Wednesday, February 06, 2008
L'etat, c'est moi!
I'd like for someone to point to the verse in the New Testament where Jesus makes that claim, or where he declares that His kingdom is of this world.
Warning! I'm not teaching here - I'm questioning.
I'm a Christian. I...
...believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
...believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,the only son of God, eternally begotten of the Father. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven. By the power of the Holy Spirit, he born of the Virgin Mary,became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
...believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
...believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
...acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
...look for the resurrection of the dead,and the life of the world to come.
I am a Catholic because I believe in the Real Prescence. I get infallibility. I get purgatory and all the other things that make Prots scratch their heads and go, "Huh?" Even indulgences - although I still ain't real comfortable with that one.
I'm not big on apparitions, Marian devotion, rosaries or a bunch of other popular stuff, and things like scapulars, medals, blessings of motorcycles* and throats, and asking saints to find car keys** I find frankly off-putting. I get the uncomfortable feeling that too many Christians think the faith is like "white" magic or something. Get the "spell" right and - Bingo! - long lost trinkets magically appear.
Let's face it - there's a lot about my Church I don't get. FWIW, I've attended innumerable mainline Prot, Fundie and other assorted Christian assemblies and have decided that silliness is nondenominational.
One thing I surely don't get is the Church's social gospel. Oh, I know all about helping widows and orphans and what not, and I get loving my neighbor as myself - even though I must hate myself, based on my feelings*** for some neighbors.
What I don't understand is the Church's insistence on attempting to push it's social agenda through programs administered by a secular - even hostile - government. If the Kingdom of God is supposed to look like a left-wing Utopia - minus abortion - then I confess to missing the point.
More to come...****
*A nondenominational phenomenon. I've seen bikes blessed by everyone from a priest to a hirsute biker/pastor, presumably from the Church of Hog Heaven. Cue "Riders in the Sky" by Roxette
**I'd suppose that Saint Anthony has better things to worry about. I try not to bug saints. They're busy. I'd rather have them interceding for my sorry butt than worrying about where I put my Honda keys.
***Good thing Love is an act of will and not a feeling.
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