godwho's Diaryland Diary


Booo, Potter!

There's an artice on MSNBC right now with the headline "Georgia mom seeks ban on Harry Potter; Mother of four claims the teen wizard is �evil,� promotes witchcraft.

I'm sure this woman means well. And I have a friend who said she was unnaturally attracted to the "dark arts" as a child, so she didn't think she'd introduce her son to Harry Potter as she worried he might have the same bent as she does. However, to insist that a library not carry the books?

Granted, I've only "read" (listened to the unabridged audiobooks in the car with the child) the first two, but here's the main message of each: 1) "Sorcerer's Stone" -- Sacrificial love leaves a mark on lives. 2) "Chamber of Secrets" -- A person is defined by his decisions more than his abilities. Those are AWESOME messages!

What gets me is that often, the same "Christian" parents who decry Harry Potter embrace The Chronicles of Narnia. Call me nutty, but I don't think most kids are sophisticated enough to discern really good fantasy storytelling from a calculated retelling of the gospel story... which also contains good fantasy storytelling.

2:41 p.m. - 2006-10-04


\"Friendly\" fire

I think one of the most overlooked scriptural phrases in Christendom is Hebrews 9:1a, which says, �Now the first covenant had regulations for worship�� The writer is contrasting the Hebraic covenant (relationship between believers and God before the Messiah) to the Christian covenant (or post-Messianic relationship). If you�re not familiar with the passage, feel free to read the surrounding text so you can see that I�m not pulling this out of an inappropriate context to suit my own views.

The verbiage is pretty cut-and-dry.

So my question is this: Why do denominations (and even sects within denominations) spend so much time either arguing with each other about, or defending to themselves their own, or tearing down other churches� worship methods?

There are splits over communion, one of the two great sacraments of the Christian faith. Some churches take communion every Sunday, others take it on Sundays every month or every quarter or once or twice a year. Some churches take communion every time they meet, regardless of the day. Some churches take it only on special occasions. The ones who take it every week on Sundays think the ones who take it less frequently are disobeying Jesus� instruction to �do this in remembrance of me.� The ones who take it less frequently think the ones who take it weekly are making it so common it ceases to be special. The ones who take it only on Sundays think the ones who are taking it on other days aren�t following the early church�s example of coming together on the first day of the week to break bread, even though there are other scriptures that clearly say the church met daily and broke bread.

It�s fine to have differences of opinion where there aren�t explicit instructions, but it seems like some of us aren�t willing to accept the writer�s advice that�whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.� No, we have to point out to ourselves (or others) what those other guys are screwing up. They must not love God as much as we do.

It�s the same with speaking in tongues or not, having Sunday school or not, banding together as an official denomination for purposes of unity of vision and missionary support or not, instrumental music or a cappella, choral music or contemporary, Saturday night services or not, holding to the Hebraic roots of our religion or not, and seemingly fifteen million other issues at which we are in conflict.

The fact is, we need to strive for unity. But millions of people, regardless of how unified we might be in our belief that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah of the Old Testament (Jewish books of the law, poetry, wisdom, and prophecy), are going to have different takes on what are called the �non-essentials.� It�s frustrating and opposed to a spirit of unity to make those issues as important as foundational doctrines.

The inference of �now the first covenant had regulations for worship� is that �the current covenant does not have these regulations.� Sure, in the New Testament, there are commands about giving, about not having chaotic meetings, about praying and singing and teaching. But they are general guidelines, especially compared to the chapters of specifics in the Torah regarding how to treat each gathering, offering, and occasion.

A preacher where I used to go to church had a great line: �The Titanic has sunk in *our town*, and we have a lifeboat. There�s no need to try to pull people out of other lifeboats that are managing just fine. We�re not competing with them. We should be working with them. We�re all trying to keep people from drowning. Let�s get them out of the water.�

Until we can, as a broad-blanket Christ-following body, unite in this powerful way, we will continue to marginalize ourselves out of existance.

8:18 p.m. - 2006-09-30


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