So okay I know Char is going to get all weirded out by this (maybe mom and mom –in-law too) We had a very refreshing/stimulating talk about rediscovering the sacraments for evangelicals. Having grown up in a Latin American country where sacraments were almost like voodoo this is a place of stretching for me. (check out the book by Vander Zee on this) We talked about baptism and communion as begin a window to the mystery of God. Dirksen said that in their church they baptize infants and that when they do they have the rest of the people in the congregation touch the water to reacquaint themselves with the mystery and power of baptism. I know that as a hard core Anabaptist there is the whole problem of believers baptism but really it has become behavers baptism in most of our contexts. The orthodox practice of kissing the icons is really no that different than the hand raising, kneeling, dancing and other stuff that we ‘practice’ during worship. Do physical objects have a place in our gathering times well I certainly think that if we can avoid some of the excesses of superstition that often comes with that – then maybe even crossing yourself can be a really meaningful thing. I’m losing you Char I know it! Get this we even talked about praying to the dead/saints. Dirksen reminded us that people talk to the dead all the time at funerals. We don’t stop them and say they are heretics for doing that, (“Grandma wherever you are…”) Why should we stop talking to them once they are gone. Obviously they our relationship with them has to change but… Okay now I’ve gone too far…
We spent most of the day though talking about how essentially we in CANADA are more emergent than US and yes Gil I have a problem with the word emerging. Anyways out of the discussion and the stats surveys we come a few comments:
-Tolerance doesn’t let me get rid of the bad guy – local Sask politician in conversation with Dirksen hmmmmm
-There is a strong conviction that the church needs to fight for the approval of government in Canada (in the US not so much cause it probably is the government) but we should be nervous about fighting for government approval. The church has often been the strongest when the government did not approve of it. Yet we fight for things like the definition of marriage and losing our charitable status and see big problems with not having things go our way. So are we deluding ourselves into thinking we are living in a Christian country (wow Christmas north of Red Deer could be fun)? The whole Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s political activism has been shaped by this kind of a view. Hmmmm
-Question of these three entry points to faith which is best? Which is more lasting? Which is happening now? And in the future? BELONG BELIEF BEHAVE. Do we ask people to belong first then believe and behave or behave first then belong and believe (probably more fundamentalist)? We can certainly see that we are moving away from the believe first then belong and behave? Much to the chagrin, I am sure, of the Christian education centers and Ryan Dueck? (sorry buddy my tongue was emerging through my cheek for a minute there) I don’t know where I stand on this. I’m not sure I know if there is a right way or not. Now given the debate that has gone on on Gil site this question is not about truth it’s about praxis – the appropriate ENTRY point for people outside of faith. Should they believe all the right stuff first? Should they act right first? Or should the relate to right first? I hope that distinction is clear.
Mo and I built a good old Mennonite sausage meal last night and it was good
We have talked extensively and really my mind is fried so I wonder if we might just go see a movie tonight
Love you char
I still love Jesus like crazy and you’re not that bad either.
Now get back to your paper
God please save your servants in Iraq please if a miracle is up your sleeve this might be a good time to use it – I know I would give you props…