or soapbox for those of you who think i should only be cleaning the pulpit. sigh. how this grieves my heart.


daisymarie said...

i'll listen to your pulpit anytime! i pastored for 20 years. i decided i made a better chaplain than a pastor---it was better for me to come alongside in their faith journey and aid them in the process than it was to demoninationalize people.

i don't want to be among those who box God...been there, hopefully moving on!

Carolyn said...

thank you, daisymarie. did you ever struggle with the female ordination thing? funny, the only struggle i ever had was with other women! the men can see the calling and the anointing and do not question my ordination. some women on the other hand ... well ...

i apologize. as i think on this, there was more offense in this area than i realized.

funny, i have no desire nor do i think i'm called to be a senior pastor but my position is that of counsellor - or chaplain - to come alongside the senior pastor.

sorry, i'm not even sure what i'm trying to say.

Carolyn said...

actually, i do know what i am trying to say.

it saddens me that others would attempt to tell me that the Lord has not spoken directly to me, called me, anointed me and carried me through for His purposes in my life.

i know that i know that i know i am doing EXACTLY what He created me to do.

it is being flippant with God to suggest otherwise.

~m2~ said...

you rock the house, sister :) i'd attend your church any day of the week if i lived closer.

my denomination might believe only Catholics are saved; that is not to say it is what penni believes. i believe in Christ and Him crucified, and anyone else who believes on His name will also be saved. this is what i believe. and i am sure that there are many who believe i follow a cult. i can't change their minds any more than i could change jane's. it is what it is, but thank God you saw through all of the exterior and got to know my heart what, three years ago? almost four??

i also believe i love not only a just God, but a merciful one, as well. won't we all be surprised as to who will be sitting next to us at the banquet?

again, i must remind you, i'll most likely be in the kitchen helping set things up, or at the very least, sitting at the dessert table next to the creme brulee :)

love you and love your heart. carolyn, i don't doubt your calling for a minute. my friend ayekah tried to quell the mess that was out of control. and while i understand your rant, i have a feeling there are many more people reading your inspired words than you could possibly know.

peace & love, my friend.


Carolyn said...

now martha, martha ... you'll be sitting right beside me ... i've got my dibbs on that. and the creme brulee ... aren't you glad we'll be able to eat anything!?? i can just see all those angels preparing ... ;)

thanks for your kind words. it has been almost five years my friend. i'm sure we met after my first year of Bible College. it's amazing how much water has gone under our little bridge of friendship.

i'm so thankful we saw past the demoninations and into each other's heart. all i see when i look at yours is the face of the Lord! i would have been a much poorer person without your love and friendship in those years.

my rant was not against the Catholic church ... but i think you know that. it was against the pharisitical spirit that believes it has the way to the Lord nailed down to the exclusion of others. it makes me so sad.

Adinah said...

how humbling that I somehow landed here in your blog tonight. definately God's leading. I had to go and read what you wrote a second time. I am not proud of what I said, I still stand behind the premise and thought process. No one goes to the head of the class and no boxes! I teach too,.....scary thought huh? (I'm chuckling to myself) I am in the discernment process for seminary. I don't blab it around, for the same reasons you keep your lamp tuned down a couple of notches. Truly though, I bristle when the statements are made that exclude 90% of the worlds population. I apologize if I offended you in any way. I am semi-assuming you aren't, but ya never know. I don't want to rehash the whole icky mess, but I just want you to know how much I appreciate looking at the story through your eyes. Thank you for your words. I wish you many blessings.

Adinah said...

oh, p.s. I love Max too. My favorite is Six Hours One Friday. Actually I like them all. Doesn't he always just say the thing you are thinking or needing to hear? Just like a good preacher would.

Carolyn said...

you've got that right about max.

i'm so thankful you came in, ayekah. i love your comments on m2's blog and couldn't remember your name. as you can see from reading my blog, i'm not feeling well physically and thus am not as coherent in my writing as i would like.

you did not offend me in the least. actually you made me giggle because i've been there, done that. i pray my comments did not offend you because i was trying to make the same point you were. it thought you expressed it very well.

what hurt me to the quick was the comment that 'my demonination' makes the sacrifice of Christ equivalent to a triscuit. *sigh* my heart hurts so much at that assertion. i love the Lord so much, i just wanted to cry.

with a masters you've studied, and i know that well. but we do study our own doctrine, no? it's funny. i love it. and love talking with other students.

no one would know the extent of my education because i'm so aware that any anointing i have is the Lord's. He doesn't anoint me to brag. *smile*

sometimes i am floored away when my students call me Dr. Ross. what a giggle. do you know who you're talking to? it's just little old me.

anyway, thanks for popping in to my little corner of the world. your comments are always seasoned with humility and Christ's love!

Adinah said...

Thanks Carolyn, I appreciate the feedback. Oddly enough I normally don't blow off about the degrees either, so as my departed Mother would have said, "Oh, another piece of paper for the wall." Chuckle. I was "semi-raised Catholic, let's say I made my sacraments....added to that going to a Christian church (at the same time)In college I flipped the coin and went Episcopal. And have been there since. Am comfortable in liturgical church, but with the freedom and open mindedness for women and the acceptance of (some) new ideas. The area I live constrains me terribly. It is deeply southern conference, and the influence, no matter where you attend is strong. I moved here from an area that was so open and wonderful, the change has been difficult. That's what set me off, indeed along with the triscuit comment on that other blog comment as well. My other strong lean is into Judaism, I really enjoy the writings and wisdom of the mystics. It's a "thinking" religion. I wasn't feeling well myself that weekend, no excuse for my rant, but sounds good at the moment.HA! I suppose I did feel sad as well, again, taking my thumb off my impulse control button, turned that dismay into what I may be able to squeek by as righteous anger. Maybe not.......I won't even try to rationalize my reaction. Thanks again for your input. You are a great voice of reason. I hope you feel better soon, your ankle sounds awful!! Perhaps we can share some other thoughts soon, I would like that. Oh, I just reread your comment, one of the things that floors me, is when they hang on your every word, like you have invented some new concept.......I do alot of my own writing, particulary when I teach a class on prayer, because I go through every form...(that freaks them out) sometimes they think I'm a magician...I tell them if they'd sit quiet long enough they'd listen to God too.......prattle prattle prattle.
I am laughing out loud. Isn't it wonderful though when you open a door or an eye or two, to some new thought.......what a gift, truly a gift.
Be seeing ya.