My last blog made fun of my fellow Baptist because of their changing beliefs. The First Baptist Church in my hometown is giving prom dresses to needy girl. When I attended that same church, many years ago, it was considered a sin to dance at a prom. Now they are promoting it.
All religions have bizarre beliefs and practices that are a source of confusion and distraction from the real message of the church. I wish the Pope would forget celibacy for the priest. All that does is promote homosexuals and pedophiles to be part of the priesthood and give them protection.
Another practice among the Catholics that has been confusing relates to Right to Life and contraception. I agree with them on most issues related to abortion but the following true story I have always found amusing. I had a high school friend who was a devout Catholic. Shortly after I became a physician, he approached me about doing an abortion on a girl he thought he had made pregnant. I ask him why he had not used a contraceptive and his reply was, “that would be against my religion.” Yet, it was okay for me do an abortion because I was then the guilt party, and it didn’t matter anyway for me because I wasn’t a Catholic. I was doomed to hell anyway. He also didn’t consider that I could lose my license and go to jail. He thought he was doing right according to his religion.
I have studied the Bible and cannot find specific references to dancing, celibacy, contraception, musical instruments in the church, infant baptism, crossing oneself, covering the head in church, use of incense, confession, and a long list of worship practices that distinguish the various denominations. I’m not sure about the day of worship or Sabbath. The question is who created our calendar and how many times has it been altered and revised? Could it be that many of these practices were created by man? Of course, these folks were inspired and blessed by God.
All this business is sure confusing to folks like me. I try to figure it out on the porch but have found there is no intelligent life on this planet who has the correct answer.
I have found that the words of Emily Dickinson are pretty good:
Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchid for a dome.
God preaches, - a noted clergyman,
And the sermon is never long.