Saturday, July 30, 2011

Just found out today that the Clinicals for the last two school years in the Nursing Program here at SPU (which I have not yet even completed prereqs for, much less been admitted to) are 15hrs per week, on top of 10 more hours of class time, not counting homework. That's 26 hrs/wk. I also work 40+ hrs/wk. Now, I know all things are possible with God, but I wonder if all things are prudent. I don't want to neglect my family any more than I already do. (Well, I'd rather not neglect them at all...)

I believed and still believe this is where the Lord's leading is, or at least that I've not had any restraint 'til now - which coupled w/ an initial desire seems to be the mechanism by which I'm normally led - so I'm going to keep going for it.

If this (Nursing) falls through I don't know what else I could really do in the way of securing solid training for future employment that would also provide me with enough free time to plant a church here. I've seen enough churches fall apart or fall on hard times not to want to rely totally on the generosity of God's flock for provision for my family, who all enjoy having roofs and beds and food and such things. At least Paul had tentmaking as a fallback or supplement, and he was single. I am not single, I'm not even double. I'm quintuple-no, Brandy's pregnant, make that sextuple. So with this small tribe relying on me for sustenance, I DO desire (and I don't think this is lack of faith) some sort of resilient qualifications of the sort that could allow me to provide said sustenance. A Classics degree doesn't exactly fit that bill.

Prayers appreciated.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Is Communion more like Prayer or like Baptism?

I've been going back and forth the past year over whether unbaptized ppl should be offered communion. For a loooooong period of Christian history this would've been a no-brainer: "no"!
Communion seems to be, in scripture, something for disciples, and disciples seem to be people who've been impressed enough by Jesus to obey him and become baptized as their entrance ceremony/sacrament into the family of believers. So to knowingly offer communion to unbaptized people seems to be a belittling of baptism - like celebrating an anniversary for a couple who refuses to be legally married.

I've grown up in more casual evangelical churches where sacraments have been observed very loosely, usually with their symbolic nature strongly emphasized. I got the idea that they were basically Jesus-instituted (and therefore important) flannelgraph presentations to illustrate a point, nothing more. Because of this, communion was no more restricted than prayer. You wouldn't deny prayer to anyone, why deny communion?

But it seems to me that Scripture and the early Christians understood communion to have a different significance than as a mere memorial (not that it's not a memorial)- as a participation in the body and blood of the Lord between baptized believers. As the question raised in my mind while reading the bible, I did some research and found that many Scripturally faithful denominations don't offer communion to the unbaptised.

This particular rubber meets the road for me regarding my kids. I've been allowing them to participate in communion without restraint, just trying to explain the meaning to them as we go along, but I've become increasingly doubtful that I'm being faithful to Scripture in doing so. My oldest, Josiah, and probably Jaelle too, are old enough to understand the gospel message and the meaning of baptism; but have told me they do not want to be baptized at this point. So, I have stopped having them participate in communion and explained why, telling them that once they decide to become disciples of Jesus and seal that commitment with baptism, then it will make sense for them to share communion as a memorial of and participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus which they will then have been baptized into.

If any of you have two cents to throw in, please do, especially if your cents make sense of Scripture.