Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Spiritual Guidance

The newborn is a helpless infant; she will die unless she receives adequate nurture. So it is in the spiritual dimension. Where to go for nurture?

The church! the best church you can find, the one that best meets your needs and offers a way to love people.

The church flawed! yes! but I, too am flawed, and if I can't find a perfect church (not likely), then I'll settle for the best one I can find, the one that comes closest to meeting my needs.

If it's a large church, your next task is to find the best people for your purposes, the ones who can nurture you. The preacher? Maybe, but he's a busy man. There are others there who have more time for you, and more need for your love.

That's a life time quest. Ellie and I have lived in many places, and been associated with many churches, and found plenty of hypocrits and saints! We always tried to pick the saints.

We sometimes had to convene a community: two or three, or ten, or 20 as the Lord sees fit.
This is the real church, the place where a few people are learning to love one another and gaining the power to spread their love around. It really needs to be a small group where those things can happen with power.


Now the Bible! Flawed! yes, but full of wisdom and the possibility of nurture. Pick out the part that speaks to you. Stick with those (they may grow on you as you go through life). Don't worry about the rest of it. Don't waste time deploring the flaws, as I've done so often. Let it be. What speaks to your spirit, stay with it. The tenth time you read a passage something entirely new may happen in your life.

As a very small child I heard my father preaching about the Bible. He said it was a collection of books. He also said that we should add the later writing that speaks to our condition, and make it a part of our Bible.

I could, and will, make a list of the many books that have spoken to my condition through the years and have become a part of my Bible.

God bless us all as we journey toward the goal.


david said...

As I raed this I could not help but think of parts of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. I assume you've read it as you list Lewis' Great Divorce as one of your interesting reads.

Sound advice well seasoned.

Marjorie said...

My favorite scene in The Great Divorce is when the Bishop wants to return to hell to present a paper on the historical Jesus rather than to journey on toward heaven (of course, the Bishop didn't realize that was what he was actually choosing). Sort of sums up my feelings on the episcopacy.

isotope said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
isotope said...

hi! :)

I'm (or was, because i'm not anonymous anymore) Anonymous who 'liked the honest way in which you discussed your faith' in 'Is this Heaven?'.

I should explain my reasons behind that cryptic comment. I'm a recently converted Christian (less than 2 years), and I'm also always interested in reading other people's testimonies about Christ.

In doing this, I've seen many instances in which Christians with the best intentions try to discuss their faith online in forums, etc., but become targets of ridicule. And though the Bible tells Christians to expect varying extents of 'persecution' and harassment, I guess I was surprised by the atmosphere in some of those forums.

And, I liked what you did because it was written in a way that wouldn't provoke people who feel differently to feel even more justified in their views against Christianity.

Yet at the same time, you weren't compromising your beliefs in any way, you were being honest about them.

Larry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Larry said...

Someone seems to be removing my posts. Strange. Or am I just confused?

Marjorie said...

removing posts or comments? In the comment area, I could see how you might accidently hit the trash can -- otherwise, I don't know. You could ask blogger help.

david said...

blogger was having server troubles the other day. Mayhaps that had something to do with it. I know you double posted on my blog -- so if if you believe in such things -- your karma has been balanced out ;0)