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Denominations and Chocolate.

#1TheRealJiraiyaPosted 8/9/2011 10:11:04 PM
Hello :) as some of you know, I just came back from a Christian summer camp. At this summer camp I spent a lot of time answering a variety of questions from kids ages 8 to 18 on many different subjects - one of the most common subjects is denominations, especially Catholicism. I explained the existence of these different denominations using an analogy, and I am going to lay out this analogy here for you guys.

Now normally I grab two random people in the room for this analogy, and this time Ill grab two random people on the board: LinkFanatic and Gimpy.

Now lets say Link and I both really love Gimpy and really want to do something to make him happy, and both of us also happen to know that Gimpy LOVES chocolate (I dont know whether he does or not, but for the analogy he does). So as an expression of our love to Gimpy we both go out and get a bunch of chocolate. Now Link goes out and gets Hershey bars, just straight up chocolate, while I get M&Ms minis (which btw are SO MUCH BETTER than regular sized M&Ms). We bring our gifts to Gimpy at the same time and declare our respect and love for him and his value to us as a friend, and thats all fine and good, until I notice what Link has brought. Hershey bars?? No color, no shell, no nothing? Surely this isnt what Gimpy desired! At the same time, however, he has noticed my own gift... so impure, robbing the pure simplicity of Chocolate and trying to improve upon it with all of that colored shell nonsense! Our anger builds until eventually we start yelling at each other about our respective choices of gift..

[random paragraph interrupt to prevent wall of text]

... and of course as our conversation builds, other board members start to notice. Kozlo is appalled that Link saw fit to give Gimpy hersheys while Hustle feels the same about my M&Ms. JamesBond also sides with me while Fudrick feels Hersheys was in fact the way to go. Trippy Hippie shows up with Reeses and suddenly its war! We go off, start our own churches and nations and begin to kill each other in the most horrible of ways! Meanwhile Gimpy looks on in horror and regrets ever having received the chocolate at all which, while it would have been special as a meaningful gesture of friendship, has become repulsive as a catalyst for friction among his friends (yes, Gimpy, I just put you in the place of the Christian God in this analogy :P ). Now, was either choice of chocolate wrong? No! Both were an expression of love and friendship to Gimpy! But rather than being a collective whole of friends, united in a common goal of honoring Gimpy, we were torn apart by the differences in our preferences, tried to attach objectivity to personal opinion, and became butthurt enough about it to build up enough friction between us that its hard to fix...

.. that said, I dont think God sees us as Catholics or Protestants or Orthodox or Baptist or Methodist or Church of Christ, but as either Christians who follow Him or people falsely pretending to be Christians while failing to walk the path hes laid out in front of them, and one of the biggest snares for that second group is the distraction caused by interdenominational friction.

So dont worry so much about the lines, I tell them. I doubt God does. Just love God and follow Christ and youre a Christian, as is a Catholic who does the same.
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"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." -H.L. Mencken
#2TheRealJiraiya(Topic Creator)Posted 8/9/2011 10:20:57 PM
in a nutshell, denominational disputes are stupid and Christians should be able to disagree on random minor theology issues that are not relevant to salvation without hating each other.
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"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." -H.L. Mencken
#3FireFlameSpitaPosted 8/9/2011 11:00:01 PM
agreed
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#4gamesrgreatPosted 8/9/2011 11:01:33 PM
But the Catholic Church is the anti-Christ. You want us to not hate the anti-Christ?
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#5king_gimpyPosted 8/9/2011 11:08:44 PM
The important thing to remember is that you all need to bring me chocolate. I will also say I am not at all picky and I love all chocolate equally. It's the thought that counts!
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You can believe in stones, as long as you do not throw them at me.- Wafa Sultan
#6Chaos ScadePosted 8/9/2011 11:40:46 PM
that said, I dont think God sees us as Catholics or Protestants or Orthodox or Baptist or Methodist or Church of Christ, but as either Christians who follow Him or people falsely pretending to be Christians while failing to walk the path hes laid out in front of them, and one of the biggest snares for that second group is the distraction caused by interdenominational friction.

But in your attempt to tell us that all denominations are equal and that none of them are "wrong" but merely different ways of doing the same thing, you are forcing your ecclesiological views to be given theological primacy. I am not a non-denom/Evangelical/Protestant, so what should be convincing in the slightest about this to me when it starts from a premise that my religion/"denomination" fundamentally rejects? The only people you are going to convince here are the people who, well, already agree with this particular ontology regarding the nature of the Church. It's also dishonest for you to explain it in this way to the kids who you are teaching because you are suggesting that everyone holds to the branch theory and that if only they could get over their silly little theological quibbles there would be no issues. That's patently untrue.
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#7GuideToTheDarkPosted 8/9/2011 11:46:13 PM
Unlike chocolate, denominations can be entirely wrong about a lot of things and should study further instead of sticking to tradition. Tradition is gross.
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'Would have', not 'would of'.
#8KNessJMPosted 8/10/2011 2:57:50 AM
But what if someone new enters the situation and brings gimpy a small tree? Are they still part of the club?
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#9DagorhaPosted 8/10/2011 5:03:03 AM
Chaos Scade posted...
that said, I dont think God sees us as Catholics or Protestants or Orthodox or Baptist or Methodist or Church of Christ, but as either Christians who follow Him or people falsely pretending to be Christians while failing to walk the path hes laid out in front of them, and one of the biggest snares for that second group is the distraction caused by interdenominational friction.

But in your attempt to tell us that all denominations are equal and that none of them are "wrong" but merely different ways of doing the same thing, you are forcing your ecclesiological views to be given theological primacy. I am not a non-denom/Evangelical/Protestant, so what should be convincing in the slightest about this to me when it starts from a premise that my religion/"denomination" fundamentally rejects? The only people you are going to convince here are the people who, well, already agree with this particular ontology regarding the nature of the Church. It's also dishonest for you to explain it in this way to the kids who you are teaching because you are suggesting that everyone holds to the branch theory and that if only they could get over their silly little theological quibbles there would be no issues. That's patently untrue.


I almost feel like this should be followed up with CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX RULEZ! You know, kinda like the thing football players say at homecoming.
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#10TheRealJiraiya(Topic Creator)Posted 8/10/2011 10:05:47 AM
GuideToTheDark posted...
Unlike chocolate, denominations can be entirely wrong about a lot of things and should study further instead of sticking to tradition. Tradition is gross.

But a lot of times we focus too much on whether someone is right or wrong about something that isnt really relevant to salvation and, rather than discussing it in any kind of rational, Christlike way, we turn to anger.
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"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." -H.L. Mencken