Old and New


Is it either-or or is it both-and?

Leonard Sweet describes it as the swing affect.  When you hit the apex of the swing on the playground, you have to simultaneously kick forward and lean back.  You reach this moment of pure balance where you’re trying to both kick into the future while remaining in the past.

It’s impossible to maintain, though.  Eventually everything reverses itself.

My relationship with the Church and religion has always been a strained one.  Needless to say I’m largely unhappy with the church in America today.  I want it to change, I want this desperately.  I want to move into the future.  But at the same time I find myself remaining in the past.  Why?  Because two thousand years ago our faith was reformed by the one person who best understood what it ought to be.  I believe that the early church had to have some wisdom because the founders actually knew Christ.  But, at the same time, the wisdom that led them through the founding of our faith may not have any application to today’s society.

The past, the future, that one moment of pure balance lost in the downswing.

I believe there is something inherently good about tradition because it connects us to the millions of years of history that our world has gone through.  We need to learn from generations past if we don’t want to have to make all of the mistakes that they made to gain that wisdom in the first place.  Yet, at the same time, one must acknowledge that tradition for tradition’s own sake becomes useless.  Have you heard the one about the woman that always cut the ham in half because her grandma did?  Then grandma says, “I only did that because my roaster was small.”  Without knowledge of the “what for” tradition is empty, a meaningless gesture, without any real value but a massively huge cost.

The future, the past, blurred in the upswing.

At the end of the day, all I know is that I know nothing.  I thrive off intuition.

I often get things wrong.

11 thoughts on “Old and New

  1. Great post Lindsay! I have heard the roast analogy before, but it was a ham with both ends cut off, to fit in the pan. I think that your point is well taken, that history has its place as our origins, but it also can keep some people “stuck” in thinking that is only way things can be done into the future. We need to maintain that balance, like on the swing, to have a bit of both………

  2. Certainly we are called to relationship, not to the (luke warm) church but to the Savior. I believe the church as a whole was corrupted long ago (Luther was spot on with his work).

    If anything has changed about the church it is (of course) man. God is unchanged and hasn’t gone any where.

    You mentioned that the original founders’ wisdom was because they knew Christ but that maybe it does not apply to the church today. However, Jesus (Himself) said that when He left He would send the Helper and that we (the church) would do greater things than He did. So I must disagree that with your assertion that that type of wisdom/faith isn’t for the modern church.

    I could not agree more with you on the tradition thing. Just substitute the word “tradition” with “ritual”. Stinks!

    Take ANY CHURCH that has communion EVERY SUNDAY for instance. Just watch those that go forward to receive the elements. Do they REALLY BELIEVE in what they are doing, or are they just going through the motions? Absolutely no spiritual value what so ever and may even be a sinful act. I’m not sure.

  3. I’ve always loved religion and spirituality. However I could never decide what was right for me. I loved the stories, the myths, the parables, the concepts… but none of them ever rang entirely true to me. It took me a long time to realize that they aren’t true, none of them and don’t need to be because it’s the community that makes them true and right. That’s what tradition to me is, a community sharing what works, understanding why it works is great and I’ve devoted nearly all my life to finding out that very thing, but I’ve also discovered that there can be and are multiple truths. Sometimes you just have to decide which truth is right for you.

  4. Lindsey, you know for me, your light and life shines as to the true meaning of a christian. One of acceptance, love, inclusion, faith, conservation, and goodness. You are one of the very few people who I know who are “Christian” who I actually believe that lives it truly each and every day. So many I know give lipservice to it only.

    Yes, the teachings have been corrupted by man through the generations. But God has given us the ability to see the truth if we choose it. You choose the truth Lindsey. There is no dichotomy with that. I think others should look truly at the lessons in the bible and follow the teachings of Jesus, and not of others with their own agendas and issues. You can’t go wrong there can you?

    I too would love to see change in the church. I would love to make it more inclusive, tolerant and loving. Mohammed describes a church as a place to live life, and a place where there should be nothing by man in life that shouldn’t be done in it. I like that idea.

  5. Lindsey, I’ve been KO’d by your recent posts, and have little to add but “amens”!

    M54, I come from a high church Protestant background and have spent a lot of time with Catholic Christians who go to Mass and receive communion more than once weekly. From my own POV (and theirs as well), the frequency is a truly desirable thing! I think it’s up to God to assess what’s going on at the communion table, not us… you know?

  6. As a non-christian, viewing from the outside, it seems very hard to determine what is the right way to express your belief in God socially. I say follow your instincts.

    Personally I don’t think organised religion is a good idea. I think spirituality is fine, but have a look at the Catholic Church if you want to know how bad mass religion can get to.

    Lindsay, when you say you want American religion to move forward, in what sense do you mean? Do you mean the method of worship?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s