Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Don't Have A List !!!

I am writing a song, as I have been known to do from time to time. I confess that I have borrowed the theme for the song from a book I just started to read, because it (the book) reminded me of an experience I recently had at a church whose name, location, and denomination I choose not to reveal.

Sorry, but I just am not into denomination bashing just because someone else chooses to walk a different road than I do. I prefer to leave that to the self-righteous. We are all seeking the same destination, although our paths may differ along the way. Who is right? Who is wrong? Not for me to say. I have enough trouble just trying to stay my own course. Here is my song:

'I am smart enough to know
I am dumb clear to the bone
And just dumb enough to think
I can make it on my own.....'

That's all I've written so far, hopefully more will come later.

It was a huge church, seating several hundred people, with multiple services every Sunday morning. They really had it going on! Which is a good thing. The sanctuary consisted of a very large semi-circle facing a raised altar, with choir behind. Big screen TV's, lighting, studio stuff, if you know what I mean. The service began with an extended music segment of worship. A massive choir, an orchestra, a wonderful sound system all lended to make it a quite enjoyable experience. Quite a change from the very orthodox Anglican liturgy I am accustomed to.

The pastor arrived to deliver his sermon, which was quite eloquently articulated (he spoke good), if not somewhat lengthy.

(St. Stephen preached the longest sermon in the new testament and the Sanhedrin took him out and stoned him to death). (Acts 7:1 - 7:60)

(Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you took all the people in the world who fell asleep in church and laid them end to end, they would be a lot more comfortable.)

But I digress (twice).

At the conclusion of the sermon he proceeded to ask for an altar call. A good thing. No one came forward so he tried again, still no one came forward. After the third attempt, to no avail, he stopped and stared at the congregation, and asked this question: "What will you say on judgement day, when you are standing in front of the Lord our God, and He asks you for a list of all you have done in this life to warrant entry into His Kingdom? What will you say?" Oops! Our paths just went their separate ways.

Okay, not being a theologian, I think I understand just enough about Holy Scripture to be dangerous. I may be wrong (not the first time, by the way), but I always thought we were saved by the Grace of God, not by our works or accomplishments while on Earth. Did not Christ die on the cross for our sins that we may have eternal life? Were we not all saved by His blood?

Well, I certainly hope and pray he just got caught up in the moment, forgot, and left that part out, because I don't have a list. Haven't kept one. Didn't think I needed one!

I believe in my heart of hearts that the pastor is a Godly man. I honestly believe he helps people who may be struggling with their spirituality. I certainly believe he brings people to the Lord. It just struck me as odd that Grace was never mentioned. Oh well.

If there is a point to all this, I suppose it would be this: There are many Christian denominations in the world. There are many styles of worship to choose from. What I find fulfilling others may not. What feeds me spiritually may leave someone else cold. There does not need to be a right or a wrong. There is no right or wrong. The important thing is that we believe, that we worship, that we all seek the same eternal destination. How we get there is up to us.

After all, we have all been saved by the Grace of God. When? I believe it was three o'clock Good Friday, two thousand and seven years ago.


Larry Whinnery said...

You "really and truly want feedback", so here goes. You want everyone to "read the ENTIRE article, then respond. I have read, now I respond with MY ideas.

I am probably the one who used Ann Coulter's name "two or three times"(shudder), but not to respond to your use of her name (I know you didn't). I was either unaware of the "rules" regarding responses or didn't succeed in getting my message across. Be both careful and aware that there is a vast difference between being a "card carrying conservative" and fanatic political paranoid ideologist, such as Ann Coulter (shudder), to which I hope you do not subscribe. I used her as an obvious example of this dangerous fringe political view in our present day society. Aim your "arrogant criticism" comment in her direction. She's the expert in that area. My point is this: if you are taking "an honest look around" at our culture, seeking evil, please add her name and anyone like her to the list. So you see there was purpose in my using her name, even if you didn't use it.

I am sorry you "view liberalism as a true danger to our society". There is a very long list of liberal accomplishments (not room here) that can be made by anyone who is willing to take the time to work on it - not the least of which (in spite of all their problems) are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. You have every right to think and write about your political views vs. liberal points of view - but come on, "a true danger to our society".

In my opinion (which you asked for) political correctness is a catch phrase that, like many others, will eventually go away, rather than erode "our collective wills". There are plenty of examples in American History & Literature that bear that out.

Secular aggressiveness is a relatively new term for something that has been around for a long, long, long time I don't like it, but I don't fear it either. Once again, just my opinion.

I somewhat agree about your amazement regarding the response about the Episcopal Church. However it is not really much of a leap from your good reason for leaving to "hating gay marriage" for anyone who had even the smallest amount of keeping up with the news. You didn't have to mention it for someone to make the small leap. That's the thing about writing editorially, you have to expect all kinds of responses, and you can't make or even request only certain kinds. Scripture is not open to taking "little snippets out of context",editorials (as well as many other writings) are fair game.

In any case I hope I have done as you asked -"read the ENTIRE article, then respond".

By the way, I hardly ever see any other responses but mine on your blog - is no one reading it, or are you not publishing all the responses?

Dougie said...

Larry, This was not aimed directly at you, although I can see why you would think that. I send the 'Rant' to over 150 people via e-mail along with the blog and the Rutherford Reader. I always post the replies to the blog. Actually, I am not sure how many people read it. Most of the responses come from the e-mails. You asked me a long time ago to not send them to you anymore because they were generally political and you did not want to read them, which I have respected.

Unfortunately, I have not kept a log of responses other than from the blog or I would gladly share them with you. You might see where I'm coming from a little better.

I only ask that I not be attacked personally (which I have been), and the responses be on message. I don't think I am wrongin expecting this.

I don't believe Ann Coulter is any more whacked out than those on the extreme left. Her delivery certainly leaves a lot to be desired, kinda like Rosie's. She certainly 'fires for effect', and I'm not sure she wouldn't do better if she was less caustic.

Thanks for an honest response.

Larry Whinnery said...

Sorry - it looks like I posted my response in the wrong blog - it should be in the Wishy Washy - anyway, here goes my response to your response:
Anne Coulter is not "wacked out" (your words) - she is just plain evil. And, I don't think the existance of any "wacked out" liberal justifies anything she says or does. I honestly believe that any real conservative person would not accept her as a politically or idealistically acceptable spokesperson.
I had a very conservative professor (who had my respect) who would "shudder" at Coulter's words & actions. Her name was Ruth Maynard, who at one time was actually a socialist (her ex-husband served time for communist anti American actions),but had become a well known conservative economist. I knew her well enough to know that she always walked in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus and never, never used arrogant insults against people with whom she disagreed. She would have considered anything like that as non Christian behavior. She knew how to disagree & debate without stooping to the low insulting manner used by Anne Coulter (and others). I respected Ms Maynard very much, and learned a lot from her.
Sometimes just the way you try to put across your political beliefs can leave you open to personal attack. I can only suggest you keep this in mind.
Also, you probably are wrong in expecting responses "on message"
or non personal - way too much to expect when you are editorializing.

Larry Whinnery said...

I still prefer to not get the email. I would rather use "letter to the editor" in the Rutherford Reader to publish my responses. When I respond to your blog or The Reader, either you or the editor have the right to not publish my comments. Political emails are just plain annoying, no matter which side they represent.

Dougie said...

Yeah, you are probably right about the responses, not very realistic on my part. Wishful thinking, I guess. My wish would be to never be personal or insulting, stay on message, and share ideas for solutions to this country's ills. I get very little of that. I can dream....

Larry said...

Sweet Dreams - or should I say, if you let yourself become too involved in trying to come up with solutions to this country's ills at the expense of more enjoyable pursuits - sweat dreams!