Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Serious Question

A Young Man Ponders Padre's Serious Question

I've been thinking about that phrase from Jude 3 which is so popular with the reasserters "the faith entrusted (or delivered) to the saints." From what I gather, the reasserters believe that said faith is some sort of Calvinist Fundamentalism which is so popular with the likes of Little Stone Bridget and Father Mass Progeny (thanks, Brother Causticus!). I think they also believe that said faith includes a belief in the authority of Scripture which involves a rather literal reading of said documents. I find this odd as the author of the New Testament book in which they found their phrase the faith entrusted (or delivered) to the saints quotes from a non-canonical text. Wouldn't that make him a bit of a New Ager? For some reason, I have trouble believing that St. Jude and our friends at Kendall's place and the Other, Really Terrible places would actually agree on what exactly this entrusted faith actually is.

So, what do you think is meant by the faith entrusted (or delivered) to the saints? What do you think the word faith meant to the Christians in Jude's community (which was probably Jerusalem)? This is your opportunity to wax philosophically and in a scholarly manner, an opportunity which doesn't come along very often at Padre Mickey's Dance Party!


PseudoPiskie said...

Since I think faith and belief have little to do with each other, I suspect those folks are all about belief and not about faith at all. Faith means trusting the message. What is the message? That's what we seem to be arguing about.

Galbrith Hoopenwaudle-Gomez Person Dominguez said...

Faith delivered? Like pizza and friend chicken? Step right up folks and have a scoop of steaming fried faith delivered?

Ah, the Saints I know (personally) wouldn't have anything to do with this pie-in-the-alamode-sky...Saints are down to earthfolk...they visit, sometimes I even seen them being hauled around my rural town on platforms...they go visiting, they get around by groups of groupies...they INSPIRE they don't depress (or repress)...they cause brilliance and sometimes bold sensations of challenge and right-thinking maturity...they do for me what I rarely could ever think of doing for myself...they have me cast my eyes higher, not lower, higher than I thought ANYONE could ever see...they, the Saints, are activitists who don't like nonsense, posturing or pontificating (better wind this up) or GRANDSTANDING...anyway, I know Saints. They know me and not ONE OF THEM wastes time plotting unhappiness, discrimination, persecution, exclusion, demoralizing, abominating at Church for fellow Christians/others...not ONE OF THEM operates or translates to fear and hate/segregate and not ONE OF THEM excludes or preaches maliciousness against their brothers and sisters at The Body of Christ.

I know stuff.

Faith is nice, Faith is sometimes very handy and reliable but TRUST beats everything to Hell...TRUSTING in God, seperates the guppies from the whales, the fly from the buzzard, the instigator of hate crimes from the SAINT...go ahead, Trust God as you do a blindfolded back flip off the side of the Grand Canyon into Gods arms that are held wide open to save you (just kidding, don't do it, you silly, or at least suggest that puritans go first to prove their "faith" delivered is good for YOU TOO).

No excluding NEWS is GOOD NEWS and excluding others at The Anglican Communion (all) is as tired and worthless as seeking BREAKING NEWS in last weeks Newspapers!

Saints, you gotta love em because they inspire GOOD!

Lynn said...

Faith requires that we ask God for guidance in each challenging circumstance. Love and respect God and your fellow man - those are the rules. It's that hard, and that easy; and that is the faith of...those who choose to be close to God.

If you are always sure what God wants you to do, well - you don't have faith. You aren't using the gifts that God has provided. In fact, you are abdicating your responsibilities in this life.

David Austin Allen said...

The coming of the Kingdom is perpetual. Again and again, freshness, novelty, power from beyond the world break in by unexpected paths bringing unexpected change. Those who cling to tradition and fear all novelty in God's relation to the world deny the creative activity of the Holy Sprit, and forget that what is now tradition was once innovation; that the real Christian is always a revolutionary, belongs to a new race, and has been given a new name and a new song.

Evelyn Underhill

David Austin Allen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reverend Ref + said...

the faith entrusted (or delivered) to the saints??

How about: One God in three persons - Father, Son & Holy Spirit; the two natures of Christ -- fully human and fully divine; creation is good and there is no secret to salvation (i.e. we aren't Gnostic); and that the Body of Christ, the community of believers and the unity of the Church is placed above the selfish desire to create an exclusive retreat for those whom you deem to be holy enough and pure enough (i.e. Donatus).

The Church is made up of fallen humans who are saved by the Grace of God. We need to understand that; as well as understanding that those of us with a collar and/or miter are probably the most in need of help.

Slidejockey said...

It is my theology and understanding that there is only ONE faith statement. That statement is "GOD IS". Everything else are belief statements that back up your faith statement. If one needs to subscribe to biblical inerrancy to bolster their faith that "GOD IS", OK....but that is your BELIEF not your FAITH. I read the passage from Jude as "the saints proclaiming that GOD IS". To me, the reasserters/evangelicals/whatever- you-want-to-call-them have misread this Scriptural passage, confusing faith with beliefs.

OKDiane said...

The faith once delivered is love.

Jude 20-21
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1John 3:16
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1John 4:7-11
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Josh Indiana said...

They're not interested in the faith; they're interested in the "once delivered." That way they get to say "we told you so." It's all one giant (boring) game of Gotcha.

"Faith once delivered" is another of those paradoxes the Bible so excels in. Faith has to be a living thing, and therefore it changes as we change. True, it's once delivered to us in childhood or conversion - but after that, it grows and changes shape. "Faith" is sometimes too much for us to hang onto, but it's the gateway to a living relationship with the One Who Is.

I don't worry about my faith; the Creed takes care of that. What I attend to is my relationship.


Padre Mickey said...

Geez, after making a great statement, Josh has to go say the "a" word during Lent!!!
Now we're in trouble!

Dennis said...

I finally get it. I see what they've been up to all along.

Faith once delivered.

Yes, yes, all makes sense, now. The "Anglican" fundamentalists will all wind up on the road to S.L.C.. It was the delivery part that I had never understood. Hey, with Canterbury not working out for them they have to wind up somewhere!

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I think slidejockey, okdiane, and Josh all hit it, but here is how I would sum up my understanding of "the faith once delivered":

God exists.

God loves us.

God wants us to love each other.

Seems so simple on the surface! But we have a hard enough time believing the first two. I guess it's no surprise that we rarely get around to Number 3...

Anonymous said...

For me, the "faith once delivered" is found in the Creeds. Outside of that, the rest is merely fluff.

As a wise old Priest once told me, we stand and recite the Creed after the Homily to symbolise that the Homily can contain the personal opinion and views of the Priest, and we can take it or leave it (i.e. the "fluff" I mentioned earlier). We stand and recite the creed because that is what is actually of the greatest importance.

The nut-cases on the extremist right are interested less in the "fatih once delivered" than in promoting a Church filled with their own prejudice, hate, and fear. The "reasserter" definition of the "faith once delivered" has little to do with true Christianity and nothing to do with Christian love. They can't take the creeds alone and twist them around enough to support their warped world view, so they turn to revising the "faith once delivered" idea to their advantage.

Kirstin said...

God is love.

2 1/2 years of seminary have not beaten that out of me. Alleluia.

(now we're really in trouble)

FranIAm said...

Kirstin does have it. I am not surprised.

I See You!

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