Sunday, August 15, 2010

 

The UCC: 'God is still speaking,'

God is still speaking,

Comments:
Maybe, but I think you'd be hard put to prove we're still listening.
 
Seems like adequate liberal boilerplate.

An alternative:

We are the church, where nothing God may say is fully understood, so we have each other.

We embrace all kinds of communities and new modes of thinking. Why? Because we are not certain about all that God is saying, so we need each other.

We believe that God's communion table is open, not closed. Why? Because we are not certain about all that God is saying, so ritual is necessary to open the ears of our spirit.

We work with - not against - people of other faiths. Why? Because we are not certain about all that God is saying, so we humble ourselves in order to learn more.

We are committed to working for justice, and we believe that lives are changed through global experiences and friendships. Why? Because no one person or group can be certain about all that God is saying, so we all need to contain multitudes.

We want to love. Why? Because we know that God calls us to do so and because we enjoy it, and being the church helps us to enter into a discipline of love.

We choose to suffer in solidarity with the suffering in the world. Why? Because, being unclear about all that God is saying, it is the only way to live in love with the world.

We are the church, where God is partially heard, partially understood, and loving is our life.
 
That's right fine. There is nothing you don't think you can approve. LOL

Tech: I'm listening, and I try sometimes to help others listen. Can't worry too much about everybody else.
 
Re, "Seems like adequate liberal boilerplate."

Even faint praise is somethin' comin' from you! :-)
 
Not to pick on the UCC; the Episcopal Church is an egregious committer of pro forma liberal boilerplate and sounds much the same themes.

Neither sounds to me like the oration of God, however. Especially with regard to the communion table. The sentiment, open not closed, makes almost no theological/spiritual sense to me. The sacrament of communion has nothing to do with inclusion/exclusion. That others make it so - Catholic Bishops, fundamentalist bastards - does not affect the truth of communion.
 
Well, there are times the UMC does the same with liberal boilerplate stuff. All the same, affirming the reality that God is still speaking (whether or not we are hearing, or hearing correctly) is a good thing, considering the loud cries that God has shut up for the past two thousand years.

On the communion table, I would agree with Feodor to a point. The UMC also practices an open table, and makes a point at every service to repeat it (my wife's grandfather, a Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor, did not practice such). While the table is not about openness exclusively, it is important to point out that it is at least a little about that - about Blessed Community being available to whomever, wherever.
 
I would have to say that God is speaking today as strongly as He was 30,000 years ago.
 
But it seems to me that part of Christian faith is a belief that identity in Christ is a way to hear much better -- though not completely. And the hearing much better incompletely is unified as the state of grace on earth.
 
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