Christian Perspectives and Theology of Church
Our Christian Education Director, Stan Hargraves, presented today's teaching. It was very well done---informative as well as held our attention through video (awesome video by Dewitt Jones on focusing your vision) and 'Keynote' technologies (Keynote is Apple's version of PowerPoint). In the Church, are we able to appreciate someone elses perspective? One test for behavior at our meetings: If a child were to be here in this meeting today, what would they learn about Christianity? I believe that's a good goal for every meeting we lead or are part of....what would a child learn? Meetings could be always covered in love if this were practiced. Isaiah 55:6-9 (Seek the LORD while He may be found...call upon him while He is near....) God is over all. At our sessions over 2 weeks we come together as The Body of Christ....there are many different perspectives. There are Presbyterians, Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Independents, Non-denominationals, and then one lone Church of God! At one point during our session we divided into groups to discuss: To what Christian tradition do you belong? What are the core beliefs? What celebrations and rituals are held? In our group there were 2 Catholic priests, 2 Presbyterians, and me (the lone Church of God!). We found that for the most part our core beliefs were the same! That was fun....there were more beliefs that tied us together than divided....imagine that, we all felt that was refreshing since we'll be spending eternity together!! But then the celebrations and rituals. The Protestant group's traditions weren't too different. Our ordinance of feet washing (which I love) was the most unique. However, the Catholic tradition washes feet on Maundy Thursday only in a different context (the priest washes a select group). One of the Priests was from Uganda...the Spirit of the Lord in him is so sweet. In his home country they have a wonderful tradition when someone is desiring to become part of the Catholic Church. At infancy the parents have the child baptized into the faith. But at Confirmation in Uganda the person desiring Confirmation must stand before the church, hold up the Bible and publicly proclaim that this is what they want. A proclamation that faith is now their own. He was surprised when coming to the US that it is not done here, I encouaraged him to bring it here! It is important to have a public proclaimation of a personal commitment to faith! We discussed the Catholic Eucharist. Even the struggle with understanding why the Protestant faith is not welcome to partake when visiting a Catholic Mass. The priests were so patient with us, and fully explained why. They believe that the sacraments are transformed into the body and blood of Christ....they are not the representation as we Protestant's believe. And since we do not believe this, we should not partake. I can respect that. It was a healthy dialogue. Perspective....can you appreciate another's perspective? God can.....in love.....shouldn't we?