As I have mentioned in the recent past I have disassociated myself with the Christian church that I was part of for over nine years. I have always tried to not mention what my religious affiliations were on this blog but now that they are severed I will say it was with a LCMS Lutheran church. The pastor of the church was a regular viewer of this blog and gave several often opposing comments which I welcomed. I thought we had agreed to disagree on some of the secondary issues surrounding our individual faiths. That was fine with me. But then I was given notice that since I had among other things so publicly stated that I believe in the “day age” version of Genesis instead of the seven-day 24 hour version he would be taking my case to the elders to get my communion privileges revoked and therefore effectively removing me from membership! If I had not short circuited the process by voluntarily leaving it this would have resulted in a formal inquisition where I would be asked to disavow these false beliefs.
During our discussions on this topic the statement was made that we cannot each decide what to believe about the church or the Bible. Instead we must all believe what the church leadership tells us is the truth. To do otherwise, I was told, would result in mass confusions. In afterthought it seems very ironic to me that I was chastised for trying to understand the Bible on my own terms, especially by a Lutheran church. After all isn’t that what the founder of the Lutheran church actual did! He dared to go against current church beliefs and especially their practices.
But I have to admit that this type of thing probably goes on in almost all Christian denominations today. If you don’t tow the line and believe what you are told to believe then you are chastised in one form or another. In my studies of different Christian organizations about the only one I have found that does not do this are the Quakers. They basically allow any of their members to believe just about anything they want. I think they go too far in the other direction. There has to be some very basic core beliefs in order to call yourself a Christian. But most denominations today go way beyond that set of core beliefs and instead base their membership qualification more on church tradition and practices than anything else.
So here I am trying to understand the Bible on my own and not rely on someone else to tell me what each verse means. Maybe I should post my 95 theses on my old church’s doors. Who knows what might happen. (ha) I will continue to be a very fervent follower of Jesus Christ but not a member of any particular current day denomination. At least for now.