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Friday, 05 March 2010 09:02

This question has been buzzing around my head for quite some time. It is a question which I occasionally want to ask of other people.


It starts like this: I find myself in conversation with one or more folks who are, shall we say, expressing a certain level of disagreement with something or someone in the church. Complaining ranges from the most mundane issues of church life to some of the most intensely held religious beliefs.


Arguing whether worship should begin at 9:00 or 9:30 inevitably is rooted in something completely outside of the faith community. Something like brunch. But that doesn't mean that the argument is any less passionate. Then, there are the other typical worship-related things like music. I don't think there is a parish on earth where there hasn't been at least one complaint about the music. From volume to style, music stirs our passions and forms the basis of our disagreements.


Then there are the ‘biggies'. Things like the ordination of women, the proper age for receiving the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion and the allowance for openly gay persons to serve in the ordained ministry. These are issues which seem so close to the heart of our faith. Scripture is used to define arguments on all sides.


As I type this list I realize some of these issues have been ‘settled' for us in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for quite some time. I wasn't even a Lutheran when ordained ministry was opened to women! I also know from my travels that Holy Communion practices regarding age are different among Lutheran (ELCA) parishes.


And now, the issues related to the ordination and call of gay persons in committed relationships have brought more discussion and disagreement.


I DO NOT INTEND TO ARGUE ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER OF THIS ISSUE! IT IS NOT THE POINT OF THIS BLOG POSTING. As a member of the ELCA this issue is settled church polity and I proceed accordingly.


My question to everyone - whether your argument is on the small stuff or the big stuff - Why are you church? Why are you here? We spend an inordinate amount of time arguing over that which divides us rather than on acknowledging, celebrating and building upon that which unites us.


If you are ‘at' church for the worship and music you miss the real joy of it all. And furthermore you will never be fully filled and satisfied. If the ‘biggie' issues bother you find a place where they won't. One of the beauties of Christianity is that there are a variety of expressions, perhaps you will find one you like.


Why am I church? JESUS!!!!! - I am not cursing, I am stating the obvious reason I am and we are church! His great love for me - and His entire creation brings meaning and purpose to my life.


What could we accomplish if we did everything in pursuit of His mandate to us? I read that mandate from Matthew and Mark - to go into the world and preach the good news to all creation.


I could go on and on - there is so much to talk about on this subject. Perhaps another time. I gotta go be church.....



Still Gimpy by Grace ... And ... Well in the Lord

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