Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Rose by Any Other Name

What label would you be given in your obituary?  Father or mother, probably?  Republican, democrat?  Jew, Christian, Buddhist, atheist, farmer, businessperson, teacher, the list could go on?  What do the labels mean?  How does one acquire such labels?

So I'm asking too many questions again.  I've gone to church all my life with almost no significant breaks.  I guess I'm a Christian.  I guess I'm also a Presbyterian and an elder in the Presbyterian Church.  So what does that mean?  I've been convinced over the years this was an honor and a responsibility to serve and help others.  And vote in the Presbyterian Church.  I've never been much for joining groups to acquire the privileges of that position.  As far as being responsible whether in the Presbyterian Church or any other group or organization, I've discovered that I can help others and serve them without a label.

So how would I be different if I were not a Christian, or Presbyterian, or elder?  I have no plans to change my behavior or my service to community and others.  What would I lose if anything if I were to remove those labels from my life.  They say I couldn't vote at the annual church meeting for a pre-set slate of candidates.  There are other votes that I would not be able to participate in.

Being a member of the church is a miniature of a country and with that point of view, remaining a member of the church is critical, because it's important to have the right, privilege and responsibility to vote for persons who will guide our country and promote better welfare for all.  Of course, being a member, or citizen of the United States does offer me many privileges.

The church however is not merely a miniature of a nation.  A church is a group of individuals who claim to believe in God and a certain way to interact with and because of God.  Those beliefs extend beyond Christians and extend to all theists; Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and so forth.  We call these beliefs religions and from the earliest records of religions, people have used their beliefs to harm others.  Yet, we continue to embrace religion, often to claim that we are correct and they are wrong.  But do we really, I mean really, attempt to relate to God and then relate to others as we would relate to God?

And what privileges does being a member of a church give me?  I figure God loves me whether I'm a member or not, and it membership were necessary for God's love, which church is best?  Or more universally, what religion is best?

This could go on, but for now I will stop.  Maybe you too will question what we've been taught from birth!

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