St. Stephen's Musings

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:: St. Stephen's Musings

:: Saturday, October 11, 2003 ::

Flowers in a Vase

Check out the wisdom of Frederica Mathewes Green from her contribution to the new book, " The Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives." (Props to Pastor Brad and Huw) Frederica uses the question and answer formatt perfectly. A few money quotes:

"May we go back to it [Holy Tradition], retrieve the things we like, disregard those we don�t, and create Christianities that suit our times and temperaments?"

"No. This places unwarranted confidence in one�s own wisdom and ability to discern. It underestimates how brainwashed we are by our surrounding culture, as we affirm what is currently fashionable, and recoil from, or fail even to perceive, what is not. The wisest course is to submit to the accumulated faith of our older brothers and sisters, to immerse ourselves in it, and gradually to comprehend more as we ourselves are changed." ....

"Is nothing to be gained by choosing and implementing ancient elements we like?"

"Elements plucked out according to taste are like flowers in a vase. They are more lovely than no flowers at all, but they have no roots and will wither. It is like sewing an old patch on a new garment. It is a better solution than having a hole in your pants, but it is not a lasting solution. It will not bring you to the goal." ....

"Do we know Christ in order to possess correct ideas?"

"No. The goal of knowing Christ is to be healed and transformed. It is to partake of the presence of Christ, to dwell 'in Him.' It is to take on His fire like a coal in the furnace."

"Is there any value to correct doctrine?"

"Correct doctrine is indispensable, because otherwise we will fall into delusion. This is why the guidance of older brothers and sisters in the faith is so vital. Not one of them is dead. They are alive in Christ, in continual prayer in the presence of God. They pray for us, and we can ask their prayers. They worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, where seraphim shield their faces and cry 'Holy.' They invite us to join them. This is the Church we must enter, which has been formed and proved by the Spirit, and can safeguard us from delusion, and teach us how to know Christ."

Update: Huw muses about "Wiccan Christians" in this new post. It makes one wonder: Once the flowers have been pulled out of the ground, why should we keep them at all?

:: Karl :: 9:27:00 AM [Link] ::

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