Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Menu

Got bored at Church today and was pondering our tendencies as Protestant to find a Church tailor-made to meet our needs rather than Join a Church because we want to serve because there is a need. A few days ago I was asked what Denomination that I am and could not, with a clear conscience, say that I am Southern Baptist. Nothing against Southern Baptists, I've been one my whole life, it's just that in the past 10 years or so... well thats another blog. So while trying to imagine the Denomination that suited me best, my mood, my allergies for extreme Fundies I felt like I was at a restaurant.

This might work better in that hands of a Forky or a Cachinator but here goes anyway.


Waiter: So what’ll you have tonight?

Diner: Well, my stomach’s a little funny tonight from some bad experience with some raw fundie Baptist chicken so what do you have on the lighter side?

Waiter: well, we’ve got some Presbyterian catfish that is light and liberal. Not to jarring, fluffy but with a spice that will tingle your palate as if it has depth, oh and it’s made with REAL wine (wink) not that grape juice that they cook the Baptist chicken in.

Diner: Well, I’m not too sure about that, I mean, yeah my tummy hurts but, I am not really liberal and I am kind of allergic to fish, but I do like me some wine. (winking and Ribbing the waiter)

Both: (subdued laughter and then they both clear their throats and regain composure)

Waiter: (dignified) I tell you what, we can keep the Wine from the Presbyterian catfish and maybe throw on some Methodist tofu. It tastes just like the Baptist chicken but it is not made of Chicken its tofu. So you get the feel of a Baptist chicken but without the fundamental dogmatic meat that goes with it.

Diner: awwwe I’m not so sure, maybe….hey this nondenominational Philly sandwich sounds pretty yummy. Some fundamental flavor but I can still get a little crazy and go dancing after.

Waiter: well, I have to be honest, it sounds good on the menu but you really never know what your going to get out of one of those non-denom Phillies. When in reality, isn’t non-denominational really a denomination. I mean, come on it kind of defeats the purpose to call yourself non-denominational if you don’t want to call yourself a denomination… so like what if I said, my name is “I don’t have a name” every one would call me “I don’t have…

Diner: Okay, okay, …. I get it. Well I guess we will just keep looking here. Do you have anything that’s not so War oriented? I mean, too much of that stuff is hell on my acid reflex.

Waiter: I have just the thing; we are having a special on Anabaptist and Quaker Casserole. It is divine.

Diner: well I tell you what we are going to do. I think I’ll have the Presbyterian catfish with the Baptist seasoning, then on my side salad I will have the Methodist tofu but I want it fried like the Nondenominational Philly is fried. And substituting for my Church of Christ raw veggies, I’ll have the Anabaptist Quaker Casserole, but can I still get the wine?

Waiter: (whispers) “sure” Just don’t tell my Boss.


Lexie Ward said...

What, nothing on the menu from the Assemblies of God? What kind of restaurant is this anyway?

Snoopy said...

HA! Great one, Seth. I have to say I feel your frustration. I've been jadded with the So. Bapt. for a while now. Maybe you could order the Presbyterian Church of America catfish instead of the Presbyterian Church - USA catfish. They tend to be more on the conservative side.
Love the blog. :)

Anonymous said...

I've long ago dropped 'Southern' from my answer.

Ecuminical stew anyone?

Seth Ward said...

Well Campfire, I must say that I am sad that I forgot to add the AG's to the menu. I just didn't know where to put them or what kind of food to describe them. Maybe I could have made them a dring like O'douls. You know, they think they are getting alchoholic drunk but its just their immagination. HAAAAAA!!!!! ; ) Maybe thats what the waiter was.

Snoop, I have mostly been frustrated with the hostile takeover in the past 10 years. When I was growing up the SBC was an incredible place to be. So missions minded and full of Grace. We focused on where we agreed and let the Holy Spirit guide us. The seminaries were full at one time. The graduating classes have gone from several hundreds to in the 40's and 50's. They fired some of their best minds because they were labeled "liberal" when it was really just about power.

There have been some ugly, ugly things that have transpired in the past 10 years, but hopefully these fartheads that are in control will die or spontaneously combust sometime and it will change for the better, but I am not crossing my fingers.

Now no one take what I am about to say the wrong way but I would call myself catholic. Catholic in the classic sense as the universal church bonded together by the Holy Spirit before it became a denomination. I see every professing believer to be my brother and sister and part of this universal or catholic church.

I no longer see or am trying to see division between us. I might disagree with the Roman Catholics on Marian doctrine or I might disagree with the AG church on the doctrine of tounges but they are all still a part of me and I a part of them. I am no longer Protestant. I am tired of Protesting. What am I protesting???? All that jargin is hogwash. I am a Christian, a follower and believer in Jesus the Christ. So if tomorrow I end up in a AG church or a Catholic Church I know that I will be with family (as cheezy as that sounds)

I have been blessed in the past 7 years to serve in many denominations and attend BUNCHES of churches and I know that the Spirit of Christ can be found in all of them and THAT is where I belong.

Lexie Ward said...

For A/G, you could put some kind of expresso. You know to give a big buzz right up front, but that leaves you kind of feeling worn out an hour later.
Picture me with a toothy smile.

Seth Ward said...


Sarah said...

There's a storm brewing at the SBC. Check out my pastor's blog: http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/

operamom said...

that was completely brilliant. i don't know where your genius comes from.

seriously, i really enjoyed that.

Chaotic Hammer said...

Once again, great stuff Seth.

I was going to comment here, but my comments were so long, I just went ahead and made it a new entry in my own blog.

I'm not trying to get traffic there or anything, I just couldn't justify a comment on someone else's blog quite that long.

Seth Ward said...

Thanks guys! awe shucks you're gonna make be blush.

Kat said...

That is hilarious!

G-I-M-P said...

I'm a fan. Anglican Mission In America sounds right up your alley. You should check out one of their churches.

Susanne said...

That was so funny! My brother just joined a PCA church, so he'd get a kick out of it too. I know the SBC hasn't been perfect in recent years, but I still can't find any other denomination that follows the Bible closer than the Southern Baptists. I like some things about Catholicism, but I can't for the life of me figure out how they missed the chapter in the New Testament that says we do not need a high priest. I also don't see what difference it makes whether or not Mary stayed a virgin or had more kids. I like some things about the Episcopal church, but I don't agree that homosexuals should be clergymen/women. Presbyterian and Methodist churches seem fine, but I have yet to hear a really moving sermon at the churches I've attended, and I don't see much going on in the way of evangelism going on there. I went to a Church of Christ with my friend once and loved their service...until I realized that they thought I was going to Hell in a handbasket because I wasn't one of them! My in-laws are Free Will Baptists, and I like their church, except that people in their denomination get saved over and over and over again. Sooooo....to make a long story shorter, I choose to be Southern Baptist until the SBC does something that goes totally against the Bible. We should all just call ourselves Christians and be concerned more with following the Bible than with following traditions. I pray that before Jesus returns the Christian churches will be more united. Usually when someone asks me what denomination I am, I just say, "I'm a Christian." and I leave it at that. I don't say that because I'm ashamed to be a Baptist, but because it shouldn't matter which denomination we are...only that we follow Christ. But maybe we could make Southern Baptist sound more cool by using an acronymn? We could just say we're SB's (wait, that sounds too close to something else...) :)
I love reading your blog!!