With recent developments within the Presbyterian Church and the ever popular desire for schism within the church growing stronger I was struck with the question, “Does being in a demomination really help.” In my heart of hearts I know it does. I appreacite the connectional nature of the church even when it seems that it is a myth. I also am glad to have a higher governing body that helps negotiate and oversee our pastoral relastionships. But what does the world get out of our larger church bodies?
Listen to the song below and pay attention to 2:38 in the time stamp. While some fo the song may be politically and theologically counter to your viewpoint I think that that at 2:38 the spoken words have a deep truth to them. What do you think? What does this world need? Maybe the best thing we can do is just get out of the way!
WOW… How to respond to this??
I think that proclaiming you are one denomination is a personal choice and that it does help some more than others. I, on the other hand, don’t claim to be any denomination per say. I am a Christian. Plain and simple.
I remember growing up in Lima, Ohio and in my very early years raised as a Baptist going to the Lima Baptist Temple. When I was about 8 we started going to South Side Christian Church which I believe is of the Protestant denomination.
I can remember back when I was younger that my grandparents were so against the Catholic religion that they would not even go to the closest hospital, St. Ritas, because there were nuns there at that time. I remember thinking they were evil just because of the way my Grandmother spoke of them and the look on her face. She influenced a young child with her manorisms and facial expressions. Luckily, my mom always taught me to love ALL PEOPLE. No matter what color their skin was or what religion they proclaimed to be. (Thanks Mom!)
I might get some flack for saying this out loud but I do believe that “religion” has messed up our society. With SO MANY different ones, all proclaiming that theirs is “the right one” alot of people get confused. Maybe that is the message in this song when it says “Maybe the best thing we can do is get out of the way.” However, I feel that some people DO benefit from the larger church bodies. I am just not one of them. Maybe I’m just a Christian hippie! lol I don’t know?
For me, I am mearly a Christian woman. Trying to teach my children to have God in their hearts and to love all people: good and bad. My children sometimes go to the Methodist church down the street, the Presbyterian church in the next town, and the Nazareen church back in Lima. To me, it is just being in the house of the Lord and singing songs praise God that fill our hearts with Love. It’s the fellowship of other “Christians”. A Christian can be ANY religion. I think some people forget that. Especially teenagers and young adults that have not been raised with Chrisitanity in the home. I feel blessed that I can grow in the Lord with a variety of people from many different backgrounds.
My kids don’t know what denomination they are and they have not asked me that one yet. But when they do I think I’ll say…. we are the Veggietale denomination! haha
Oh and to answer the question what does the world need? Beats me… I’m still trying to figure out what just little ol me needs.
I like denomination b/c it allows us to partner with others and (hopefully) give us the structure to go forth and do God’s work. But, when our own internal issues hinder that goal it is very frustrating. OK – maybe I am going out on a limb – I posted this response to a friend’s blog last week in response to the question “Can we love an institution” ie – a denomination….
As a lay person and having been PCUSA born and bred, I have been known to say that PCUSA drives me bonkers on more than one occasion, and would say I have a sentimental affection for it. I can’t imagine not being PCUSA. But not love. Loving for me is all about the people.
Especially lately with all the various debates and concerns about the future, I have been glad for this affection. It makes me committed to seeing what the future holds. It’s why I am going to Big Tent. I am glad is it NOT a love – then I would feel I need to support unconditionally. When my head starts spinning trying to understand and figure out exactly what is going on and where my own feelings fit in the midst of it all, I focus on the people in my congregation. I made a comment recently that if PCUSA ceased to exist tomorrow, would my congregation really be all that different? Do we go because we are PCUSA or because of the relationships we have with each other? This might be different for other congregations, but we are pretty tight-knit and I have a feeling we’d still show up to hear what the message of the day is no matter what flag was at the front.