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Re: Blasphemy and Accusatory Snide Remarks!

Posted by Dena on December 15, 2003, at 21:54:24

In reply to Blasphemy and Accusatory Snide Remarks! Dena, posted by Dog on December 15, 2003, at 15:55:51

I'm not quite sure where to begin in all of this. I certainly never imagined that on my first day "back" I'd be stirring up a controversy! Causing division, offending others, stirring up such anger -- believe me, this is the very last thing I was trying to do with my post about Mary.

For the record, I was speaking about myself, my experiences, my understanding, my own journey of faith. Nothing was intended against any person, any denomination, any ideaology. But because I apparently have offended, I ask the forgiveness of anyone I have harmed in any way through my words. It was an "unknown" sin, but if I have sinned, then I trust the Lord, as well as the individuals sinned against, will forgive me. That's all I can do. I ask forgiveness, not because it was demanded of me, but because the peace of the Body of Christ is precious to me.

I stand by what I said, as it is what I've experienced -- that many Protestants have spoken, written & taught against Mary. I myself did so for many years, out of my own ignorance of what the early Church, including the very Apostles of Jesus, taught about Mary. She was beloved. She was venerated by those who knew Jesus best. She was recognized to have been set apart by God for the unique task of bearing the Messiah. She was blessed among women. She was born for the very purpose of being the Theotokos - the God-bearer.

I do pray to Mary; to pray is to "speak to". Do I recognize her as diety? No. She's not a fourth member of the Trinity. She's not divine. But she's a member of the Church Triumphant - those who have gone on before & are in the presence of God. She's the mother of the Church, in that she was the mother of the Savior, & she holds a highly exalted place among the Body. So, I talk with her. Just as I could ask any other member of His Body here on earth to pray for me, so I can ask Mary & all of the Saints in heaven, to pray for me. I covet their prayers even more than those of my earthly brothers & sisters because Mary & the saints are in the very presence of God! Their eyes have been opened - they see clearly, while we still see through a dim mirror. Who do you think knows better how to pray for me?

As a Protestant, I was deprived of understanding the communion of Saints - some Protestants embrace the belief, & others do not. I was taught to consider asking the saints to pray as blasphemy. I had to repent of that belief, along with many other anti-catholic, anti-orthodox beliefs.

I share your frustration, Dog, with the many divisions within the Body of Christ. But the truth is, the spirit of division can be found within any denomination of the Church, whether it be Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant. It is a disgrace & a curse that we must all, as Christians, take responsibility for. The enemy sows seeds of division, but it can only take root where pride, ignorance & blindness already exist. The divisions are so deep, so firmly entrenched, that only the power of God can unite His Body together again. It's my fervent prayer to see this in my life time; and if not, then I can only pray to be part of the unity, not part of further division.

I left Protestantism because of it's many divisions (over 20,000 separate denominations, & still counting) - with each division claiming to have a corner on the Truth. For myself, I found the purest source of that Truth by going back to the roots - back to the Church Jesus established with His Apostles, & to the early Church Fathers who were discipled by the Apostles. What I've learned from those great sources is far different than what I was taught in the many various Protestant denominations.

I do have gratitude for the Protestant churches I was a part of. I learned more about a personal relationship with Jesus from them. I learned about fellowship & close friendships with other believers. I learned about accountability. I learned about the gifts of the Spirit. I learned how to spontaneously worship. I learned about & received healing. I learned how to evangelize. I learned the importance of personally reading & studying the Bible. I learned how to fall in love with Jesus.

But once I discovered all the good that had been thrown out with the bad during the Reformation, I knew I couldn't go back to "church as usual" (my own definition for what I experienced - not meant to reflect upon the experiences of any others!). I knew that I had been deprived of 1500 years of a rich Church heritage, whereas I'd been taught that the Church was "dead" until the 1500's.

I feel blessed to be in a congregation, & a denomination, that embraces all of the blessings we learned from Protestantism, combined with all the blessings we're re-discovering from the early Church. I love being part of a Church that's fully evangelical, fully liturgical, & fully charismatic -- isn't that what the early Church looked like?

My entire family of origin is Protestant. My inlaws are Jewish on one side, & Greek-Orthodox on the other. I love all of them. I celebrate all of their beliefs. I see Jesus in all of their faces, & in all of their lives. I hope they can see Him in me.

I'm grateful for this board - where I can interact with people from all sorts of spiritual backgrounds, on all sorts of spiritual journeys. I pray for all of those I interact with, leaving all of them in God's most capable hands. I know He loves each one, & desires an intimate relationship with them, as He does with all of us. I pray that we will each find our way there, regardless of the obstacles, regardless of the expectations, regardless of how we may have been hurt "in the name of God" in the past.

I hope this thread will be a blessing to us all.

Shalom, Dena


P.S. Dog: if you go back into the archives & read my previous posts, particularly the ones which got me blocked, I think you may find that you have very little to disagree with me about.


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poster:Dena thread:289364
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faith/20030908/msgs/290283.html