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Doctrine in dialogue format

 

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Penelope Potter Ss.T

ECUMENICALISM

They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.


"Good morning children."

"GOOD MORNING MISS POTTER!"

"Is everyone ready to begin their Sunday School lesson for today?"

"YES MISS POTTER!"

"Very good. Then we will begin. Today's lesson is about working together. First I would like to refresh our memory as to what we learned last week. Yes Lucas, you have something for us?"

"No Miss Potter. I did have, but I forgot it at home. Can I bring it next time?"

"I mean do you have something you would like to tell us about last weeks lesson?"

"Oh, yes Miss Potter. My uncle said his church is not a demononical one like we talked about. He said his was a none demonical one that's trying to get all the other churches to be the same. He called it ecki...ecku..., something or other. He said if we all get together like the governmental things are getting together we could all be friends and not fight anymore."

"The word I think you're looking for is ecumenicalism. And yes, there are a lot of people and churches striving toward that goal. We all want peace in this world, and they believe that all becoming one in thought and attitude is the way to achieve this goal."

"Miss Potter? Does that mean there won't be any more denomical things any more like we learned about last week?"

"I'm not sure on that Teddy, but if there are, they will all think the same way and teach the same thing, regardless of what they are called."

"That sounds like a nice idea Miss Potter. I think I'd like to go to a church that didn't talk naughty about other people and churches. Is there any church like that in our town?"

"I suppose there are Rosita. Many churches are working toward that end, and I'm sure we must have a few in our town as well. But to be honest with you, I really don't think I would like to go to such a church."

"Why Miss Potter? Don't you want us to have peace in the world and everyone stop calling each other names and things?"

"Yes I would Thelma. But in order to have everyone of one mind and one attitude, we must first surrender all of our highest goals and purposes. I'm not willing to do this."

"What do you mean Miss Potter? Why would you have to give away anything for everyone to be happy?"

"I think the best way to explain peaceful coexistence is with a small demonstration. How many of you here would like this class to be an ecumenical one, that is, one that can live in complete peace and harmony? Willy, you're the only one who doesn't have their hand raised. Don't you want our class to be an ecumenical one?"

"I don't know Miss Potter. I don't know what that word means, so I don't know if I want it or not."

"Good for you Willy. You are not one to just go along with the crowd but you want to know what's going on before you become a part of it. And that, children, is the first part of creating an ecumenical society. Everyone must think the same way, and agree to whatever the masses or the leaders say. No one must hold a difference of opinion or such a society cannot exist."

"Miss Potter? You mean if anyone doesn't like something we're doing, then we can't do it? I don't know if I'd like that or not. I like to play the piano, but I'm not very good at it yet. Does that mean I can't play the piano in our eccy church?"

"That's a good question Samantha. Let's see what everyone else has to say about your playing the piano. Is there anyone who doesn't like piano music?"

"I don't think I like it Miss Potter. I'd rather play my drums. When I play my drums at home my sister gets mad because she can't hear her piano. So I don't like the piano. I don't want Samantha to play her ol' piano."

"Well Christopher, I don't want you're nasty old drums either. So there!"

"All right children, we now have two rules we all must abide by in our ecumenical society. There will be no piano playing, and no drums. Is there anyone else who has a particular like or dislike? Yes, Jimmy?"

"I like baseball, but I think football is too mean. I don't think we should play football, just baseball."

"Wait a minute Jimmy. I like football. I don't think we should play baseball Miss Potter. I don't even like people to even talk about baseball. I think baseball should be against the law, that's what I think."

"All right children, we now have two more rules we must follow in this ecumenical society. Are there any more?"

"Miss Potter? I don't understand. This thing we're doing is supposed to make us happy and let us do whatever we want to do isn't it? But all we're doing is getting mad at each other and not letting anyone do what they want to do the most. Are we doing something wrong?"

"Children, if you remember from last week, we learned that denominations are the dividing of the whole into little pieces. We know this doesn't work, but only causes us to look at ourselves and our own beliefs and to criticize anyone who doesn't agree with us. Denominationalism has been the way the church has tried to find the truth, but on its own terms. This is the way Cain tried to worship God, and it didn't work. But instead of changing his way of worship to fit what God wanted, he slew his brother so there would be no one to compete with. Again we see this with the Pharisees who tried to worship God in their own way, but not the way God wanted them to worship Him. And rather than change their long established ways, they killed the One who made them look bad. This, as we know, did not work either."

"But Miss Potter. We're not trying to kill anybody. All we want to do is get along and be happy. Why can't we do that if we're not hurting anyone else?"

"Becky, you saw how dividing your orange into many pieces just made it worse. Ecumenicalism, that is the world's way, is an effort to put the orange back together. And part of that orange is the Church. This seems like such a correct thing to do, that even the churches are participating in this effort. What isn't seen is what you children demonstrated here today. In order to all come together, we must do so at the lowest of denominators, that is, to all be like the lowest number that the orange can be cut into, rather than striving to be like the highest, or the best of the portions. I know I'm not making myself clear. Let me try it this way. Becky. You're in an accelerated class. Suppose you had to stay back with the slowest of student. Would you like that?"

"Oh no Miss Potter. I like being in this class. I get bored in regular classes because I can work better than they can."

"And Bruce, you like to ride your bicycle with your bicycle club. How would you like it if you had to go only as far and as fast as the slowest and the weakest of your club riders?"

"I wouldn't like that a bit Miss Potter. I think I'd quit if I had to do that."

"Miss Potter? I don't know if I want to have this ecky thing any more. Let's go back to the way we were. Can we do that?"

"Miss Potter. I don't know, but it kind of sounds like what we're doing here is like what my daddy talked about it being like in Russia. He called it Commu something or other. And I don't know, but isn't that what we're supposed to be fighting against instead of being like? That's what my daddy said. I don't know. I'm confused."




17Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (1Cor 11:)

17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Rom 16:)

51Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Luke 12:)

23And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. 26And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. (Dan 8:)

5And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Rev 13:)

13For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. 16Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.

18Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. 22Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. 23They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion. 24We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 25Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side. 26O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. 27I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. 29The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them. (Jer 6:)

2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (Rev 3:)

34For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (Mark 13:)


 

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