Thursday, July 03, 2014
LIstening To Speech Aimed At Others
Pope Francis has redefined no dogma, changed no doctrine; he has done little more, actually, than change the tone of the voice of Rome, and yet that tonal adjustment has allowed an exhalation that feels like a sigh of completion. Amid a Church that has held its breath for decades while traipsing the wire between a pre- and post-concillar understanding of itself, this feels like we have finally reached the other side.This put a couple of thought on my mind. The first was that such conciliatory thought and talk is what began the decline of several Protestant denominations, including my own. Though it is so proper a reflection of the love if Christ, it seems my church could not stop at an appropriate point and has ended up redefining sin. I pray that such does not happen to the Roman Catholic church.
The second thought concerned how do we behave when a pastor.leader/teacher of any sort teaches to someone else. The Pope is clearly not speaking to the committed members of the church, but rather to the world at large. Ofttimes I enter a church - particularly one that brands itself as "seeker-sensitive" - and I wonder when I get to go to church - it is clearly church for someone else. In such setting I can minister by reaching out to the seeker, but where is my retreat? Where is my place to commune with the Almighty? Where are the lessons I need to learn and where is the communion with like-minded and like-committed?
Here is where I think the Catholic have it over all the rest of us for only they are big enough to truly be all things to all people. Even if Sunday worship is "seeker-sensitive" there is still the confessional and other places where the post-seeker can practice their faith at a level commensurate with their own maturity.
I think we Protestant still have a few trick to learn.
church others seeker