Wednesday, April 25, 2012
We need to get over denominationalism. For one thing, we are called to discipleship! We are called to live the Way of Jesus. Creeds and doctrines have their place, but these must point beyond themselves to the Mystery that is God.
Another reason we need to get over it involves the denominations themselves. A person can attend a local parish of one, but not hold strongly to the philosophical and theological foundations thereof.
For example, I happen to attend a Lutheran church that I stumbled upon on Easter (fully intending on going to an Episcopal church). It is really close to me. It is not rich, in fact it is struggling to a point. It has a line item in its budget to help folks in the local community. All this with around 30 regular attenders!
This parish has its Christian priorities straight. They managed to get a roof on the place, too. The minster does not mind if you come weekly or biweekly or whatever; it's not important how often you come. What is important is how you live the life of discipleship wherever you are.
I do not agree with much of Luther's take on theology. I am not concerned with Lutheranism per se; I just love this parish. The battles of yesteryear are over. This is where I find myself today.
Nor am I simply a Catholic-in-exile; there is much there with which I disagree as well. I am simply a Eucharistically-centered Christian.
At the start of this past semester, I wondered whether or not I could possibly return to the Roman Catholic Church. Not a chance.
The overwhelming majority of the bishops have proved themselves morally bankrupt; a few of the priests have as well. The treatment of nuns and theologians is horrific. The translation of the Mass banal. Some are called to stay and fight for change; others are called to move on and live lives of discipleship outside its boundaries.
I love my friends who choose to remain. They are wonderful people who love the Lord. They have ministries that serve the Reign of God, which includes the People of God. I respect them for staying; I cannot stand with them.
For me to remain in the Roman Church violates my deeply informed conscience; I simply cannot do it. To go back to Rome would violate my sense of integrity. To pretend to be something one is not is a sin, period. I prefer to stand as a disciple of Jesus where I am.