On Pilgrimage

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On Pilgrimage

Postby Petros » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:49 am

To Rome? To Canterbury?

Recent events [including but not limited a bil's new church direction, a niece and nice family's new church direction, and their old, an old friend recontacted afer some 45 years, a new acquaintance on line, a student long back shifting professions] have made me aware of what seems to be a trend.

Christian Americans, often having been reared in or at least having passed through some flavor of Evangelicalism or Pentecostalism, moving toward the Roman church - particularly "peculiar" specimens, leaning toward preVatican II, Eastern rite or Latin Mass. OR moving to the higher AngloCatholic end of the Episcopal spectrum, particularly toward the parishes that have revolted against current majorityy Episcopal directions and gone secessionist.

I think reasons vary - but my current hypothesis is, some types are variously attracted to liturgical worship. Equally, some are very much repelled by politicized pulpits and suburban neighbourhood congregations.

Most of the churches in the yellow pages are not so hot at accommodating suchlike. There is plenty for the social activist, the enthusiastic worshipper, the studious sermon note taker, the "church is good for the children" types, the seed and be seen with-its.

But it looks like a goodly number are jumping ship and finding their own level.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: On Pilgrimage

Postby jochanaan » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:58 am

Many have criticized what they call "church-hopping," and if that's done to find a group where one "fits in" or gets some "need" met, the criticism is probably justified. But there are also those like me who only want somewhere to share and serve without hiding what I am...
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
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Re: On Pilgrimage

Postby bn2bnude » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:41 am

I've been noticing similar trends.

I think some of that may be what I discovered as well. I grew up in a "low church" tradition and when I hit university, ended up at a church that read the liturgy, etc. Because it was new to me, it really spoke to my heart and I immediately grew a new respect for it.

My Catholic friends who are now evangelical, however, did not like liturgy at all because it was too familiar.

Finally, there are the "Nones" (of which I am counting myself at this particular moment). Those that grow and fellowship outside the boundaries of a church. This is an interesting phenomena as I hear figures quoting astounding numbers of people walking away from institutional churches and, rather than the common assumption of their faith withering, actually see their relationship with Jesus grow and flourish.

There is a lot of speculation as to why the "Nones" are growing so quickly but one thing I attribute it to is the western (read American) propensity to formalize things that "work". This works well for inanimate things like assembly lines. It works really poorly with things like your relationship with Jesus.
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If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: On Pilgrimage

Postby Petros » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:10 am

So true. If we were somehow compelled - be in a church or Number 1 Son dies - and I had to choose, I would look for a small neoliturgical congregation. Herself would be happier if it also had mild unforced charismatic features.

But we would not fit in. Any organization that is not the expression of a genuine community - and a community like a committee has an ideal size and an ideal mix - moves toward the WalMart clothing section. Standardization, fit them into the round hole.

It chafes at times - more for Herself than for me. But while we have paid our dues, faithfully participating in a small stack of churches and watching / helping half of them die, we are mostly relieved we are not so far beingf sent into another.

Of neoliturgicals in our sphere, half will have no trouuble fitting inwell enough. The other half - well, in time they may wind up where we are.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: On Pilgrimage

Postby jjsledge » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:47 am

I am also a "Nones" according to your description. There is no pastor, song leader nor any paid position. We all share and the others judge. The "gifts of the Spirit" are not condemned nor required. The focus is simply on Jesus and Him living in the corporate "us". It is no longer about me and my ministry and what I can do. It's about Him and what He is doing.
Those who judge the motives of othere are simply revealing what's in their own hearts. Frank Viola "Revise Us Again" p.89
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Re: On Pilgrimage

Postby Petros » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:11 pm

And THAT is very much the description of one of the cjhurches we helped kill [actually, a cutting is still going. We were pastorless, we operated cooperatively and very well.

HOWEVER, certain ones had a hankering for leadership - a la make Saul king. So we got in a pastor - who made those who had most wanted a pastor leave, condemned us, and then walked.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: On Pilgrimage

Postby natman » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:58 pm

My wife and I both grew up in the Roman Catholic Church with very structured liturgies. We both left the RCC because the liturgy always felt cold and distant, more of an act of religious ritual than true worship, and both ended up at Southern Baptist churches. We also have close friends who did exactly the same thing, remaining at more evangelical churches for several decades. But then, they moved to a Presbyterian church with a structured liturgy and then eventually, back to the Roman Catholic Church.

Whenever we go visit them, we always make a point of going to church with them. The sights, sounds and liturgy bring back a lot of good memories, but they also help us to appreciate the freedom of worship that we have as well.
SON-cerely,
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Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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