I wonder how many they knocked on before they got a friendly response. Yet they were quite cheerful. And young–I couldn’t help asking. 19, the both of them. One from Utah and one from Idaho, both well over a thousand miles away from home. They both have been doing this a little over a year. But what blew me away is that they are each paying $400 a month to do this. That’s a lot of money for a 19 year-old to come up with–and I imagine their door-to-door obligations don’t leave them much if any time to work for pay.
Anyways, I’m not convinced that Roman Catholic problems aren’t Protestant problems, or Orthodox problems for that matter. And I am convinced that the more we look outside for the problems (It’s that damned liberalism from Bob that’s infecting all of us!”) that we are missing something we were warned about.
I’ll decline to comment on the Orthodox, because I haven’t observed enough there to speak yet.
What I do know for sure is that is true of the denomination I grew up in.
They stood in opposition to certain Roman Catholic doctrines, but then recreated them in new form.
I may disagree with certain of those original Roman doctrines, but I object further to the recycled, digested and regurgitated versions of them. Here’s a common one: A Protestant church will rail against the idea of the Magisterium, and state that Sola Scriptura is the guide for Christian behavior. When you then ask why their women are not covered, they tell you that the Scripture does not mean what it says, but something else entirely–in fact, the opposite of what it says! The pastor, with his exalted knowledge, knows that the Bible does not there mean what it says, so you ought to listen to him when he explains that that command is cultural.
Often, I find that indictments of Roman Catholicism are doubly indicting of Protestantism, and indictments of Protestantism are doubly indicting of Roman Catholicism. There is a greater spirit at work, and he must be opposed.
To those who write of searching for a worthy woman to marry, know that you are engaged in an impossible quest. No woman is worthy of marriage*–and I write this as a happily married man. If you cannot live with an unworthy woman, don’t get married.
Marriage is a type of Christ and the church.
The church has never been, and on this planet never will be, worthy of Christ’s attention, affection, undying love, and sacrifice.
This is a hard saying, but worthy of repetition.
You marry a woman not because she is worthy, but in order to perfect her, and to perfect yourself by Christ working through you. Many men will choose not to shoulder the burden of marriage. Marriage, no matter how enjoyable it may sometime be, is ultimately a burden and a cross.
Marriage may not be your cross, but you have a cross, and you must pick it up to follow Christ.
Do not envy or demean another’s cross. Rather, bear your own well.
* It is also true that no man is worthy of marriage–and that includes me. If you’re a woman who cannot live with an unworthy man, don’t get married.
Several people have taken issue with me pointing out that a woman with a 16-point list of situations in which she will not submit to her husband–including such open-ended examples such as if she believed he was leading her into a false teaching–is not in any way, shape, or form submissive.To those who think that there can be caveats to submission: Let me explain why you are wrong, and why submission with caveats is not submission.
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. –Ephesians 5:24
Point #1–Everything means everything.
A woman that has a 16-point list of when she will not submit to her husband is not submitting to him in everything. Thus, she is not following the Scriptural imperative to “submit in everything” to her husband. Do not give cover to a rebellious woman. Everything means everything. The Scripture commands wives to submit to their husbands in everything. That’s about as direct and plain as it gets–those who see in that command room for a 16-point list of situations in which a woman may choose to not submit to her husband are more than wrong. They are speaking lies in hypocrisy; having had their conscience seared with a hot iron.
Point #2–Wives are to submit to husbands as the church submits to Christ.
So if there is a 16-point list on when a wife can choose to not submit to her husband, where is the analogous 16-point list of when the church can choose not to submit to Christ? Does the church get to rebel if asked to do something dangerous? Does the church get to rebel if Christ claims to have absolute authority over it and to be its primary Lord?
Then wives don’t either.
I grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) as did my wife. I was homeschooled until my Junior year of High School, and my mother used almost exclusively Rod & Staff materials, so I was also heavily influenced by Mennonite thought growing up. Bible study eventually led me to reject certain SDA beliefs. However, one of the things that I retained is the simple belief that the Sabbath ought still be honored.
In fact, this belief is responsible for my later rejection of other SDA beliefs. I found SDAs to engage in the same justifications, obtusifications, and unteachings on say, head coverings, as they rightly pointed out when others attacked the idea that the Sabbath ought still be honored, and is still the same day of the week it was when Jesus walked the Earth.
And while I believe that the Sabbath ought be honored, I have no problem with attending church on Sunday. The Sabbath can be honored without attending church. Yet, as a matter of preference and convenience, all else being equal, I would choose to worship on Sabbath rather than honor the Sabbath and then worship on Sunday.
I share this background because I am searching for a church.
I’ve already mentioned my first 2 rules:
Rule #1 of my search for a church–must proclaim Jesus Christ to have come in the flesh, and be the only path to salvation. Rule #2–all congregations under the leadership of female “pastors,” “priests,” and “bishops” are automatically disqualified.
Now my observations from the first 4 churches I visited in my church hunt.
The first was a little Seventh-day Baptist church. We arrived in time for the “Sabbath School,” and found only the preacher and one other person present. No one else arrived until it was time for the sermon, and then one other family and a pianist showed up. My wife was the only woman covered. The sermon was milk, and was read off a piece of paper. There was no sense of worship, wonder, awe, or reverence. No communion was served, nor was any announcement made of when it would next be served–an issue for one who believes he ought to participate in the body of Christ regularly.
The second was a small Antiochian Orthodox church. We did not go to the regular worship service, but to the Saturday evening Vespers service. All the seats would have been filled, except that most people were standing gathered towards the front. The singing/chanting of prayers and scripture was beautiful and reverent, and indeed the entire ceremony seemed designed to engender worshipful and reverent behavior. About 50% of the women and girls were covered. No Eucharist was served, but it was made clear that it would be available at the Sunday liturgy. The priest’s message was simple, but relevant to Christian living.
The third was a small Seventh-day Adventist church. The church was about a third full, and there were two other men present. There were two High-School age kids, and after them their parents would have been far and away the youngest ones present (other than my family). None of the women other than my wife were covered. There was no sense of wonder, awe, or reverence–even the two hymns that were sung were played so slowly that they felt mournful. The sermon was preached by a 50 year-old-ish woman with a man’s haircut, and was titled “Jesus is a Good Friend.” No communion was served, nor was any mention made of when it would next be served.
The fourth was a Roman Catholic church. After the brutal experience at the SDA church, I was hoping to go back to the Orthodox church for vespers again, but I wasn’t able to. I then wanted to go somewhere Sunday morning, but was again unable to. So Monday morning we went to a Roman Catholic church (does any other denomination offer services every day of the week?) The service was in a small side chapel, rather than the main sanctuary, and the chapel was about 3/4 full. Naturally, with it being during the work day, the congregation was all older. My wife was the only woman covered. Eucharist was served, and there was a lot of kneeling.
I am still looking at various other churches in the area, and deciding where else to visit. Yet I hope to stop visiting and find a permanent home for myself and my family soon.
Deep Strength has a post up wherein he links to a (supposedly Christian, married, submissive) woman’s loooooooooong list of situations in which she has decided she will disregard the Biblical instructions on submission.
You could almost pick one at random, and easily see how it takes all submission out of the marriage.
I stumbled across this video today.