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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Mel's Odd Stuff / Comment List Welcome Guest

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    Comment List
    Morning mel,
    As one of those who would love to see the Church be in unity with each other, I suppose I must first define what I mean by 'unity'.
    There are many ways to skin a cat, is one of lifes oft used little sayings, when the task is completed you have a skinned cat!
    To become a Christian there is only one way, to believe in the Person of Christ & to believe in the works of Christ.
    Hence: "That if you confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord & believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved". Rom. 10:9 NIV. That is where unity starts, when Paul writes in the first letter to the Corinthians, writing to a church he founded which is in dis-unity!! He talks about building on the foundations of the Church. "For no one can lay foundations other than the one already laid by The Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 3:11 That is the nub of the matter, after that all the little indifferences can be seen as edifying or being divisive. Which is for the better?
    I think that it is the object of my faith which counts, its that pivotal point where we become unstuck or go on in Christ.
    I too have been babtised by full immersion, so what? does that make me a better man to my neighbour than the one who was sprinkled on the forehead? All these little things are sent by the evil one to take Christians minds away from that object of Faith: The Christ, God's annointed one the Messiah.
    Does it build up the Faith of the community or does it negate it?
    The last part of Jude puts it lovingly together, the doxology, read it again & see if your other items amount to a hill of beans, as you who are accross the pond would say.
    That is where I stand Mel, hope in our lives we are agreed on that, Christ is Lord Hallelujah.
    That is Awesome
    Love in His Name Stuart
    2006-09-13 03:14:06 Posted by Shar (stuart@sadrankin.com)

    We're blessed at my church to have a pastor who doesn't try to make doctrine out of things that don't need to be doctrine, like how wet you get when you're baptized. He'll sprinkle you at church or dunk you in the local health club's pool; it's your choice. As long as you've prayed to accept Jesus as your Savior and you understand that baptism is your public proclamation of that fact, he's happy to baptize you however you prefer. As comedian Mark Lowry says, if you don't know Jesus, it doesn't matter if you're sprinkled or dunked, you're just getting wet.

    As for communion (or the Lord's Supper, as many in our congregation call it), we have it once a month, on the same Sunday as our monthly birthday dinner. We base that on the comments in the Bible about "when you come together for your love feasts," but it's not a doctrinal thing for us; it's simply a fact that those Sundays are the most well-attended ones, so that's when we share communion.

    For our communion, we use grape juice and little puffy bread squares we get from the Christian book store, but at my previous church, we used grape juice and matzo bread from the grocery store because my pastor wanted to use the same kind of bread Jesus and his disciples would have used at their Passover Seder. Do I think the two congregations could get into a doctrinal dispute over this? Well, they could invent one, I suppose, but I don't think that they need to get fussy about it. I prefer the matzo bread myself (it has more flavor, and it's more symbolically meaningful to me because of the stripes and piercings it has), but I don't think our church is in sin because it uses a different communion bread. Some churches use bread that has leavening in it, while others use unleavened bread, and some use wine while others use grape juice. Do I think one church is "right" while the other is "wrong?" I think a case can be made for the use of unleavened bread in communion, but I don't think a doctrine needs to be made of it. Communion is about communing with the Lord as we remember His sacrifice for us and the new covenant He established, not about whether you're eating matzo bread, a store-bought wafer, or a homemade bread baked by one of the church ladies.

    These are just a couple of examples based on Mel's and Stuart's comments. There are many others to be had -- what to wear to church, whether women should have leadership roles in the church, what day of the week you should have church, how and when you should take up the offering, what kind of music to use (or whether you even should be using music), whether or not to allow dancing and other expressive forms of worship, etc. All of these things can break apart a church body, but they shouldn't.

    I came from a church where praying in tongues and the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit were a common occurence, but I'm now attending a church where those things don't happen (even though the pastor says they don't have any problem with such things should they occur). I could go to a different church where things were more Pentecostal/charismatic, but I like my church; the preaching is biblically solid, the pastor is easygoing, and the people enjoy each other's company. I like to dance in church sometimes, and not only is it okay with everyone, they actually miss it when I stop for a while (like lately). Does anyone else step out into the aisle and cut loose? Oh goodness, no! But they don't have a problem with me doing it. It did cause a stir at first, but with some pastoral support and a little Bible-based crash course from me in forms of worship, everyone is okay with it.

    We need to be unified in our faith, and I think the Apostle's Creed (or Nicene Creed) sums it up well. When I was Catholic, I thought the part about one catholic church meant we were the only ones who had this Christianity business right, but I now know that the word catholic (with a little c) simply means "universal." In other words, we are one body made up of many members that have a multitude of purposes within that body. That goes for us as individuals and also for local church bodies as corporate units.

    Will there be denominational "neighborhoods" in heaven, as there are ethnically-based neighborhoods in many cities? I don't think so, and I dearly hope not! Denominations are our invention, a way of conveniently grouping people by their beliefs on the smaller issues. In heaven, time won't exist any more, so it won't matter what day we held as the Sabbath down here (just another example to ponder).

    Wishing us all true unity in Christ,
    2006-09-13 10:32:36 Posted by Traci ()

    Mel - i like where you are going with this. I'm sure it has also opened up many other things in your head. Thanks for posting this. Much appreciated.

    God Bless
    2006-09-14 05:26:26 Posted by Lee ()

    Thanks guys. I am still digesting what your comments are. Probably reading too much into it here and there. Sorry! I have further thoughts, and probabaly enough to go on another post when I get the energy, but your input does indeed help open up other thoughts for me to consider.

    In Christ,

    2006-09-14 11:04:30 Posted by Mel ()

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