“If’n ya’awnt to” is Southernese for “if you want to.” Introducing each item by this prefatory drawl, this neo-Protestant would like to give attention to several erroneous assumptions common to thinking and practice in Christendom.
I’m actually going to be more serious about these items than the Southernese might lead one to suspect, but if I tick someone off with the content, I figgered the drawl might be seen to infuse the content with some levity. All of this will be predicated on these ideas:
- Humans may choose courses of action
- Some choices make more (biblical, or common, or both) sense than others.
A. If’n ya’awnt to, you can think Jesus established your denomination in A.D. 33 (or 29 or 30—take your pick), but He didn’t establish any humanly named group then. Apostatic humans established denominations, and Jesus never intended them. (Yes, no matter how much you may wish to protest, your denomination [or “non-denomination”], whether the CofC or the UMC or the SBC or the Roman Catholic Church, is but one of the humanly named, divided groups not envisioned by God and our Christ. All the separate groups are but denominations [named] and are of human origin, to one extent or another.)
B. If’n ya’awnt to, you can believe that “Catholic Church” or Roman/popish Church = “The Church,” but that doesn’t make it so. It is offensive to many more biblically centered Christians when you perpetuate the fallacy of referring to the Roman institution as “The Church.” There are other myopic groups that have historically used generic, universal terminology in attempts at self-description, too. Once one begins to understand that his group does not constitute the whole, it is at best blind and at worst arrogant to perpetuate such exclusive labeling.
It is quite possible that no Roman Catholics or Roman-sympathizers will read this material. Why, then, include the item above? Because the rest of us should be righteously indignant when newscasters or RCC officials or others use the term “The Church” to refer to the RC institution.
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Part 2 will continue in challenging both word uses and their accompanying, erroneous actions. If’n ya’awnt to, you can think it’s merely an attitude problem that causes one to spend time on such challenges … or you can a) realize and b) act on the truth you find contained in these words, “searching the scriptures to see if these things are so” (Acts 17:11) regardless of whatever biases and attitudes are, or are not, found in the writer.