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Odd Couple


Joel Troxell
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The polarized "ends" of the Christian spectrum of belief make for an odd couple, but we need each other.

 

I am a gnostic-ish Christian. I frequently read from the Nag Hammadi texts and spend a lot of my internal dialogue time wondering if God really did create this physical existence, or if he delegated it to an angel or other spiritual being who didn't get things quite right (a demiurge). Given the innate irrationality of people in general, I wonder if it really makes sense to spend so much time talking about belief, since humans are capable of believing something, but acting completely in opposite of the implications of what they believe. I've had mystical experiences (don't ask), and I wonder why we don't have any prophets running around doing crazy things as signs of God's words for us and telling us to repent of whatever cultural convention we have adopted.

 

Needless to say, I spend some of my time with my head in the clouds.

 

So I need my orthodox brothers and sisters. I need the consistency and structure of the liturgy and the lectionary to root me in the life of the church and the experience of the apostles. I need the down-to-earth older members of the Methodist church I attend and their Sunday school conversations that are rooted in the 1950's, and their worries about why their children and grandchildren don't go to church, and their unwavering committment to the power of belief in Jesus to change a life.

 

Every time I go, they smile and tell me to come back, because they need me and my crazy ideas, too.

 

So, we as liberal and conservative, gnostic and orthodox, mystic and theologian, we all need each other as part of the body of Christ. We make for an odd couple, but the world needs to hear the message that comes out of our discussions and challenges of one another, out of our schisms and reunifications. In there somewhere is a living and breathing gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Just a few thoughts that hit me this morning.

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(snip)

I've had mystical experiences (don't ask), and I wonder why we don't have any prophets running around doing crazy things as signs of God's words for us and telling us to repent of whatever cultural convention we have adopted.

 

So I need my orthodox brothers and sisters. I need the consistency and structure of the liturgy and the lectionary to root me in the life of the church and the experience of the apostles. I need the down-to-earth older members of the Methodist church I attend and their Sunday school conversations that are rooted in the 1950's, and their worries about why their children and grandchildren don't go to church, and their unwavering committment to the power of belief in Jesus to change a life.

 

(snip)

Greetings Joel,

 

It seems to me it is good that they fulfil a need for you. And no doubt you also fill some need for them. Perhaps the day will come when you will no longer have this need and you will be that prophet running around doing crazy things and telling them of the kingdom of God. :unsure::)

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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...........Perhaps the day will come when you will no longer have this need...............

 

Ummmm,

 

1 Cor 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored,(AF) all rejoice together.

 

Peace,

Joel

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Ummmm,

 

1 Cor 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored,(AF) all rejoice together.

 

Peace,

Joel

 

:)

 

Perhaps you may find someday the 'body' is not limited to that particular Methodist church and you nay outgrow your needs there? :unsure::)

Edited by JosephM
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:)

 

Perhaps you may find someday the 'body' is not limited to that particular Methodist church and you nay outgrow your needs there? :unsure::)

 

Perhaps, but I certainly hope I do not "outgrow" it and end up in prophethood. The biblical narrative doesn't exactly spell out a good retirement plan for those guys. ;)

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for a very thoughtful post. Yes, we indeed do need each other. I think there is far more variety and vitality in that Methodist Church you go to than maybe meets your eyes! I love Methodists although I decided I could never be one. Some of my favorie people on the planet are Methodists. I'm a Presbyterian although there are those Presbyterians who would say I am not!

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