There are a lot of things that ought to be done right now, but I feel to sick to do them. The children have been sick all week, and now I've got it too. How sick are they? Abigail asked at 7:00 if she could go to bed.
Anyhow, I can't take medicine, so I'm sucking on cough drops and trying to take it easy. It's hard to relax when there is so much to do. But on the other hand I have to keep reminding myself, I've got a little person to take care of inside of me. I'll have my first ultrasound May17, and I'll feel a lot better then.
On a completely unrelated note: Sunday at church Pastor Mike announced "starting next Sunday we will be undergoing a forty day period of prayer and fasting" "SAY WHAT???? Didn't we just finish Lent??" Okay, so obviously Lent is not the only time that we can fast. And while Lenten fasting is generally focussed on personal growth (at least for us) this fast is specifically about our church. Of course, I could argue that I'm exempt since I'm pregnant. Besides I've already given up, soda, coffee, sweets and most other junk food for the baby. But since I believe that our church is important, I decided to fast from reading advice columns. You know the Dear Abby sorts. It is one of my guilty pleasures and it really has no edifying value. I'm not sure what Paul will do yet.
And speaking of fasting, back during Lent I was discussing some theology and I left a few things hanging. Nobody has been clamoring for more religion but I thought I would bring it back up anyway.
First a synopsis on the sacraments:
Communion: The Real Presence of Christ but not technically blood and flesh (if Christ can be manifest in a human form, he can be manifest in the sacrament).
Baptism: Truly a sacrament, but it had no affect on a non-believing individual. The argument, from this perspective, for infant baptism is that a child can have faith long before he is old enough to understand the sacrament. Most families in our church do not baptize infants, we dedicate them. But this does not mean we do not view baptism as a sacrament. This is entirely different than the Baptist view which is that the baptism is merely symbolic.
Confession: We do not believe that priest mediated confession is necessary. Although confessing to the pastor is an option. However, confessing our sins and repenting of them is definitely a must.
Matrimony: Marriage is a life long commitment. Divorce is only allowable in the case that the spouse committed adultery. If a person is deserted by a non-Christian spouse, that person may remarry. However, divorces that occurred before the person came to faith are not counted against them. I totally do not understand the Catholic annulment thing. I think annulments are granted way too frequently.
Ordination: Certain people are called to ministry, they go to seminary and become ordained as ministers. Some ordained ministers also become deacons and bishops. Perhaps the one teaching of the Free Methodist church that I have never been able to really come to terms with is that they ordain women. They were actually one of the first denominations to come to this practice from my understanding. The logic is scriptural that in Christ we are "neither male nor female" still this doesn't sit right with me. On the other hand I am bothered by the Catholic demand for Celibacy since the Bible also says the overseer should be "the husband of one wife". Besides the fact that Peter was married (otherwise how could Jesus have healed his mother-in-law).
Anointing: When someone is ill (dying or not) they may request to be anointed. Sometimes there are special healing services. And usually this is accompanied by the laying on of hands of the congregation. Of course in some cases that is not possible. And sometimes a substitute is used for the laying on of hands. For instance when Sammy was in the NICU -- I was a stand in since the congregation could obviously not come in and see him. He was anointed once. It was kind of neat.
Confirmation: I don't know a lot about confirmation. People undergo classes then there is a ceremony in which they make professions and become full church members. If a person has a severe sin which needs to be remedied they can have a sort of probationary membership. For instance in our class there was a woman who was living with a man whom she was not married to. She went through the classes and ceremony with us. But was not a full member until she married him (she also could have moved out) but she didn't need any additional ceremony. The classes are very simple and much less rigorous than RCIA in part because the Free Methodist doctrine/discipline is oodles simpler. And the professions are very basic and any true Christian would agree with them even if they thought the church had a lot of other things backwards.
I think that's all the sacraments. We do truly believe in sacraments in our church. But usually if we say "the sacrament" we are referring to The Lord's Supper.
I think tomorrow I will give a discussion on Mariology. I will try to explain fairly what Catholic teachings say and why protestants are bothered by some of it. And I will also try not to offend anyone.
In the meantime I will go to bed and sleep.
I suppose I should put a disclaimer on my sight.
DISCLAIMER: Although I am a Free Methodist, I am not authorized to make statements on behalf of the church. So don't get mad if I said something wrong.
P.S. A lot of denominations recognize some of the sacraments but not others, this is sort of confusing to me.
P.P.S. Sometime in the next few days, I plan to post on all the things that really bug me about the Catholic church. So be prepared to defend yourselves, all you Catholics (I think that constitutes a vast majority of my readership). And all you non-Catholics, I could probably use some support?