Please comment: Minimize the Rules, Maximize the Relationship. Jesus did!


#1

My childhood church (Conference Baptist) has one of those billboards on the front lawn, and every few days, they post a new “pithy” saying or encouragement (or sometimes the date and time of the Choir’s latest Cantata or the All Church Picnic!)

This was posted last weekend, and it’s still up:

Minimize the rules, maximize the relationship. Jesus did!

My twenty-five year-old daughter, a new Catholic, thought this was nonsense. She was very offended.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I agree with her.

First, I believe it is a “swipe” against liturgy and any kind of traditional worship or “church.” (My childhood church has been taken over by “modernists.”) I think this is an ignorant statement. Liturgical worship does not detract from a relationship with Jesus; IMO, liturgy enhances the relationship, just as little “rituals” between my husband and me enhance our relationship.

Second, I think it is foolish and even dangerous to try to have relationships with no rules. My husband and I follow rules in our relationship (29 years married)–e.g., we let each other know where we are and will be. e.g., we don’t spend a lot of money on a big item without talking about it first.

Also, families have rules. e.g., If you have a snack, clean up after yourself e.g., No one is allowed to hit anyone else.

I have lots of other negative thoughts, but I am interested in what all of you think.

And then we’ll start on the pithy saying on the other side of their billboard–“Anger is temporary insanity.” :nope:


#2

The “rules” are there to help maximize the relationship!


#3

You’re both very perceptive. What’s the best possible end point of “minimizing rules”? Why, no rules at all! I wonder if that’s what they’re really teaching? Is that what God teaches us? Is it what he taught his chosen people?

It’s really such a trendy view. I’m reminded of what Chesterton said: “The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”


#4

I’ve been participating in a Protestant message board for some time and this comes up over and over again. They all refer to it as legalism. There was a huge discussion over whether it was too legalistic to require weekly attendance at a church service. Thankfully many people agreed that it wasn’t, but I was floored by the attitude of many posters, that somehow requiring church attendance detracts from their relationship with Christ.

Even if people want to pretend like their church is just a happy go lucky me and Jesus kind of place, that can’t be the case. There is a certain culture, many unwritten rules, within any relationship, whether its a family, a work environment, or a church. I bet the people at that church would be shocked by how many rules they obey each week at their church!


#5

I prefer that churches post Scripture verses because Gods written word is powerful and can and does change lives. However this said I agree with the point being made that the emphasis of the Christian life should be on the relationship with God. I don’t reject rules or say we shouldn’t have them but that Christians should focus more on their relationship with God. It’s also true that the Lord Jesus majored more on relationships than He did on rules, see how he dealt with the Pharisees.

Also Cat please note the following re your comments.

Minimize the rules, maximize the relationship. Jesus did!

I think it is foolish and even dangerous to try to have relationships with no rules.

.


#6

What did Jesus Himself say? “If you love Me you will keep my commandments!”


#7

That’s my thought - why bother having a church building to go to at all if rules are so unimportant?


#8

Here’s a scripture verse for you - ‘I have come not to abolish the law but to fulfill it; for truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law until all be fulfilled’ (Matt 5:17-18)


#9

It might interest some of you to know that the church that posted this message has seen at least a dozen of its faithful members become Catholic in the last ten years. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but for Baptists to become Catholic is a huge deal.

It wasn’t always like this, everyone. When I grew up, my Conference Baptist church was a delightful place with a blend of tradition and contemporary thinking. I learned to love Jesus there, and I studied the Bible faithfully under some excellent teachers who loved children. My husband and I were married there.

But oh, how everything has changed. :frowning:


#10

Hey, that’s not the way it’s supposed to work! :smiley:

It wasn’t always like this, everyone. When I grew up, my Conference Baptist church was a delightful place with a blend of tradition and contemporary thinking. I learned to love Jesus there, and I studied the Bible faithfully under some excellent teachers who loved children. My husband and I were married there.

But oh, how everything has changed. :frowning:

It was never a question of if, but only of when. Without a visible Church, including a Magisterium, a continual haphazard drift away from the truths of the faith is inevitable.


#11

Its true, can I second this motion.
It reminds me…
Explore DODO DO


#12

Is this like Whoopi saying, “You don’t know how hard it is to get the call until you lived in Vegas”?(Sister Act) Actually I do believe you are correct… I sponsored a lady in RCIA a few years back and there was one guy in the group that came from the Baptists… He argued with everything, he wanted to know where everything was in the Bible and some of the other canidates got frustrated that they never got out of class on time. My candidate asked me and a nun why we weren’t upset with his constant arguing. We told her that he was doing his homework and checking everything, questioning and learning not just the whats, but the why’s of our faith… she didn’t get it… so we told her the more they protest, the harder they fall… and THEN she got it…:smiley:

But take the good with the bad here… They question and if they get the right answers… they learn… sadly… they often ask the pastor who gives them misinformation… but they still question.


#13

Perhaps they were talking about the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law. There are many that follow the letter and forget the spirit. And Jesus himself broke the letter in order to fulfill the spirit, as in healing on the Sabbath. :slight_smile:


closed #14

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