Monday, November 21, 2011
Angels in the Plains
When I encounter an In-the-bible, Exactly-as-written Evangelical, I ask them, "What about the different Resurrection accounts?"
Did the women see an angel? Did they talk to the Risen Christ?
Did they run to the Disciples and tell them the Body was missing?
Each Apostle emphasized different aspects, may have forgotten or misremembered a detail or two. The important message is there. "He is Risen!"
It IS fun. Are you sure you didn't talk to me first? I've been using that one for years. Great minds and all that. I never went into all that detail, I simply asked, "How many angels were at the tomb after Jesus left the tomb?" And the answer from the Bible is. One.
If we take the average number of angels at the tomb the answer is one. Right? I'll ask Sister St. Aloysius. She's a math whiz. She's busy pouring over pie recipes. I don't want to get in the way of that.
In any case, I have used that question numerous times and then....silence...no answer....
I particularly like that question because it's something we all agree happened. We might disagree about what Jesus meant when He said, "Take this and eat, This is My Body..." A lot of people think that direct order was symbolic. But we all agree Jesus rose from the dead. He was in the tomb and then He wasn't. There may or may not have been angels.
And that right there rather closes the argument about how one should think about the Bible, does it not? Unfortunately, we all know it doesn't. It should. But it doesn't.
Here's one I always wondered about: Some, as you call them, separated brethren have ornate churches that resemble ours but some are simply bare and sparse with just a plain, unadorned cross...why? Is it part of their teaching and beliefs, or do they just prefer it that way? Also, where, besides google, do you find other churches beliefs, or catechism, if they call it that? Does everyone have one? Thanks, Sister. Love your blog and your etsy shop is great!
Thanks! Great for stocking stuffers! What better Christmas gift than your own personal patron saint?
But about those churches. The simple answer is that the separated brethren who are most like the Roman Catholic Church (like the Anglican, Episcopal and the Eastern Orthodox Churches) have ornate church buildings. The simple churches come from the Protestant movement. Note the word "protest" right in there.
The Protestant movement arose as a direct response to the Church's ornate wealth in the 15th and 16th centuries. Martin Luther, the granddaddy of the movement was really angry at the Church's fund raising tactics and he wasn't wrong. The Church responded by making necessary changes but that horse was out of the barn.
Of course, it's all way more complicated than that, but that's the deal in a nutshell.
Pecan pie. I'm hoping that's on the agenda. Although last year's sour cream apple was a keeper.
The second part of your question is very intriguing to me. Frankly, I have asked people point blank what they believe, and past "Jesus Saves" I can't get a coherent answer. Episcopals are okay with the saints and Mary (I think...), but the Anglicans and the Episcopals are... Catholic Lite.
And after that, other than "No Mary, No Saints", I'm at a complete loss. Transubstantiation? Yes to some, no to many. Original Sin? No clue. The Holy Trinity? The Holy Spirit? St. Paul? A lot of what Luther believed was from St. Paul. I think. How does one eschew the saints and read the New Testament, when the authors are all saints? Baffling.
I had a book a while back that was one of those "For Dummies" books that traced the origins of the Christian faiths. "Christianity for Dummies", I think it was. It was interesting in that each new sect developed because they disagreed with a thing or two in the sect before. But what they actually believe and don't believe really wasn't in there and left me with more questions than answers.
I have had no luck by asking individuals, either.
And finally, the Crucifix. Again, Catholics for Jesus on the Cross and Protestants go for plain. That's because Catholics feel that we must realize the full measure of Jesus' sacrifice for our salvation. Protestants want to emphasize the resurrection. To which Catholics reply, "That's too easy." It wasn't that easy. It isn't that easy.