FROM AN E-MAIL EXCHANGE WITH MY BEST CHURCH FRIEND:
Wanna pick a church for me to go to tomorrow? I'm thinking the Episcopalian one, based on hope alone. Both are walking distance. The Lutheran one is closer. Both raise red flags on their webpages in certain ways, but an LCMS church is just scary. [They’ve got this homophobic bent, not to mention a clamp down on women’s role in the church—like we can’t read from the pulpit, be deacons, serve communion….]
We'll see. A lot of the decision might have to do with my rising and shining. Justin has to be gone at 7:50 a.m. again tomorrow, which isn't bad.
A RESPONSE FROM MY BEST LUTHERAN FRIEND:
Just read your message. I'd go Episcopal. I read Fr.Bob's Blog. I'm familiar with the Girard person he quotes and am favorably inclined. Also, the LCMS church uses that code word inerrant about Scripture which would lead me to believe that it is not a deep thinking place. I do like, however, their social justice concerns. The Episcopalian parish would probably be more intellectually challenging and take the Scripture at a deeper level -- context and all of that stuff that fundamentalist find so inconvenient.
MY RESPONSE TO HIM:
YAY! Thanks! I was leaning Episcopalian too. The LCMS church is LCMS and, though I know it's true and all, they have a bunch in their site about God dying for our sins and some mention of works. At the very idea of work I got tired. Especially working my way into heaven. Geez. I just ain't built for that kinda heavy lifting:
First, look at the brokeness that invades your life - those things that cause guilt, shame, and grief. They exist because of a condition called sin. Sin separates us from God and robs us of the peace, comfort and hope we desperately crave. And no matter how hard we try, there isn't anything we can do to make things right again on our own. That's where Jesus comes in! Jesus knows the misery we feel. Jesus makes the difference at that very point - when our pain leads us to cry for help. Jesus is God's answer to our cry. Jesus took the punishment we deserve. He died in your place so that you can be forgiven. Because you are forgiven, you can have comfort of knowing you are at peace with God. And because of what Jesus has done for you, your past is forgiven, your present can be lived with confidence, and your future is guaranteed. For all who believe in Jesus, an everlasting world - without suffering, sin and death - is assured. This glorious place called heaven is where you will see Jesus face to face!
I'm thinkin' that I agree with all of this, but it's so preachy and the description of my horrible sinfulness is so deeply dark whereas my forgiveness and "living my present with confidence" for a gauranteed future... *bleh!* If I had to sit through an hour of babbling on about that kind of thing and have a single modern day application mentioned I'd be struck down for my sinful thoughts right then and there.
The only real vote for the LCMS one was that their service is at 10 whereas the Episcopalian one is at 8.... so I'd better get going.
Thanks for the vote, brother!
Olaina (who is church shopping alone while the man goes to the test on Advanced Cardiac Life Support and BLS (Whatever that is). He's got the Cardiac Care Unit first, working the first day (voluntarily because the rest of them are wusses and not ER docs) on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to Wed. at noon. Yippee! (Wed. is his birthday, he's excited to have a half day off. I reminded him he'll be sleeping, but he said we could have lunch.) I'm lovin' that he's back at work though. It was two days of loitering around him while I didn't want to miss anything he did or any time possibly spent with him before he went off to the death zone. The past two days of him working I've been out and about getting stuff done. :)
OOPS! At the E. church the said service is at 8, but of course I want to go to the one with the choir... at 10. Also the E. offers communion every Sunday, whereas LCMS does only communion on the 1st and 3rd Sundays. I just told J. that and he looked at me perplexed.
"They only do communion on the 1st and 3rd Sundays."
"They don't have church the other days?"
"No, they have church, they just don't do communion."
His confusion deepens. "Why?"
"I don't know, I guess they don't think it's important enough to spend the time. That's all I can come up with."
Irate face: "But that's the most important part!"
"I mean the whole Jesus thing..."
"It's a social club!"
You've GOT to love this man. I love this man. :))))))
And 10 a.m. service. Yippee! Plus they have a cute little white building, where as the LCMS has property with a school and two pastors, which always freaks me out.