Sunday, July 27, 2008
Opportunities for communication have become rare---my one regular contact with the pastor of our Church usually includes several other preachers from various churches in the same room, and a non-conforming comment from a layman is made obviously unwelcome. I think at this point I'm traditionally supposed to nail something to a door somewhere, but I'm going to try this medium first.
It has been growing gradually over the years---someone comes in to perform a psychoanalysis of our Spiritual gifts, or we are encouraged to use special "breathing techniques" while reading the Psalms. There have been special get-togethers that included prayer labyrinths. Many sermons for several years have included long quotations from Roman Catholic scholars (there are a fairly large number of former Catholics in our congregation). More recently, our pastor has concluded several powerful messages containing important truths about the Word, Salvation, Faith, and the Holy Spirit with brief quotes from the Koran, Buddha, and others. When present in services---I'm under a lot of stress already, and I'm afraid of what I'm going to hear next---I especially grind my teeth in anticipation of the weekly "other great religions moment". I suppose in future weeks, we can look forward to seeing the Word and the Truth conversationally placed alongside the Veda, the Dallas Cowboys playbook, perhaps a brief discussion about Krishna, just in case we got the pronunciation wrong....
As well as I can figure these things out, our Church is well along the road to "emerging". Even if these citations were merely comparative cultural references, they will confuse the more impressionable children in the family (Galatians 1:6-8). The recent extractions from Catholicism I've spoken to have residues of their former beliefs ranging from simply preferring our childcare, to sincere confusion about genuine Christian doctrine. No one will benefit from this provocative mingling of the Word with the dross of other religions.
Sooner or later, this road the Church is on is going to lead to a collision. The God Who Actually Exists will have His Church back, or will find a replacement.
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