Sigh. . . . Church did it again. How? How can things be so different in this world? It surprises me every time. Every. single. time.
We sang this verse of “O Come All Ye Faithful” yesterday:
God of God, Light of Light;
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb:
Very God, Begotten, not created;
The Nicene Creed verse. I have never sung it before. Never, ever. And mind you — AGAIN — it’s not like I haven’t been in church, and I don’t sing a lot. My M.A. in Church Music and D.M. hubby hadn’t ever sung it before either.
How? How did we skip this one? How can we forget that very important idea? How dare we . . . no, how dare THEY continue their rants about the shallowness of Christmas hymns when they don’t sing about the most important doctrine in all of Christendom!
Pastor Lewis also talked about making a list of things you feel guilty about . . . And I had a (small and non-intrusive) flashback again. That was a practice in our previous life. Jim Berg instructs his counselees and counselors-in-training to make a list of all their sins. He instructed one named “Chris” to study Philippians 2:3-16 and list “seventy-five ways he was selfish at home, at work, and at school.” In order to know what he needed to work on.
But that’s not how Andy meant it. Andy said to make a list to kiss those things to God. To hold them up to Him and say, “Here. I can’t pay for these! You’re going to have to take them.”
In Christianity, it’s confession. In Fundamentalism, it’s a to-do list. In Christianity, it’s redemption. In Fundamentalism, it’s moralism.
If you go meta, Fundamentalism all makes sense. Ignore Jesus, and make a list of moral failings. Self-righteously rant about everyone’s shallowness in order to distract from your list of selfish acts. It all fits together. Even the so-called “intellectual fundamentalists” are finding new ways to insist we have to work harder.
No. Oh dear me, no. By Christ’s all-sufficient merit. Pure and simple. That’s it. I don’t need to try harder because even my trying harder will miserably fail. All my righteousnesses are as filthy rags. How do they miss that?