Thursday, July 10, 2014


Objective Standards

Over @ iMonk Damaris Zehner looks at his church hopping past and discusses why he has ended up Catholic. He has a list of "essential" in a church:
  • Worship is liturgical, focused on God and not on my experience, and preserves some of the mystery and holiness appropriate to the meeting of humankind with God.
  • There is a historical foundation that encompasses all the centuries of Christianity.  I’m not saying I have to approve of or rejoice in all of that history, but it needs to be acknowledged in an act of simple human intelligence and out of respect for our fathers and mothers in the faith.
  • I look for orthodoxy of belief.  This is a hard one to define, and I’m aware that I have biases and blind spots.  But the creeds, the centrality of the Bible, and the Vincentian canon (quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est, or what is believed everywhere, always, and by everyone) form a good starting place.  True orthodoxy should, it seems to me, also involve some mystery and discomfort.  If it doesn’t, then I’m probably worshiping a self-sized god.
  • I want to be preserved from cults of personality and random changes of belief and practice.
  • I want a combination of sound and silence, company and loneliness – and I want to be free from being forced into extrovert-designed, group-think worship behavior.
That strikes me as a pretty awesome list. The things I like best are that it is not about "my experience" and that its not about "group-think." As I have watched the worship wars, the discussion always tends to be about what people want instead of what is best, or scriptural or any other external standard. "It works for me is not an argument, it's an argument stopper. How can any individual deny another individuals personal experience? I cannot possibly have a data point about what goes on in your head.

I grow weary of such discussion. It ignores so many basic facts of the faith - that our desires are perverse due to our sinful state - that we are to count others as more important than ourselves - that God is our aim, not some sort of "self-actualization." These ideas are unpopular, but I don;t really care - they are truth.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Feed


eXTReMe Tracker

Blogarama - The Blog Directory