Friday, 29 November 2013

Where is God?

Good evening,
I am tired today, and although I have walked, walking has been painful, so I have achieved a few basic tasks and returned to resting, and I may not write much today.

I have been looking at a Battered Sheep article, about denominations. A controversial subject. At this point, my biggest fan (lol), Peter Ould, who reads and vets all my posts and declares that I am writing about 'anything and everything' will declare that I am writing about anything and everything.
Well, yes, I am, but dear Peter, you don't need to read it if it bores you :)

Anyway, denominations are interesting, one of our ministers proclaimed denominations to be to do with human pride, while another says that denominations are God's way of making His Word accessible to all.
About a year and a half ago, maybe less, I was sitting having a coffee with a friend from a Church of England Church, (she and I would go to communion together a few times a week her church and then have a coffee).
In our discussion we agreed that what mattered was not so much denomination as attitude, where compassion is practiced, Jesus is there.
Her church was a compassionate church, credit to them.

I am baptized Catholic, and I find the Catholic teaching and ethics most helpful and choose to use some Catholic teaching as the base of my faith, and I have suffered years of severe damage at the hands of the Church of England Diocese of Winchester, but I worship across the denominations, as well as attending Mass, wherever there is compassion, sound teaching and good worship, then I believe Jesus is there, I do not think any denomination has any right to say that Jesus is exclusive to them. My dear Catholic friends may agree to disagree with me on that, because they believe the Catholic Church to be founded by St. Peter on Jesus' instructions, but I think an open mind and focus on what matters, and avoidance of church politics and cliques is a good enough way to be.

Funnily enough, one of the best tests of a Church is when a homeless/poor/disabled person turns up, not asking for anything, but to worship alongside a congregation.
It is good to tell you that there are a lot of good churches around :) although the Diocese of Winchester's churches need some teaching as well as safeguarding restructure.

Anyway, this article from 'Battered Sheep' What it reminded me of, right at the end, when it talks about wolves in sheep's clothing, which even though I am autistic, I understand to mean bad disguised as good. The paragraph speaks of Satan coming as an angel of light, and I remember in Jersey, the Vicar at St. Andrews church, on a rare occasion when he was attempting the sermon himself, spoke of the Devil as light, and told of how the Devil was known as 'Lucifer' which means light.
Then in an absolute classic situation, only days later, the church warden who abused me, during an argument I had with him about him phoning my employers without my permission, puffed himself up in reply to my annoyance and said very pompously 'I am a servant of the Light'.

Yes, he couldn't say Jesus.

Yes, wolves in sheeps clothing.

http://www.batteredsheep.com/clone.html

Now here is a post that reminds me of Jesus, the Servant King, and also reminds me of the 'Key Players' in the Deanery of Jersey, who have behaved in such an unchristian way, and how the Servant King and the Key Players are so very much at odds.

http://www.batteredsheep.com/marchingsheep.html


5 comments:

  1. It is clear that one's religious beliefs are to a very large extent contingent on the society and culture into which we are born. An example might be an Arab born in Saudi Arabia of Arab parents and brought up to be a devout Muslim. I would like to explore briefly this question: would the devout Muslim described above miss out on the salvation promised to those who accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah?

    The answer to this question is, I think, very well put by C.S. Lewis in the last of his Narnia sequence of books, "The Last Battle". The story takes place in an alternative world, where there is Aslan, a Christlike figure manifest as a lion, and Tash, a vulture like anti-Aslan. The Narnians worship Alsan, while a neighbouring peoples, the Calormenes, worship Tash.

    At one point in the story, Emeth, a young Calormene noble, who has been devoted all his life to Tash, meets with Aslan. Aslan explains to him that "if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted." Emeth knew of Aslan but did not accept him as Lord, worshipping Tash instead, and yet his heart is pure, so he is not excluded. As Alsan says: "Everything that you have done, you have done unto me." So it is the deeper reality behind the appearances that really matter.

    This has also a basis in New Testament thinking.

    In the opening of the Gospel of John, he talks of "the light that comes into the world and shines on all people", not just on some; and while the gospel talks of becoming "children of God", it is clear that this cannot be taken in a narrow pietistic fashion, but must involve the whole person. The critical text for this, again linking back to the theme of light is the one on judgement: "This is how the judgement works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil".

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  2. Thank you Tony. Wasn't a creature created called 'Tashlan'? That caused some confusion? To make belief that Tash and Aslan were the same? I hate to say it but that does remind me of the Church of England in some of what they have done which cannot be Godly. but I guess it also portrays the antichrist.

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  3. Alas, all churches can be corrupted in some ways. The Catholic church is just about managing to get back on track after decades of concealed child abuse, much to its sorrow. Fortunately, Pope Benedict put in place a policy of zero tolerance, and Pope Francis is showing everyone what it means to reflect God's glory, in acts of great humility and love.

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  4. Thank you Tony, yes, the abuse and cover ups in the Catholic Church are inexcusable, and it is good that things are hopefully changing.

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  5. (I don't defend abuse and cover ups in any denomination)

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