Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reform Reformed

I had participated
in efforts to help reform
Institutional Church,
specifically, the Roman Catholic Church,
when it dawned on me
that the people participating in such efforts
had widely different views of
Reform.

Many well-intentioned people
simply wanted to revise the rules and regulations,
rites and rituals,
to make the institution
more inclusive,
less discriminatory,
more accepting,
less condemning,
more feminine,
less patriarchal,
more loving
 less legalistic,
and more forward thinking,
less mired in the past.

Along the way,
I realized that 
even if the Roman Church
miraculously altered
its rules of governance,
I could not in Truth
make my way back into it.

I realized that to be a follower of Jesus
is not to be a member
of some man-made religion,
which He never espoused,
nor to spend energies
worshipping Him
in prescribed ways,
which He never suggested.

Reform
for many reformers
simply meant changing the rules, regulations,
rites, and rituals,
to order to increase membership,
or at least to stem the tide of those leaving.

Jesus
was killed because
He was a threat
to the hierarchies of his day;
If His followers
behaved as He did,
the religious hierarchy
would not be able to control people.

Jesus
never  intended to establish
some new religion,
least of all,
a Roman one;
Jesus was a JEW,
not some kind of Roman Catholic,
or even a Christian.

Revising rules, regulations, rites, and rituals
under the approval
of some hierarchy
is not a meaning of
Reform
to which I can subscribe.

Gathering
(the original meaning of church)
with people wanting to emulate
Jesus
is an idea of Church
to which I can and do 
subscribe.











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