It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Questions and Answers

Melli , who's blog I have been reading lately, sent me an e-mail and in it she had this question.

She asked "Can I ask ... what faith are you? It's not important - I know you're a Christian! I'm just wondering!"

It will take more than one post to tell all I really want to tell but I am going to start tonight.

My story began with a childhood in a beautiful Catholic home, my husband's in a loose mainstream Protestant home and winds up with us here, now without any other tag except Christian.

We, my husband and I, are not: non-denominational, mainstream, charismatic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox or any of the other zillion denominations or pigeon holes that have arisen since the fifteen hundreds. But we as a couple and as individuals draw from many of the traditions that have gone before us.

"So, what are you? Where do you go to church?" I hear you asking and I understand the need to figure out where we stand. It is for sure a legitimate thing, because we could be nut job cult members. And I know that if I told you where we go to church, show you a picture perhaps of the cathedral, chapel, temple, or some building with a sign out front you could know what kind of Christians we are. But I can't.

We don't go to a church.

We don't attend church services.

We are the church.

We are the church all the time.

We are the church even when we are alone. We are connected by his body and blood with all those through time and space that are His.

In the eighty-six some odd mentions of church in the New Testament none of them refer to a building, an organization or an event. They refer to a people. Granted, sometimes the word refers to a group of people in a specific location. But it still is a people, not a building or an organization.

We, my husband and I, through the eye opening teachings of others and reading of scripture, have come to see that buildings are of Old Testament. Christ freed us from the bondage that buildings bring. His early church, when they gathered to celebrate the Lord's supper, or to encourage and uplift one another, met mostly in homes. They preached at the temple but those were outreach events, to use a modern term.

But it is my bedtime and I since I have missed having good sleep last night I must close here and pick this up tomorrow. Maybe, dear reader you will have some questions for me.


KathyB. said...

Amen, and again I say amen ! and...WHAT !?! You're going to bed early ? KathyB.

Melli said...

*SMILE*... I think you did great! It's funny because at my Bible study last night we were talking about (because we're Lutheran) a certain hymn that (i never knew this before) is sort of categorized as "THE" Lutheran hymn. I said WAIT a minute! We used to sing that hymn in the Catholic church too. (see, I started out there too...) They were very surprised because it apparently wreaks of Martin Luther teaching... and of course, the Catholics don't like the Lutherans blah blah blah.... stuff I NEVER knew and have no interest in. The teachings in our "church" are that WE are Lutheran - but Pastor encourages us to bring people to CHRIST. Not to church. He says if we can get them to the Methodist/Baptist/Episcople etc. church that's just fine! Just introduce them to Christ and HE will figure out which pigeon hole to put them in! That's what I believe too! My church works for ME! Your "church" works for YOU! And obviously you have great LOVE for our Savior and that is the ONLY thing that matters!!!

I DO thank you for answering my question -- and it was a brave thing to "put out there"... because waaaaaaaay too many people will not understand it!

But our discussion last night ended in thinking that the division or all the different Christian churches is probably one of those things that really makes God sad... because HE says that the people are the church ... and he never NAMED the church! He just wants us ALL to come together in LOVE!