Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote: "In essentials, unity; in non essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." This is my tribe of the church's motto, slogan, credo.
As I was reading Velvet Elvis last night something struck me. Rob Bell talks about that notion of God for Moses was that Yahweh was extremely different from other gods. Yahweh was unseen. There were no graven images of Yahweh, because he was without form. I think Rob is going somewhere else, but those words provoked something in my mind.
I began thinking about "What is essential in my own practice of worship?"
As Disciples we have a few things that we hold as sacred, but are they truly essential or just sacred cows that keep the faithful or the want to be faithful from a deeper spirituality.
Is a cross essential in the sanctuary?
Is an American flag flanked by a Christian flag?
Is a candle?
Is a robe?
Is the lectionary?
Is the hymnal?
Is the table and communion?
As I begin to say, "No." I know I am bordering on heresy, but alright Campbell and Stone were heretics. However, only those who are close minded fundamentalists who don't allow a discussion to begin. At least that was what I was taught in seminary. You can be a liberal mainline fundamentalist as much as a hard core fundamentalist. Both are lifeless faiths who depend more upon orthopraxis and orthodoxy than the beautiful mystery of faith. Yeah, I mean to be a little belligerent, but perhaps I see a church that is sinking and is rearranging the chairs on the deck to solve the problem. Bail or swim!!!
As I come to understand my faith, here are the essentials.
The doctrine of grace
God's hand in creation
That is basically it. I am not sure there is much more. Putting my faith in a crucible, this is where I cannot waiver.
What are your essentials?
Do you agree or disagree with this list?
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3 years ago