We Are Are Not
Sometimes the distinction of what something is can be found in
describing what it isn't. This is especially true if there are preconceived ideas
involved, such as with a group that is named "Catholic," or a group named
"Old". Listed below are a few things we are not, and may be helpful to see how
our group can be a part of your life.
We are not the Roman Catholic Church or affiliated with that Church in
any way, shape, or form.
The Roman Catholic Church is complete, whole and perfect in and of itself, just as the
Anglican Communion, the Baptists, the Congregationalists, the Lutherans, the Methodists,
the Moravians, the Presbyterians and other religious groups are. Each group has a distinct
ministry and a necessary part in God's plan, as is described in 1 Cor 12:12-14:For just as
the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are
one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body
"Jews or Greeks, slaves or free" and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.
Perhaps you are looking for a community in which to minister. Be open to see how the gifts
of the Spirit are at work in our community.
>We are not a Church of people who long for "the good old
days," or to change the world to make it better. God is guiding us, and will
transform the world of today into the household of God through us as we seek out who we
are in the face of justice, mercy, and love. The world as it is now is exactly where it is
supposed to be as God presents us with the possibility to make a difference in our lives
and the lives of all we meet.
>We are not a Church of liberal-minded or conservative-minded people.
Rather we are a Church of People, people who are willing to be part of making a difference
in their lives and the lives of others.
>We are not a Church of gays or lesbians, a straight Church, a Church
of the young or the elderly, or of any particular race or ethnicity. We are a Church that
recognizes the extreme privilege we have in each and every person whom we touch and by
whom we are touched.
>We are not a Church of yesterday or of tomorrow; we are a Church
living in the present. Living in the present means we can choose for each moment who we
are going to be in light of the Good News of Salvation.
>We are not a Church of dogma or doctrine. Yes, we have scripture, the
creeds, the first seven councils of the Church, as well as the Declaration of Utrecht. All
of these give a base for our faith, which is described in the Book of Common Life.
As a part of the catholic Church, however, we fully believe that the primary judge for our
own actions is the review of the individual conscience. Paul chides us in Romans 14,
10-12: Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise
your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is
written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue
shall give praise to God."
So then, each of us will be accountable to God. Let us therefore no longer pass judgment
on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way
of another. God speaks to us - each of us - in our daily lives. As the Church can decide
what it does and does not believe as a whole, so too the individual can decide what (s)he
believes as an individual.
Courtesy of Eric Brown from AACC Faith Empowerment Community web page