Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A convicting admonition:

The most important reasons for not converting to Rome or Constantinople or Atlanta or Houston or Moscow have nothing to do with icons, apostolic succession, sacraments, or liturgy. The reason you shouldn't convert is because you are required by God to love your neighbor as yourself. John says, 'how can you say that you love God whom you have not seen if do not love your neighbor whom you have seen?'

The fact of the matter is that most people who end up "converting" do not do it because they have been actively involved in hospitality, serving at the local soup kitchen, evangelizing their neighbors, and volunteering any extra time they have to assist the deacons at Church. People who convert are not generally busy giving themselves away. People who are taking up their cross daily, people who are dying to themselves, don't have time to ask stupid questions like, "Am I really in a true church?"

Who is your neighbor? What's his/her name? How many children do they have? Where do they work? What are their hopes and dreams? What are their needs? If you're having trouble sleeping at night because you think there mightof, shouldof, maybe ought-to-of been a processional, robes, incense, a bishop with a big hat, or some such nonsense, you don't understand the gospel. You're busy tithing all manner of mint and dill, and you haven't even begun to understand the weightier matters of the law which are justice and mercy and faith.

People need to realize that the weightier matters of the law are not apostolic succession, old liturgies, or paedocommunion. Love you neighbor and stop your whining. Take up your cross and learn how to die. Stop bowing down to that idol in the mirror.


DrLeoMarvin said...

Is he basically just saying "stay where you are because it's all gonna be OK"? The "sacraments" he speaks of... are they true sacraments? I don't know. "Am I in the true church?" is not a stupid question, at least to me.

Thomas said...

Liked this. Have some concerns similar to Justin's. Kyle, I think combining common sense perceptions like this one with Wendell Berry type "rootedness" in an age of information overload and community disintegration would make a great topic for a blogpost or essay on the Christian life today.

schupack said...

yes to TB

s-p said...

I agree with the notion that if you are losing sleep over rubrics, you are on the wrong track. I disagree that only those who are not busy "giving themselves away" are considering converting. Like most things, when one sets up a false dichotomy to make a point, the point gets lost. The greatest commandment is to love God and neighbor, but it is not the ONLY commandment, even Jesus said that in other places. ANY Church's "traditions and doctrines" can become a vehicle for Phariseeism and self-absorbed ritualism, but that is not an indictment of the doctrine or rituals but of the heart of the person who is engaging them. So yes, "heart check", but no, not a reason to not convert.

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