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Bloviating Zeppelin: Church

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Church


I asked a few weeks ago on a Sunday, where do you hold your beliefs? Church or heart?


Now I ask:

Should church be a museum for saints, or a hospital for sinners?

BZ

15 Comments:

Blogger Law and Order Teacher said...

BZ,
A great question. I'll have to come down on the side of a hospital for sinners. Being a Catholic we are accused of being a shrine for saints, what with the crucifix etc. But really Christianity is all about forgiveness.

Brit Hume took a massive hit for saying so, but Christianity is a religion of forgiveness and Tiger could use a little forgiveness. God is good.

I'll keep checking with this post and respond.

I've had some server problems, so I've been out of circulation. Sorry.

Sun Jan 17, 01:44:00 PM PST  
Blogger Dolley Madison said...

It should be a hospital, but a true evangelical church will never make a sinner comfortable in their own sins. If I am coasting through a church service thinking about what is for lunch or what I need to buy at the store for Sunday supper, then I know I am not hearing the Word that day. For the truth cuts like a sword and makes you squirm in your seat and your sin.

Now, there is a difference in back biting hypocrites and honest to goodness preaching. A true evangelical knows they are no better on their own, just forgiven. I like to find the scruffy ones that smell like cigarette smoke, shake their hands and welcome them to God's House. I sit beside them and pray. More than one has drug their sins to the alter and wept with joy at the new life they have been given.

God is good, people... not so much, sinner and saint alike.

Sun Jan 17, 02:28:00 PM PST  
Blogger Leslie said...

Church is a hospital for sinners, a fellowship for believers, and a filling station for the soul. Unfortunately there are times when people ruin 'church' by allowing their tendency to judge others to get in the way.

Sun Jan 17, 02:30:00 PM PST  
Blogger Jennifer Leeland said...

Neither. I'm waiting for the day Church is like an AA or Al-Anon meeting--no judgement, more experienced people providing guidance and no one, and I mean NO ONE is tossed out or made unwelcome.
When Church is more like that, I'll be more likely to go.

Sun Jan 17, 02:34:00 PM PST  
Blogger mrchuck said...

In war, there is no god. If there was, he or she would have stopped the atrocities that I and others did to win.
I was raised and baptized twice. Church went away in 1961 with the MACV-SOG assignments, missions and goals.
Today, I am an old man and not far from my life-span.
I accept this, and still feel I did what was right to keep my beloved USA free.
I also felt this exact same way thru 35 years on the front line of law enforcement.
And so, "to each it's own".

Sun Jan 17, 03:18:00 PM PST  
Blogger Greybeard said...

Neither.
It should be a place to meet with your Christian family.
And that family should love you like a regular family... warts and all.
Instead, most are filled with hypocrites, gossiping like old hens.
Sad.

And MrChuck-
I don't understand your inner conflict, so I hope you'll do some Bible reading.
(And thank you for helping to keep me and mine free.)

Sun Jan 17, 04:29:00 PM PST  
Blogger Debbie said...

Since there are no saints, it must be a hospital for sinners.

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

Sun Jan 17, 05:53:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bubbles said...

I just returned home from a prayer meeting. I was praying that the Lord would bring those into the church that are struggling with life, that they would enter with their brokeness and begin the healing process. Therefore, I would say a hospital with the greatest physician of all as the medical director,Jesus. Keep in mind that there is no perfect church with perfect people attending. If you happen to find one, don't attend there because you will mess it up.

Sun Jan 17, 06:42:00 PM PST  
Blogger dmurray said...

Museum? No. Hospital? Only as a part of a far larger ministry.

Ron, you and I know the Ron I'm talking about, told me about a dream that I thought was about faith:

He stared at his fist which was clenched on something that he felt was the most valuable thing to him ever. In the dream he wished to see what it was that he was gripping. He slowly opened his fist to reveal in his palm a single grain of sand. He then looked up from his palm to see he was standing in a desert of sand that extended as far as the eye could see.

We discussed the dream. I told him that I thought the grain was the faith and its blessing that he enjoyed and with which he was blessed. I think that the desert made up of grains of sand was the blessing, peace and joy that was available to him through the virtue and gift of faith.

Is this where I say, "Your mileage may vary?"

Ron is OK by me. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that dreams are not authority (for which I am truly thankful). I was humbled that he shared it with me and that he was polite enough to listen to what I had to say.

I think that the message holds up, that you cannot out give God and that graces, gifts and blessings of unanticipated scale, size, nature, meaning and content are there for us all.

Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Second Person of the Trinity started a church and gave us its leader on earth. (Insert flame wars here)

Sun Jan 17, 07:24:00 PM PST  
Blogger Carlisleboy said...

I believe it is both.
Some of the Greatest Saints (Mary of Magdeline, High-profile convert St. Augustine (dubbed "Heretic and Playboy")St. Mary the Egyptian ("Seductress"), St. Fabiola ("Bigamist")Started out as not so nice people.
If Christ and the Church can even turn these hard cases around then there is hope for us all.

Sun Jan 17, 10:23:00 PM PST  
Blogger Old NFO said...

I don't know BZ- lots' of neither, some of both??? I know I'd go more if people were less judgmental, more willing to accept and work with people... YMMV, that's just my .02 worth

Sun Jan 17, 11:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

It is what you need it to be.

If one sins then the solace in the community of the church helps one to understand their place in the world and that we are all sinners of one sort or another.

If there is a need of guidance that same community is there to help with that, too.

The physical trappings may elevate those who have succeeded or may be sparse and emphasize the depth of communion to come to atonement, but those are just the physical trappings of our mortal realm, not the actual understanding of your place in it. Only you can determine that and find which path suits you.

As we all have freedom of religion the meaning of a simple road-side shrine or the greatest temple ever built are the same: it is the expression of our place in this world, but the actuality of it is how you live.

I do have deep problems with leadership structures and other concerns that make the great edifices possible, but that is a wholly different matter than the needs of the individual to find their place in this world and understand it, and come to terms with it. And that can give the deepest meaning to the humblest of expressions in building and no one definition fits that as we all must find the right path for ourselves, even if that means hacking at the undergrowth all your life as that, too, has meaning. The path of 1 is as equal as the path of 1 billion because of that, and it is just as solemn a commitment to understanding as no one can teach that solo path, only learn it.

Mon Jan 18, 05:12:00 AM PST  
OpenID gawfer said...

Here's another take. Church isn't a building in the middle of town or on a hill near by, nor is it a specific denomination. By biblical definition, Church is the 'Body of Christ'; those who have identified themselves with His death and resurrection:

Colossians 1:15-20 (New International Version)

"15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

Further, if folks go to church expecting perfection, they will always be disappointed. Church is filled with believers (and non-believers) of various levels of maturity. In some churches, you'll find 20 year old infants, and in others, young Christians with great understanding.

The reason we attend church isn't to judge one another, but to worship God in Christ. We go for encouragement and fellowship:

Hebrews 10:24-26 (New Living Translation)
24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. Church is a terrifc place to find the restoration of a severed relation with God.

Mon Jan 18, 06:28:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bubbles said...

gawfer-Well put!

Mon Jan 18, 06:39:00 AM PST  
Blogger Clint said...

Great question.

I have a group of guys from my church that I am very close with. They know my struggles and I know theirs. We keep each other accountable not in a spirit of judgement, but in a spirit of what's best for each other. We are "iron sharpening iron" as we like to put it.
When I fail, they are there to pick me up and I do the same for them. Our ultimate goal: to be more like Christ to our wives, to our community and to those in need around us.

That's church to me.

Mon Jan 18, 12:05:00 PM PST  

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