Monday, July 23, 2007

another New England saying, Holy catholic church, one body, one Christ

As I was on the plane to Kansas (last May)(well to Detroit since that's where my layover was) for a former roommate and bridesmaids wedding, I sat next to a lady in a Catholic missions group. The group was on the plane too. She referred to New England Christians as the "frozen chosen". I thought that was hilarious, but pretty accurate. New England is a very challenging area spiritually (to put it delicately). It's interesting too because this is where the nation began and so many great men of the faith lived and attended church here. Anyway, times have changed. Now it's a very liberal area for the most part. The New England Christians I have met are quieter about their faith and not very evangelistic. However, the show their faith in other ways such as serving and helping the people and community around them. They are there for you when you need them most. They have a quiet, commitment to their friends and their church. I'm not referring to just Protestants in the area, since it's a predominantly Catholic area, I'm referring to ALL Christians. I have met some wonderful Catholic brothers and sisters in our neighborhood as well.

Which reminds me of something I believe and have wanted to convey for a long time. I just want to express the importance of our responsibility as Christians and Protestants of any denomination to support our Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. Their church has gone through some difficult times as we all know and this has done a lot of damage to their witness and shaken their faith. I've talked to several people who have dismissed going to church at all (and believing in anything related to church) because of what's happened. So this is when we need to pray for them and for the Catholic church because we're really a part of the one Holy catholic (lower-case) church under one Lord and one Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I watched the replacement process of the pope pretty closely and was excited that they elected a conservative pope, Pope Benedict, to follow John Paul II. Because of the influence and power of the Catholic church and the stance that they have on certain issues such as abortion and homosexuality, I thought this was important. We need to remember that we are on the same side when it comes to these issues, even if we disagree about how to worship or on the leadership of the church etc.

I was disappointed when Pope Benedict issued a document a couple of weeks ago saying that the Roman Catholic church was the only true church and that Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches and thus, don't have the means to salvation. This really ignores that we all serve the same God. He asserts that Jesus only created one church, but we believe this is for all who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died and rose again for our sins.

Despite that however, I still believe we should, with full knowledge of our disagreements and differences, choose to support each other in our common missions and goals whether this be a political or moral stance, or simply to help people begin a relationship with Jesus.

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