Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Spiritual Tidal Wave - The Origins and Impact of Pentecostalism," this week's Speaking of Faith program, is playing while I try to write this. Here's the link:

Since this is something I've been concerned about for a while, I want to hear it. It has a vast emotional appeal to so many people I know, and I've tried to understand why they like that better than the dignified, solemn, formal service I've come to prefer. I love having a script to follow, the prescribed scripture readings, the liturgical prayers and seasons, it's all so well thought out and has been developed over the centuries.

Having been in churches where I never knew what to expect from the minister or the members, I came to distrust them. So much of the spontaneous, extemporaneous, impulsive expression of personal opinion and bias seemed totally out of place in God's house. Their version of the truth did not correspond to the truth I knew. That distrust interfered with my ability to worship. I found security in the traditions of the Episcopal church, especially in having the bishop's oversight of the local pastor.

Our services may not be nearly as stimulating and exciting as those with the rock bands, the dancing, the hand waving, the speaking in tongues, the huge tv screens and sound systems, but most of the people in these churches seem to want entertainment more than communion with our Lord. I'm sure they're blessed with truth in spite of the noise, but I'd rather have the small, still voice. I'd rather have the Eucharist than the charismatic personalities who draw attention to themselves. I just hate to see people misled into thinking theirs in the ONLY way.

Mother was resting comfortably when I left around 7:30 last night. She ate a good lunch and supper. It takes her almost an hour to eat all she wants, and unless one of us is there, she won't eat more than her dessert. Yes, the nurses are being paid to care for her, but they aren't going to sit with her and feed her like I do. In the last couple of days, I've seen her eat broccoli and turnip greens, two of the vegetables she's never liked. Mike says she realizes she has a serious condition and thinks she can reverse it if she eats her vegetables like she's always been told she should. Maybe so.

Betsy is going to help her with lunch today. I'll go at suppertime. The oncologist who came by last night recommended that we consider a mastectomy, since her tumors have surfaced and are going to get much nastier. I'm not sure she could survive surgery, but that would be a blessing, too. Tara said breast cancer is not something we should be too concerned about, since Mother was in her 80's before she got it. If she'd been in her 40's, we'd have something to be worried about, she said. Still, a mammagram will be done when I go for my next check-up. Dr. Krooss will make the final recommendation when the results of the biopsy come back, and all the other doctors have expressed their opinions.

The Speaking of Faith program was enlightening, but I'll have to hear it again to fully appreciate it. I cannot listen to one thing and write something totally different.

2 hours later. OK, now I understand what turns me off and what I can appreciate about the Pentecostals. They are not rigidly structured by a literal interpretation of the Bible, believing that God continues to reveal more and more of his truth as time goes on. They rely on not just the Bible for direction, but the Holy Spirit; they, therefore, have no problem with ordaining women and have been more involved in ecuminism than their fundamentalist brothers and sisters. Most helpful was the extra 20 minutes by Robert Franklin, a professor at Emory University. I really have more in common with them than I realized. It's just a personal preference in worship styles that led me to the Episcopal church.

1 comment:

Zoilus said...

It's funny that both Jack and Pip have similar eating times, and have to be fed. I guess we really do go through a kind of second infancy in our old age; hope you take better care of your mother than she ever did for you.