Please join me in a Spiritual Adventure. Forever Stone is an excursion, a journey into Spiritual Truth. This will be no afternoon jaunt, no walk through the park. The trail will prove, at times, to be rough. There will most likely be deep valleys and tall mountains, as well as some beautiful meadows. We may encounter “…lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” But as long as we stick to the “straight and narrow” path, the “yellow brick road”, we will be safe.
When I first wrote this post, I began to remember some of my favorite things from my childhood. Two things came to mind as I wrote: first, The Wizard of Oz and, second, Rocky and Bullwinkle. Looking for a “device” for the first adventure, I remembered the “WayBack Machine” from Mr. Peabody on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. (Also, I just could not resist the inevitable pun at the conclusion of the story.)
We begin our Spiritual Adventure by joining Mr. Peabody and Sherman in the WayBack Machine. The date is the middle of the 1960’s. The place is a small church in a rural fishing village. The scene is a church about half full of people. Everyone seems confused and upset…
The new pastor has, according to some, started making the church “Catholic”. A young teenager looks around the church. He does not see anything that appears ‘different’ except that half the congregation is missing. When he asks about it, he is told something was changed on the wall behind the podium. Others said something about the “Pope”. None of it makes any sense to him.
What is plain is that Jesus said, “Love one another” and it is quite obvious to anyone who is watching this church split that there are many on both sides of the issue who have forgotten that commandment.
The little church never became ‘Catholic’. It is today what is always was. Yet, even though that is true, it did change. Today that old white wooden church building is gone. In its place is a nice brick church building. In spite of the Devil’s efforts to destroy it, the little church is thriving. Little kids are learning that “God is Love”. And that makes this church an example of what Forever Stone is about. Some church buildings are destroyed, others are rebuilt.
You may have guessed that this story is a personal one. I witnessed our church split in half. Nothing as dramatic as what happened in the Reformation. Still…it impressed me such that I remember it.
In the spirit of the original cartoon: As we return to the WayBack Machine we hear Sherman saying that it is a pretty United Methodist Church. Then Mr. Peabody replied to him, “Well, it was a wooden church and now it’s brick, so I’d say it was ‘re-formed‘.”
We are 500 years since Martin Luther attached his questions to his church door and started a revolution. The question could be asked, “Is the Church, the Bride of Christ, any better since that happened?” And many have tried to answer that. I think, however, that there are better, more useful questions. Our adventure will take us into some of those questions. Not so much for ‘answers’ as for ‘new perspectives’ on the idea of just who or what the Bride of Christ really is. If you look at the picture of the stone ruins that is featured in this blog, you will note that stone might not be so permanent.
Forever Stone is dedicated to the differences in Christianity and the Truth that unites all Christians. Frequently, we think that ‘unity’ means that we must all agree on every aspect of worship. But even two congregations within the same denomination don’t worship exactly the same. In fact, I know of congregations where there are two or more worship services and each of them is different. I think that is because God likes variety.
One of the goals of Forever Stone is to examine just how we can obey our Lord, how we can follow His commandment to Love each other while worshiping, as Jesus said to the woman at the well, “…in Spirit and in Truth.” A second goal is to provide some ways to seek peaceful meditation in the controversies of this world.
This blog is more like a book than a magazine. You can read the articles in any order, but, I write them assuming that you are reading them in sequence…rather like chapters in a book. Please do not expect humor or puns on every page. Christians have been martyred over the topics we discuss here. I will certainly treat that with respect. However, we also need to ease the tension associated with these topics. That is one way humor can help.
Please join me in this Spiritual Adventure as we seek ways to worship in Spirit and in Truth. As we ‘hike’ trails through territory both familiar and strange, I am asking the Holy Spirit to be our Guide. I also ask you, as faithful Christians, to be willing to follow the Holy Spirit, no matter where He leads us. And, honestly, I really do not know where we are going…what I do know is that… …We start our adventure in Scotland. …..Click Here to Find Your Way…