Subject: Re: Thought and mind control in the ICC ? From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Catherine Hampton) Date: 1996/10/28 Message-Id: <email@example.com> Newsgroups: alt.religion.christian.boston-church [More Headers]
Leslie Lambert (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
: Do you believe the church you are currently attending is guiding you on
: the path of the *one church*? And do you think that other churches
: (denominations) have that ability as well?
The answer to the first question is easy -- emphatically yes, or I wouldn't be there. The answer to the second is harder, because a lot of other churches have practices or beliefs I disagree with, sometimes emphatically. But I also can't image a heaven that I could get into, and from which St. Francis, or C.S. Lewis, or Corrie Ten Boom would be excluded. And I know some people in the Church of Christ, names you probably wouldn't recognize, whom I can't imagine not being there either.
This is my personal opinion, not the opinion of my church or of the Christian Church as a whole, but I don't believe people will be barred from heaven for an intellectual mistake or failure to understand some detail about God's nature or plan. Frankly, I don't think the smartest of us is capable of really understanding this fully, or at all without the Holy Spirit. And a good and loving God is looking for ways to save people, not to damn them.
In general I'm much more confident about where God is than where He isn't. I've seen some things in the lives and hearts of the people in my church that I don't believe could exist without the Holy Spirit being present. The Russian Orthodox church has been through a baptism of fire this century, and probably on its own has doubled the number of Christian martyrs in history. We will probably never know the names or stories of most of them -- records weren't usually kept in the gulag. <wry grin>
But I know a few survivors of the gulag, some Russian nuns in San Francisco. A couple of them live on a level so far above me I can barely see it. We all wonder about how to follow Jesus Christ, how to be remade in the image of Jesus Christ. I thought about this for years. And then I got to know Mother Evgenia.... I think the woman almost is prayer -- she prays like she breathes. I've never known anyone so uncomplaining, so gentle, to quiet in spirit. I read the Gospel, and keep thinking of her when I see how the Lord behaved. And she's not the only one. The previous abbess, who died this summer, was another. And there are others.
I'm where I am because I found Jesus here. That doesn't mean you won't find Him in other places -- I'm almost certain you can. And where you find Him, you'll find his Church.
: There are many people who go to church, pray, live good lives, but
: aren't spiritual. And there are many people who are spiritual who
: don't go to church (the thought of going to church still makes me
: want to run). So what becomes the dividing line for the *one true
There's only one answer that could possibly be meaningful to that last question -- the Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is there that the dividing wall between human beings and God was torn down, and it is there that we are reconciled to God. I admire the nuns I just told you about perhaps more than any other human beings I've ever known, but not one of them will get to heaven on her merits. None of us has any merits of our own -- we either attain them through the Holy Spirit or not at all. And if we are so fortunate as to attain them through the Holy Spirit, we know whose merits they really are. :)
: I've spent most of my life in churches, but it wasn't until the
: ICC that God became real. The spirituality I learned in the ICC
: I will always be grateful for (Ya gotta learn to take the good
: with the bad...). And that is, to me, what is missing from many
: religions today. But that, I think, is what God wants from us.
If the ICC made God real to you and didn't tear you from Him, in your life it did something far better than the movement did in my life. <wry grin> I left it precisely because of the spirituality -- that "spirituality" turned me into a child of hell -- proud, arrogant, unforgiving, and utterly self-centered and self-absorbed, all under the name of doing God's will. :( But God is an old hand at working good through evil, although He didn't will or create the evil in the first place. You aren't the only person I know who, whatever else the ICC did to him, also brought him to a living faith in God for the first time.
I don't know if it's possible to know God without being part of His people, and the Church is His people, plain and simple. But I can no more tell you all the places He has his "seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal" than I can explain the mystery of the Trinity, or of the Incarnation. Some things are too big for human minds, and some more too big for this human's mind. ;>
Under the mercy,
©1997 by Catherine Hampton <email@example.com>. All rights reserved.
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