"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I only wish I could write this well

A chip off the old block Thurs. June 2, 2005
Denominations and theological traditions have a way of taking on the ecclesiastical equivalent of national character. This is, in part, because some of them have a strong ethnic component. But there is also a tendency to take after the leader.

For example, Islam is a projection of Muhammad, and Muslims emulate his character-traits.

This extension of national character can even take on a physical aspect. Just compare the average, corn-fed Baptist preacher-man with the cadaverous and bespeckled Anglican cleric or the equally anorexic, silver-haired, ashen-faced appearance of the average Episcopalian woman�complete with her page-boy hair-cut. It�s almost as if each theological tradition had seeped into the DNA, creating a genetic uniform. [I love it! JB]

As such, different denominations and theological traditions are prone to certain strengths and weaknesses. Lutherans are likely to be rather insular and ingrown. The Church of England, because it�s a national church, born in the heat of political and theological compromise, is given to immoderate moderation and a sweet-tooth for Anglican fudge. Fundamentalists are in danger of showing more interest in the Second Coming than the First. Pentecostalism is prey to charlatanry. Roman Catholicism, with its pig-headed attachment to mandatory celibacy, is an open invitation to sexual scandal of one sort or another. Churches which concentrate power, whether hierarchical denominations or independent megachurches, are liable to abuse of power.

The apple never falls far from the tree--which is one reason it's so important to be finicky about your orchard and diligent in matters of spiritual horticulture.

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