“The Church Catholic” : Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD
“We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church…”
What is the nature of the catholic Church that we confess in the creeds? What constitutes a catholic tradition? Indeed, what does the very term “catholic” mean in relation to the Church?
You will note, that these questions are theological, not the pragmatic question of, “how can we get our churches to work?”. I think that often we have problems with the pragmatic issues, simply because we have not first addressed the theological issues. In our current fragmented culture, the most difficult question to answer might simply be, “What is the Church?” We must recognize in seeking to answer this question, that there is a profound relationship between recovering the true nature of the Church theologically and then applying that understanding to the pragmatic and practical issues that confront us today. It is, I believe, essential that we do this. It is essential that the “communio sanctorum” which we confess in the creeds is not viewed as the ancient equivalent of coffee and doughnuts after the Sunday morning service.
Historically, “catholic” is merely one of the “marks” of the Church confessed by Christians for almost 2000 years. We refer to the Church as being “one, holy, catholic and apostolic”. These four, together, are traditionally known as the “marks” of the Church, that is, the traits or qualities that make it possible for us to recognize the Church for what it truly is in its essence. It is interesting to note that each of these marks is so linked to the others that one cannot be separated from the others. Each trait or quality is so linked with the others that together they form one coherent and interrelated idea of what Christ’s Church is meant to be. For example, the unity of the Church is more remarkable because it is to be a catholic unity, that is, a unity of faith (however basic in its outline) and hope in all places and ages. It is also an apostolic unity, one that guards the one faith first proclaimed by the apostles. Finally, it is a unity of faith which is holy, because Christ, the head of the Church, is holy and we, in imitation, seek to minister to the holiness of life in the Church. Owing to the outward expression of certain of these marks, they are sometimes spoken of as “signs” of the Church, so that the church takes on in its very being a sacramental nature – that is, a physical means of expression by which God’s grace is given through the work of the Holy Spirit among us.
Yet, seen in this light, the marks of the Church must also be seen as paradoxical. For example, the Church is holy, but it is made up of sinners. The Church is one, but it is scattered throughout the world and, indeed, includes all those who have gone before us in faith through the centuries. The Church is apostolic, but it is not culturally bound to the mores and norms of first century Palestine resulting in ecclesial gatherings today that would, for the most part, be unrecognizable to the apostles. Finally, the Church is catholic, yet most Christians today – from Roman Catholic to evangelicals – would, at best, struggle to define what the word means and, at worst, would run away from the term altogether.
The word, “catholic”, was first used by Ignatius of Antioch, one of the so called Apostolic Fathers. Ignatius was born just a year or two after the death of Christ and went to a martyr’s death in Rome in the first decade of the second century. Writing a letter to the Church in Smyrna on his journey to Rome, he wrote, “wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church”. Catholicity has since been defined as “universal”, “orthodox”, “continual”, “universal in mission”, “ageless” and a myriad of other terms and phrases.
For myself, however, I like the early statement of Ignatius, that “wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” Simply stated, it’s not about us, it’s about Christ. The church that is truly catholic is one that is universal, because it has Christ who is universal. The church that is truly catholic is ageless, because it has Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever. The church that is truly catholic is orthodox, because it has Christ who is the fullness of truth. As the late Reformation era Apology of the Augsburg Confession says, “It [the creed] says ‘the church catholic’ lest we take it to mean an outward government of certain nations. It is, rather, made up of men scattered throughout the world who agree on the same Gospel and have the same Christ, the same Holy Spirit, and the same sacraments, whether they have the same human traditions or not.” (Art. VI:10)
We may worship differently. We may have differing polities. We may dress differently. We may speak or use different languages in our churches. We may live in a totalitarian state or in a democracy. We may be liturgical or casual. We may be politically inclined or apolitical. None of these issues define the catholicity of the Church, nor, I would suggest, should we allow them to ultimately define our identity as the Church. What does define the catholicity of the Church is the One we come to worship when we gather together. As the Orthodox theologian, Alexander Schmemann wrote, “The purpose of worship is to constitute the Church, precisely to bring what is ‘private’ into the new life, to transform it into what belongs to the Church, i.e. shared with all in Christ. In addition its purpose is always to express the Church as the unity of that Body whose head is Christ”.
Simply put, our common worship of Christ is the greatest sign of our catholicity as the Church. Our insistence on our own prerogatives – in our traditions, our “distinctives”, our forms of worship, our partisan politics, and all the rest – may be the greatest hindrance to finding that catholicity.
This is a very good article. I have a question about the 4th mark of the Church:
“Finally, it is a unity of faith which is holy, because Christ, the head of the Church, is holy and we, in imitation, seek to minister to the holiness of life in the Church.”
Would you allow for a definition which includes the idea that the the Church is holy because its members have been sanctified by the blood of Christ? I think this is implied in your definition, because where Christ, who is by nature holy, is the head, the members must also be holy (i.e., sanctified).
But I want to get your reaction because the Creed is a confession of what Christ has done and is doing. Your definition could be interpreted by someone unfamiliar with the Creed as if we somehow make or contribute to the Church’s holiness by our imitation or ministry. I’m not accusing you of saying that, but would appreciate any clarification you would like to offer.
If we have holiness it is because it is imputed. That being said, we have the ability in responding to the work of the Holy Spirit to strive for holiness individually and (this is sometimes forgotten) corporately. It is not something, however, that we can do on or own or, more importantly, on our own terms.
Does that help?
Great, great article Duane. May it be so.
That helps a lot. Would James’ admonishment in Chapter 2 of his epistle regarding showing partiality to wealthy members over poor members be an example of striving for corporate holiness?
“Simply put, our common worship of Christ is the greatest sign of our catholicity as the Church. Our insistence on our own prerogatives – in our traditions, our “distinctives”, our forms of worship, our partisan politics, and all the rest – may be the greatest hindrance to finding that catholicity.”
Great article, Duane!
Yes, the issues of partiality, forgiveness of one another as Christ has forgiven us, caring for “the least of these”… all these could be included. We have become so tainted by “individualism” that often we forget about the corporate aspect of holiness.
I will go out on the limb and say that whether ones group believes that grace is imputed or infused they still worship the same Christ…the catholicity of the church is not dependent on our doctrines as much as it is wholly centered in Christ.
As long as I’m out on the limb, I might as well start sawing… I have a theory…that being that many of the calls for us to pray in the NT are not calls to personal piety but to corporate prayer…
Maybe not the “go into your closet” one though?
Yes, and more than one might think.. “Our” Father…; “they” continued…; When “they” were praying…;
It would make an interesting list.
There are some obvious calls to personal piety.
On the other hand, if these letters were read in the assembly, I think there would have been an understanding that both private and corporate prayer was called for.
For an example, I believe this is a call to both…
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”
(1 Timothy 2:1–4 ESV)
Would I then be correct in assuming that the corporate prayers are something that is to add to the catholicity and holiness of the church?
Further, that without them we lack in both?
” I think there would have been an understanding that both private and corporate prayer was called for.”
Your follow up question to Duane is also a good one: “corporate prayers are something that is to add to the catholicity and holiness of the church?”
I would say yes, along with the Lord’s Supper and Baptism (though we disagree on the exact meaning) are all necessary for belonging to the catholic church.
You will find the true Christian church in Revelation chapter three, The Church of Philadelphia. Calvary chapel church is a type of Philadelphia church. The bible is taught from cover to cover – from the book book of Genesis through the book of Revelation. Chapter by chapter and verse by verse. In Acts 20:27, the Apostle Paul was addressing the judaizers, said “I have shunned the whole counsel of God.” Meaning teaching the Holy bible from cover to cover.
The Church of Philadelphia type of church shares “Prophecy Update.” The Bible contain 1/3 prophecies.
Most Christian churches do not teach the whole counsel of God but just topical messages, picking a verse in the bible for each Sunday sermon. By not teaching the whole counsel of God, Ephesians 4:14 (NKJV) reads “. . .that we should no longer be children (born again Christian saints) tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.”
OH boy. Might be time to check out.
“In Acts 20:27, the Apostle Paul was addressing the judaizers, said “I have shunned the whole counsel of God.” Meaning teaching the Holy bible from cover to cover.”
That’s not what the phrase means…nor could it have. The NT was not completed at the time of writing the book.
“The Church of Philadelphia type of church shares “Prophecy Update.” ”
You are aware that every prophecy update until today has been wrong…
“You will find the true Christian church in Revelation chapter three, The Church of Philadelphia.”
You bet…what do we do now that that church is gone?
How much does your church engage in corporate prayer?
It’s pulling teeth to get such instituted in most places…
Yes, I think so. It is interesting, there is a theory that The Lord’s Prayer may have been a part of a Eucharistic prayer in the early church (thus public and corporate), but in the Didache we also known that it was prayed by individuals three times a day. An old acquaintance, Paul Bradshaw (Notre Dame) actually believes that by the fourth century, most Christians equated “prayer” with corporate prayer… leading to, you guessed it… The Daily Office.
Very much. Extended periods in every service, and Wednesday night devoted only to prayer.
But yes, it is like pulling teeth. It is not entertaining, so every time you do it, you run the risk of losing people to the video campus down the street.
I might be right behind Josh. 🙂
The book Paul Bradshaw wrote is ‘Daily Prayer in the Early Church”.
Duane @ 18…thank you.
I am utterly fascinated with this topic right now…which is probably painfully obvious… 🙂
I think one of our callings is to provide an alternative to the video campus down the street…
@ 23 – for sure. But I do think they short-cut the disciple making process. The video campus asks nothing of you, is impersonal. and fun. The first time you get bored at our church, the video campus is has open arms and music blaring. I think those types of things are stunting our growth and feeding our ADD culture.
And…hey kids, get off my lawn!!
I’m glad Rapturesaint posted…it challenges me to see how much I believe in catholicity.
My guess would be that this person and myself disagree about everything but Jesus…is that enough?
For someone who purports to “know the Bible” back and forth, looks like your Christianeze isn’t even biblical.
I think #14 was a fraud.
Just a troll.
At least, I hope so.
…I mean “Rapturesaint?”
Just a housekeeping note…I’ll be out most of the afternoon…I’m taking a practice exam for Anglican orders.
I haven’t been this nervous since my first prom… 🙂
I think it’s a legit comment from a real person…
Praying for your exam.
Grace and Peace!
“Calvary chapel church is a type of Philadelphia church.”
Thanks, Costco… 🙂
Philadelphia did pretty good in the draft lottery last week.
Just to let all know, it is normative for Anglicans, after having passed exams in seminary and receiving their degrees to also take the General Ordination Exam to assess proficiency in Scripture, Church History, Theology, Ethics, Contemporary Society, Liturgy and Pastoral Practice. This is also true for those without formal higher education who are “reading” for Holy Orders or those who have come in from another tradition. The exam takes place over the course of four six hour days with three hours for each examined area. Additionally, there is a two day psychological and psychiatric assessment
Michael and Duane, look what I found yesterday at the local Episcopal church’s yearly used book sale! The books were selling by the pound, one dollar per pound of books. We came home with a boxful! This book looks terrific and I have already begun to use it.
God bless you with your test!
I have a capstone project to present this evening and I am a little jittery myself.
Fantastic! This is one of the ones I gave Michael. Bob Wright was at General Theo. Seminary in NYC and occasionally assisted at St. Thomas Fifth Ave.
You’ll like it…
OK, I’ve been resisting it, but I have to say something about #14 Rapturesaint…
I came to Christ through Calvary Chapel. I admired Chuck Smith. I know about the foibles now, but I still have warm regard for what he did. This is not mere nostalgia. I was there. I saw God do something amazing.
When I read something like #14, it makes me want to cry. It screams “we are right and everyone else is wrong”. It is not said in love and it is not said with humility or graciousness. It is a travesty to Chuck Smith’s memory. Even worse, it shows a lack of understanding as to what God did through the Holy Spirit at that time, and an unwillingness to see what God might be doing now…
I don’t want to get into an argument about it, but this is the sort of attitude that rends the Body of Christ.
your #38, very spot on.
#38- so glad you added that comment… God moved back then as i have saved relatives, who love the Lord to this day, as a result of the man’s ministry way back then… God the Holy Spirit uses us – He moves and moves on – and shame on us, if we decide that it was the man, himself, who “did” it – our loyalty gets confused with gratitude, perhaps?
I would rather hear 52 good sermons based on a single chapter of one book than 52 crappy sermons from all 66 books.
I don’t know about everybody else, but when I would write a 10-15 minute sermon, it would be the text, other Scriptural references to illuminate the text, usually a bit of Church history, systematics, and a practical application of the text… and more. No, it is not the same as expository preaching, nor need it be! The idea that if it isn’t expository, it is not “biblical” is silly on the face of it as an argument.
#14. Yikes!! “Most Christian churches do not teach the whole counsel of God . . .” How can ANYONE know what is or is not taught n “most Christian churches”??
I agree Duane. The commission is to be His witness; to bind and to loose.
Somewhere perhaps arising out of the enlightenment the commission got distorted into lecturing, appealing to human reason and wisdom, at great cost IMO.
“It is a travesty to Chuck Smith’s memory.”
A lot of that goes on these days, Duane. It is a grief to me.
DavidM (43)…not surprising. It’s the whole “we are the only ones who have it right, and everybody else is wrong” mentality – Rapturesaint is probably an ODM follower.
I’m more fascinated by the manner in which God uses deeply flawed people. I include in the category you, me and pretty well all of us.
To the rapture guy’s comment – the Church catholic is describes as all 7 churches in Rev 2-3 — just as the Christian catholic – the daily life of the Christian in described in Rom 7.
As a Calvary guy, may I just say that #14 is one of the saddest, most ridiculous things I’ve read in a long time.
Thank you for taking the time to explain catholicity. All churches would do well to take an honest look at this topic.
So excited for you. Prayers ascending.
I share your grief.
I heard variations on #14 many times during my stay at CC.
It may look ridiculous here on the blog but there are many in CC who believe it and teach it.
My grief is less over gushing hagiography and more focused on the fact that actually sitting under Chuck, serving there for several years, I can’t tell you how many times I heard him talk about the value of all the Christian churches out there. How different we are as Christians and how different churches best minister to different people.
But it’s like so many other things these days in our movement, people complaining that pastors are abandoning the way Chuck did it, when in fact they are remembering things “like they never were”
The problem with varying degrees of Chuckism is that these are actual quotes many of us heard while at CCCM. They were part or our varied reasons to be there, seeking to be par of the non-apostate “God’s end times church”. Over time the distinctives which made up CCCM were codified, taught via oral tradition which tends to reinforce the DNA of a group or movement.
All these years later there are still holdouts who cling to these identifiers, who have not let go of that punctuated CCCM narrative and embraced the wider church, the “catholic” church of which Dr. Arnold speaks.
…I know because part of my letting go was to toss the years of the library of Chuck tapes, the commentary of a single teacher by whom I defined myself.
It’s a process of healing to think one’s own thoughts and see the scripture and our faith with fresh eyes from a revived heart.
So, Dr. Arnold, back to your article, is there a place for those who are not regular attenders of any faith community, but who still embrace Jesus and individual lifelong relationships scattered across the world and remain connected via new technology?
…because I know quite a few of those persons 😉
As painful as it can be, I think it important to find a place. It will likely not be a perfect place, unless you are extremely fortunate. If you are “gun shy”, make an appointment with the pastor and tell him (or her). Let them know that you don’t want total involvement. That’s alright. Community, however, is important for our growth in grace… Just my opinion.
I am much like Duane with Chuck Smith. While I was among them, I had a great time learning and participating etc. It was the cool place to be – but that was in the day that it being cool was right. (today trying to be the cool thing just seems faked. When it was over and it was time to move on, and we moved on.
My theology changed, actually became incompatible with what I was previously into, but I have never said anything bad about Chuck Smith or Calvary Chapel for that matter other than about the theology.
lately, i’ve been pondering that there were 12 tribes in God’s plan and, later, 12 Apostles – while i know that the tribes could be a bit of a pain, i don’t know too much about their “personalities.” However, those apostles were all different in how they processed our Lord’s life and teaching, were they not? Processing according to their personalities and coming to a common Faith… can’t we do that today? Baptists and Lutherans might not enjoy each others’ worship, might even question its authenticity and yet… there are/were solid, God-loving members of the Family in both… we get off track when our focus goes off of our Savior, IMNSHO
BTW – is there a solid denomination that doesn’t teach on-going confession of sin?
It should be noted how many people on this website, contributing to doctrine and discussion, find some kind of heritage or background from Chuck Smith.
MLD, Xenia, Duane, G., and myself can all trace our roots back to Calvary Chapel at some point or to some degree. Even if that is not how we are linked any longer.
I don’t think that ought to be overlooked. Even if you have “graduated” or “moved on” from Calvary Chapel type of doctrine, it is always a good thing to give props to any part of the Body of Christ you or I were once connected to. Acknowledging that part of the Body did fill a gap and meet a need…including conversion for some.
And for the most part, people on this website do respect that. For the most part.
“Because God knows that there are some people who can only relate to Him in a
liturgical way, He has the liturgical churches so they can minister to those people
who need the liturgy. Because He knows that there are people who can only
relate to Him in a highly emotional way, He has the highly emotional churches
where the people can go and relate to Him through emotional experiences. I
thank God for these churches and I see their place in the body of Christ. The
swing of the church pendulum, then, is marked by the highly liturgical on one
side, and the totally non-conforming experiential on the other.”
(Expanding on the liturgical churches since they are more represented on this blog than the emotional/Pentecostal)
“They like the rustling robes, the chanting choirs and the smell of
incense. As they sit there, they have a sense of worship. When they walk out,
they have a sense of having been in the presence of God and love to worship the
Lord in that manner. I do not doubt that some people actually, truly worship and
love the Lord in that environment and relate to Him in that liturgical way.”
(Both quotes taken from The Philosophy of Ministy of Calvary Chapel
by Chuck Smith)
I will ask you this. Would your church come merge with us Lutherans and do things our way for the sake of unity?
Baptized unto salvation?
Partake of the communion after confessing that it is the real body & blood of Christ?
Publicly acknowledge to a pastor and receive the absolution from him?
Follow the historic liturgy.
Eat green Jello?
My posting those quotes is primarily for rapturesaint and any other readers so like-minded.
“I will ask you this. Would your church come merge with us Lutherans and do things our way for the sake of unity?”
the first 3… i’d be a false follower = not good
the last 2… those i could do… green jello isn’t too bad, if it’s mixed with shredded cabbage, horseradish and cream cheese 🙂
the merging will wait for the time when our Lord merges us all as His bride… and i will hug you and Mrs. MLD and all the other Lutes i know and call you family – i will honor your love for our Lord then … and i do so now…
The Daily Office is a treasure for all. You can even listen in your car, which is cool because the guy sounds like one of my favorite baseball announcers Thom Brennaman.
# John 20:29
I have been baptized unto salvation…
I receive the Sacrament as the true Body and Blood of Christ…
I go to confession and receive absolution…
I follow an historic liturgy and can follow it in English, Latin, French, German or Greek…
Eat green jello… not so much…
Duane, here in the Midwest, we don’t require jello eating. But could you enjoy our whipped “fluff” sides? I’m not sure if it’s a salad or dessert, or what’s in it, but it comes in different colors, and usually tastes pretty good.
I think I’ve had all variations at church potlucks! But whatever the menu, a meal with you would be a delight…
Surely you are close to th kingdom. Actually, you could have been a Lutheran if the Anglicans had listen to Robert Barnes instead of killing him. 😉
I think I’m in the kingdom already…
Duane, don’t you ever have a yuk, yuk moment?
Costco, my roots aren’t in Calvary Chapel, although I spent about 20 years there. I was raised a Baptist and stayed a Baptist until my 30’s. I found CC and Baptist theology to very similar, just a difference in tone. CC accepted tongues, that was the big difference.
I don’t have much bad to say about my time at CC. My kids grew up there and I knew some great people. I found their theology to be ineffective if not counterproductive to the main aim of the Christian’s life, which is becoming conformed the Christ’s image so I had to leave. I have a lot of affection for Pastor Chuck and he, by way of his tapes, taught me a lot. Some of it was even true!
MLD, Of course but if I told you when… you might get offended…
I wanted to chirp in on the discussion that rapturesaint started at #14 and add an additional perspective to Steve’s #61.
Since I attend a CC pastored by one of Chuck Smith’s so-called “Timothies”, we are often given the impression of how CC is supposed to be or how Chuck wanted it to be. What Steve posted at #61 from Chuck Smith I think is quite gracious and understanding on Chuck’s part. Unfortunately, I have never heard anything remotely similar conveyed from the CC pulpit of my experience. In my experience, whenever liturgies or “those who are liturgical” are spoken of, probably about 75% of the time they are referred to in a negative sense, with the other 25% of the time being neutral references. I cannot recall anything liturgy related ever spoken to in a positive fashion. That’s not to say that it’s never happened, as I have only heard only a relatively small portion of all the sermons ever given over the history of my CC, but that has been my experience over the 10 years I have attended. So if there have been positive references, my acumen would tell me they have been few and far between.
With that said, my CC also doesn’t go to the extreme of rapturesaint in #14, although we are ironically from Philadelphia. However, certainly shades of the attitudes expressed by rapturesaint do exist at the church.
The last phone call I had with Chuck Smith must have been around 1985 (actually, the last time we spoke). I told him that I was getting my PhD and that I intended to become an Anglican priest, either in the US or the UK (wasn’t sure at the time). I could hear the disappointment in his voice and he said something along the lines that he had hoped I would use my education to help further “the movement”. It was an awkward conversation on both sides, but it ended with him wishing me well and hoping that God would bless my ministry.
I believe he had a pretty definitive view that his way was the right way, but he was willing to allow that some might have a calling elsewhere. As I’ve reflected on it of late, I’ve come to realize that what I was telling him about was outside his realm of experience and I count it as graciousness on his part that he was even “accepting” of my decision and path.
This brings me to a secondary point. Many of us in differing traditions here on PP have experience of CC. I would wonder, however, how many in CC or allied situations have experienced any of our traditions? I am not saying this as a call to leave where you are now, but there is value in visiting a Lutheran Church, or Anglican, or Orthodox, or Coptic, or Presbyterian, or even Roman Catholic. In all these groups, you will find vibrant churches and dead churches. You will find great pastors and you will find hirelings. You will find a warm welcome and you will get the cold shoulder. Yet, it’s worthwhile to make the effort just to experience another valid part of the Christian tradition and to see its strengths and weaknesses.
No CC for me.
Lutheran, yes. Anglican, No. Orthodox, yes. Coptic, no. Presbyterian, yes. Roman Catholic, yes.
“No CC for me”… Sounds like the first line of a song…
Good for you to have the other experiences.
There’s a lot more crazier ones than those, too 🙂
My Ex-laws are RCC. We had the kids baptized in the RCC, mostly to honor their grandmother and family. We attended the kids’ 3 year old cousin’s baptism this past weekend. Though the service was in Spanish, I was able to tell when they were reciting The Lord’s Prayer. I’ve been teaching this to my children.
I think my 7 year old son would be find with attending churches from other traditions. D5… she embraces the Sunday School experience. Unlike her brother, who will sit with me through the sermon (for some reason, he no longer wanted to be with the other kids in SS, though he did it for 3 years), I don’t think she would do well.
When I was in 4th grade, my mother decided that we could become Lutherans. We had previously attended a CC-like church, which I found out later affiliated with CC. We became Lutherans in order to get a tuition discount at their private school. I remember thinking, even at 8, that this was, if not deceptive, then disingenuous, though she did it in order to get me out of the public school system.
So for half of 4th grade through the end of 6th, I attended their Lutheran School. I enjoyed learning about The Reformation and Lutheran theology as taught to 5th and 6th graders. All of the kids got to be part of the choir. The 4th grade teacher was the musical director. I was in awe of the grand organ in the church. Thanks to the discussions here, I’m reminded of the value of liturgy. I kind of miss singing The Doxology. I think I’ll teach that to my kids as well.
We won’t go RCC, probably a disappointment to their grandmother. D5 asked her mom the other week, “So is the Lady of Guadalupe Jesus’ mother?” Cat got mom’s tongue. She couldn’t answer. Things like this are a big problem, and a complex issue if you delve into it. At the risk of sounding ODM, I’ll stop there.
Duane = “MLD, Of course but if I told you when… you might get offended…”
Never worry about offending me – I may be offensive, but I am unoffendable.
People have tried for years to laugh at my expense – when I was Jewish, bigger laughs when I became Christian and ROTFLMAO when I became Lutheran.
Give me your best shot – 😉
“I kind of miss singing The Doxology. I think I’ll teach that to my kids as well. ”
The doxology is the way we end the adult class I teach on Sunday mornings.
Question – isn’t the Lady of Guadalupe the virgin Mary? I thought she was. If she is, isn’t Mary Jesus’ mother? People don’t usually freak at that until we go to Mary is the mother of God.
She is supposed to be. I thought so until I married into a Mexican family (wherein I was also exposed to pagan folk “magic” and beliefs). There is a complex history, however, which involves Christian syncretism with Mayan and Aztec goddess beliefs. The first thing I did when the kids’ mother moved out was to take down the shrine. I kept the statue for many months, but she never asked for it back so I tossed it.
#84 New Victor
The story is actually wonderful and redemptive… “roses in winter”. That being said, “folk religion” has run rampant in that expression of Catholicism.
Sorry, this is the same old anti-Roman Catholic stuff that has been around for years. Any competent historian or theologian could tear it apart point by point…