Friday, November 12, 2004

More Thoughts on my Anglo-Catholic Adventure

I have been tinkering a bit with my previous post concerning my Anglo-Catholic adventure, and decided instead to write another post all together.

To recap my previous post, I was not quite sure about what I felt of participating in an ueber-high church goings-on, especially in light of the pompous hat affair. Ultimately I have come back to where I was to begin with. While on the one hand, I certainly felt the presence of God, especially during the sacrament of communion. On the other hand, my Calvinist Redlight(TM) kept going off at the understanding of needless smells and bells.

Honestly, I came back to my reformed tendencies. Would God have not been present, or for sake of argument "as present" if we had not had all these sacred things or, as I call them, theological bling-blings? Is God any less present in churches that don't use incense or wear superciliously pompous hats? And ultimately, my Calvinist side wins the argument, for of course God is still present in the service of Presbyterians or Baptists...more "reformed" churches.

Let me back track a little and preface all this by saying that I have no problem with, on the one level, with ritual and smells and bells. I like a certain amount of it, or I would not be in the Anglican tradition. But I like it because it has meaning. A think a lot of times we either forget why it has meaning or it "must be holy" because of the theological bling-blings, even if we have no idea why. I guess that is what I meant with my earlier post. If it does not have meaning, then scrap it, if it does then keep it. Don't just do it that way because that's the way it always has been done.


Kyle said...

I'm with you, Anglo-Calvinist critter.

I see all the "sights, smells and sounds of Christianity" as being testimonies to the already-present Christ. He doesn't show up because we do the lil' pretties, but because we asked him to and he promised. I see the lil' pretties as existing to help us understand what's going on, whether those rituals are there or not.

I see liturgy as a helpful instructional tool, helpful tangible symbols of what's really going on.

Kyle said...

While I'd never argue that God is "less present" (what a silly thing to say anyway) among a congregation without superciliously pompous hats," I durst say that he wouldn't have nearly as much to look at.