Monday, August 27, 2012

Signs of Having Lost It

Saturday, 25 August

We went to "The Round Church" in Cambridge, whose proper name is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  It is modelled after the church of the same name in Jerusalem, even has a sort of Pantocrator up high in the ceiling of the tower.  It is no longer used, at least not regularly, for worship; its congregation has merged with another and their church building is used. 

This building is now operated by something called the Christian Heritage.  This group has made the church building into something of a museum of Christianity, showing the history of Christianity in Cambridge (and in the UK).  Did you know Christianity came into Britain with the Romans?  In fact, St. Constantine was made emperor in - guess where? - York!  In other words, in those days, the Brits were o/Orthodox Christians.  Then Christianity died out when Rome fell and the Saxons took over.  People reverted to paganism, except in Wales and in Cornwall, where they clung to their Christian faith.  Later, of course, Catholicism came to Britian, but that was a distinctly different thing. 

There's a 23-minute film you can watch that tells you about many great men who were Christians.  It concludes that still today, many people find Christianity meaningful, even transformative, in their lives.

It took me until that night to figure out what it was that bothered me so much about all this.  Finally, it  hit me:  these people are presenting Christianity instead of Christ.  They are defending the Church instead of bringing people into relationship with the Lord.  Contrast what they are doing with St. Paul's description of what he was doing:  "And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."  He demonstrated the Spirit and showed them God's transformative power.  Brought them grace and love and power and liberation.

That's what these people no longer know how to do. 

And I think it was in the same church - but we've visited so many I am no longer sure - that we saw the base of the baptismal font encircled with stuffed animals and other toys, by way of decoration.  Talk about trivializing Holy Baptism!

It's very sad.  The very ploys they contrive to attract more people are driving them away more than ever.


Chahriar Assad said...

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Anastasia Theodoridis said...

You're right; that is an outdated e-mail address and I shall update it.

You can always reach me at:

'Afool'? As in my mother's friend?