Friday, January 02, 2009

The Church Belongs to Antiquity

As a follow up of my last post;

The mustard tree must not be judged by one's knowledge about its seed but one might ask of the tree "what were you like as a seed" and the tree, and only the tree, could tell you.

We do not study seeds to learn what they may look like as trees but trees do have the ability to reveal to us what their seeds looked like. (We need only examine their fruit).

The last line of my previous post may strike readers as a contradiction (as it relates to converts like me). For it would seem that I investigated the seed (the Church of antiquity) via the fathers and found it to be Catholic.

But in the most tangible way, I found the Church not in antiquity but at 1400 Suther Rd (where I received the sacraments of reconciliation, confirmation, communion and matrimony in that order). What I found of the seed was not that it was Roman Catholic per se, but that it was not Presbyterian. Then I asked the tree what she had to say of the seed and I often found her answers to be precisely the sort of thing I would expect that seed to say once it had blossomed into a tree.

Some of the things surprised me precisely because I had more to learn from the tree than I could ever learn from the seed.


Andrew Preslar said...

I suppose that the thing for Presbyterians is to show that they are the tree, thus poised to describe the seed. I suppose that they would say the seed is not Methodist, Epsicopalian, Orthodox, Baptist, etc., even though it is not straightfowardly Presbyterian (if they would admit even that much).

Tim J. said...

One mistake I made regarding church history was to expect that the tree should look just like the seed... and that in it's very earliest and simplest stage, before it have even sprouted.

So I figured that the Authentic church ought to be meeting in people's homes (house churches) and having communion followed by an Agape meal and preaching in the streets and healing and speaking in tongues left and right. Not that there's anything wrong with that in certain situations (like in the mission field).

Oy vey. Earnestness is no cure for ignorance.

George Weis said...

Yes, Tim J. I must agree that this was my thought as well.